Grasmere: an uplifting walk round the poet’s lake

Grasmere lake view

During our visit to Grasmere yesterday, clouds lay low over rolling hills, but the greyness just added atmosphere to the water, hills, woods, dry stone walls, ferns and wildflowers along our way.

Grasmere woodland view

We’d stopped off here to walk around the lake: my idea of exercise! Our route took us past houses, lakeside businesses, farmland and woods before swinging down to the path around the shore. 

Grasmere on a cloudy day

The views along this three mile walk are uplifting (they’ll entice you to dawdle, so allow a little more time than you think you’ll need) and there are relatively few hills to negotiate. For the hikers amongst you, there are plenty of more challenging walks nearby, including the relatively short but steep ascent to Helm Crag which overlooks the lake.

Grasmere cabin with wildflowers

Wildflowers around the lake testify to Grasmere’s unspoiled nature, despite the tourists its heritage and beauty attracts. The lake itself offers rich pickings for lovers of coarse fishing.

Grasmere jetty

Even the narrow, moss covered jetty on the Dove Cottage side of the lake could hardly be more picturesque, despite its no-frills functionality for those with deft footing.

Grasmere island view

Above and below, you’ll perhaps be able to make out a wooded island in the lake. These days it’s privately owned, but two centuries ago, it was a favourite haunt of the poet William Wordsworth who lived for a while at Dove Cottage, close to the lake shore. It doesn’t take a critic to work out why nature played such an important part in his inspiration.

Grasmere view from the shore

I promise to come back to take pictures on a more classically beautiful day, so you can see what a blue sky would add to the view – I’d guess, to northern eyes like mine, it’s a difference in the character rather than degree of beauty. But a repeat trip would hardly be a sacrifice!

Grasmere sheep

We said farewell to the sheep, left Grasmere refreshed by its natural beauty and headed on north.

On the way home, we were tempted by a well placed sign post to visit Holehird Gardens where we found their hydrangeas and astilbes in full flower. I’ll be posting pictures soon, but will just say it’s the perfect time for a visit!

If you know The Lake District, please feel free to share any favourite walks or places in the comments.

30 Replies to “Grasmere: an uplifting walk round the poet’s lake”

  1. Aah, the Lake District; such a beautiful place! Your photos capture the ambience I remember so well…it seems like yesterday. I lead a tour there several years ago to see Hill Top Farm, which was fabulous even on a very wet day, and also visited Dove Cottage. Time was short Grasmere, however, with no opportunity for hiking. So glad you discovered Holehird too–it’s one of my all-time favorites.

    1. I’ve been seeing Holehird Gardens for years on recommended English Gardens to visit lists but had never been. When I realised it was such a short diversion on our journey, I couldn’t resist taking a peek. It lived up to its billing!

    1. Thanks Gillian. When we set out the sky was blue, so the clouds were a bit of a disappointment, but it was perfect walking weather, and it can be hard to take pictures in bright sunlight, so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise!

  2. Ah yes. Grasmere. Your photographs are absolutely splendid. Only Wordsworth could convey such beauty in verse. The second picture of the trees is wonderful. Poetry in pictures. Well done.

    1. Thanks for the reblog and for mentioning that particular picture – it’s tempting to just focus on the lake and the reflections but I wanted to give a feeling of the woodland surroundings too.

  3. Beautiful post! I love your descriptive style that is as beautiful as your pictures. The tet of your post is like a picture painting in words. Thank you for taking us all along for the walk and sharing your experience with us all. Though, I must admit, I am a little jealous.

        1. I hope you do manage to make it over one day – it’s a great place for nature lovers and I know you’d enjoy the literary connections too. Good luck!

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