Grasmere is a village in the heart of the Lake District, lying to the north of the lake which shares its name.
Its most famous literary connection is the poet William Wordsworth, who lived here from 1799 to 1808, first with his sister Dorothy and then with his wife Mary. His home, Dove Cottage, used to be an inn called the Dove and Olive, and many of its features date from this time – white-washed walls, flagstone floors and dark wood panelling. Today it is open to the public and attracts about 70,000 visitors each year, who can see some of the original furniture, and family possessions and portraits.
In August the Grasmere Sports are held in the village, an event which dates back to 1852. Events include local traditional sports such as Cumberland wrestling, fell running and hound trailing. Another popular event is the Rushbearing Ceremony, a reminder of the days before the church floor was flagged, and new rushes had to laid on the floor. I'll tell you more about these events in a later post.
Overlooking the village, on the south side of Dunmail Raise (the high pass linking the southern Lakes with the northern area) is a small mountain known officially as Helm Crag, but often referred to as ‘The Lion and the Lamb’ because of two outcrops of rock on its summit. Can you see them?
The same cottage is now a shop which still sells the genuine Grasmere Gingerbread (and it’s delicious!). The original recipe is a secret and is now kept in a bank vault.