William Wordsworth is the towering figure of British poetry and very probably the Lake District’s best known son. But he was certainly not alone and there are many others who have played their part in putting Cumbria firmly on the literary map. Samuel Taylor Coleridge followed Wordsworth to the Lake District, arriving in Keswick in 1800, followed soon after by Bristol born Robert Southey. Thomas de Quincey arrived in 1807. Cockermouth-born Wordsworth spent eight years at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, where he wrote some of his best known works like The Prelude, Michael, and The Ode: Intimations of Immortality and Daffodils, and then the last 37 years of his life at Rydal Mount near Ambleside. Both places are open to visitors, and so is Brantwood, home to John Ruskin, who bought the property in 1871 and stayed there until his death in 1900. Ruskin, admired by Tolstoy and Proust, and an inspiration to the National Trust, the Arts and Crafts movement and the green movement, was not a native of this part of England and nor was Beatrix Potter who bought Hill Top at Near Sawrey in 1905. Beatrix was born in London and when just a young girl stayed at Wray Castle near Ambleside. It was whilst there that she was encouraged to seek a publisher for The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Eventually Peter and other tales were published to great acclaim and produced sufficient income for Beatrix to buy Hill Top Farm. The farm continued the author’s long love of Lakeland. Another who grew to love the Lakes was Arthur Ransome (author of Swallows and Amazons) who settled in the Winster Valley near Windermere in the 1920s. Amongst others who were associated with the Lake District were William Hazlitt, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle and Charlotte Bronte. More information about these Lakeland authors and poets can be uncovered by visiting places like the Wordsworth Museum at Grasmere, the Armitt Collection in Ambleside, Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, Hawkshead Grammar School, Mirehouse near Keswick, the Ruskin Museum in Coniston, Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead, the Museum of Lakeland Life in Kendal, as well as the places mentioned above. [space height=”10″]
Lakeland & Literature
What our Travellers say
Expectations were to see lakes and mountains. But with National Park Traveller's help there was something to do everywhere we turned.
Utah was my favourite part. There was so much to do and it was like nothing I’ve seen before. Really liked Capitol Reef as it was much quieter and we were so close to it. Will always remember going star gazing, brilliant.
Never been somewhere where so many people say they keep coming back. Thank you for finding me this holiday destination.
On our trip there was so much to do. We enjoyed outdoor activities and the adventurous things to do. We were nicely surprised and will be coming back for sure.
We saw loads of animals, bison, black and grizzly bear, elk, deer and even wolves in the distance. Waterfalls and lakes were magnificent and the trails that we walked were all so beautiful and well worth visiting.
We saw all of Las Vegas and really glad we've done it. All the hotels were amazing. I will always remember driving towards Las Vegas, you're just driving for hours through dessert and it suddenly pops up out of nowhere.
Amazing New York highlights were a Broadway show, Central Park, Empire State building and Time Square. We visited MoMA which was amazing to see all best artwork in the world, we were just not expecting it, every room we went into there was another masterpiece. Our hotel was under a mile from the subway station and we saw how the New Yorkers live and commute.
Every turn held more beauty than we expected. We were humbled by the size of the surrounding peaks. The feeling of being in a cathedral never left us as we stopped in deserted spots and just gazed at our surroundings.