Grasmere Is a Village in the Center of the English Lake District
LOCAL MAN WILLIAM WORDSWORTH described Grasmere as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”, and there must be a fair few present-day walkers that would agree with him. Within striking distance of Fairfield, the Helvellyn Range, Helm Crag and even the Langdale Pikes, this is a mecca for Wainwright Baggers. It’s also popular with literature buffs, who come to visit Wordsworth’s old cottage and see his grave at St Oswald’s Church. The village shows its best colors at the tail end of summer when the holiday hordes have departed and the wooded fells are turning russet brown. “Currently the leaves are on the turn and the bracken on the fells is turning to rust,” says local resident Andy Hill. “Although the season is drawing to a close, it’s the most beautiful time of year.” For a wonderful way of appreciating the true extent of those colors, turn to page 54 for a three-day walk starting and ending in the village. Grasmere isn’t just pretty as a picture – it’s also rich in the way of cozy accommodation, classic country pubs, and tea rooms. Add three well-stocked outdoor shops, and you’re left with the perfect base for a hillwalking trip.
WALK HERE 1. FAIRFIELD LOOP
Make like Wainwright and start your ascent of Fairfield from Mill Bridge just north of Grasmere. Return via Great Rigg, Rydal Fell, and Heron Pike for a superb day of peak-bagging.
HIGH RAISE AND BLEA RIGG
There are several classic lower summits squeezed into this long day out, which ticks off Helm Crag, High Raise and Blea Rigg on a broad circuit around Easedale Tarn.
STAY Budget: YHA Grasmere Butharlyp Howe Clean, cozy and centrally located – the epitome of cheap and cheerful.
Mid-range: The Grasmere Hotel This classic country house hotel recently changed hands and is reportedly better than ever. Reasonable single room rates, despite a luxe image.
Splurge: The Daffodil Hotel and Spa End a day’s walking with a thermal spa treatment at this spectacularly located retreat.
Tweedies A roaring log fire, superb selection of award-winning ales and decent pub grub.
Travelers Rest Real ales and old world charm by the bucket load.
The Jumble Room Delicious and eclectic food served against a background of pop art prints and jazz photos.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop The only place where you can buy authentic Grasmere gingerbread – the perfect addition to every hill walker’s lunch box.
Catch a Stagecoach bus from Windermere station, Keswick or Kendal in under 40 minutes.
DID YOU KNOW? Taffy Thomas, the UK’s first Laureate for Storytelling, is based in Grasmere and tells tall tales at the Storyteller’s Garden.