The country of England is filled with places that once captured William Wordsworth’s attention and continue to conjure the charm of his writing. For those who value the literary legacy of this renowned poet, this feature will take you on a poetic tour of some of England’s most beautiful locations.
It’s time to follow in the literary genius Wordsworth’s footsteps as you prepare to explore England through the lens of his elegant descriptions and immerse yourself in the beauty that inspired his verses.
1. Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth
One place where Wordsworth’s legacy truly comes alive is the Wordsworth House and Garden. This spot served as his childhood home and offers visitors a chance to step back in time and see what life was like for the Wordsworth family in the late 1700s.
In 2022, this special location hosted an exhibit paying tribute to Wordsworth’s enduring influence and his role in founding the National Trust, aptly named ‘Scree’. The stunning residence sits alongside a charming garden, teeming with fruits and flowers, making for a truly enchanting location.
Address: Main St, Cockermouth CA13 9RX, United Kingdom
2. Wordsworth Grasmere, Ambleside
Wordsworth Grasmere, nestled in the heart of the picturesque Lake District, is a haven for poetry enthusiasts. Here, you’ll discover Dove Cottage, the Grasmere Wordsworth Museum, and the gardens where William Wordsworth forever altered the course of poetry.
Besides the captivating world of poetry and nature sketches, you can partake in gallery tours and other exciting events. Dove Cottage has been meticulously restored to its pre-Wordsworth glory to elevate your visit, ensuring an authentic and immersive experience.
Address: Town End, Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9PP, United Kingdom
3. Tintern Abbey, Tintern
In 1798, William Wordsworth penned a verse inspired by his time spent near Tintern Abbey. Nestled along the banks of the River Wye in Wales, this mesmerising location features the graceful remains of a medieval church, its towering structure now open to the sky. The abbey’s elegant arches stand tall among the lush riverfront forests, offering an unforgettable focal point.
Interestingly, the poem that brought Tintern Abbey into the limelight doesn’t immediately mention the abbey itself; instead, it delves into the evocative and uplifting power of a “wild secluded scene,” with Tintern emerging later in the title.
The good news is that Tintern Abbey is now open to all! While you’re free to explore at your leisure, keep an eye out for special tours and activities scheduled on specific dates. Plus, a charming gift shop is on-site, perfect for bringing souvenirs back home.
Address: Tintern Abbey, Tintern NP16 6SE, United Kingdom
4. Hawkshead and Ambleside
Wordsworth’s educational journey began at the tender age of eight, when he enrolled at Hawkshead Grammar School. This school boasts mullioned windows and a quaint sundial adorning its front door. Take a closer look at the well-preserved wooden desks, and you’ll discover the etched names of Wordsworth and his fellow students, a testament to the enduring history of this school.
Not too far away, you’ll find a memorial to Wordsworth’s former teacher in the sturdy stone church. And just around the corner from the Beatrix Potter Gallery, you can visit Ann Tyson’s cottage, which Wordsworth once called home during his stay. It’s a little slice of history tucked away in this idyllic corner of the world.
Address: Main St, Hawkshead, Ambleside LA22 0NT, United Kingdom
When Wordsworth laid eyes on those lakeside daffodils, he’d often stroll along the coastline as carefree as a drifting cloud. Even today, the woodlands near Glencoyne burst into bloom each spring, and the bracken-clad mountains gracefully descend to meet the tranquil shores of Ullswater.
For a scenic adventure, hop aboard a boat and cruise down the lake, tracing the Ullswater Way’s daffodil waymarking –– a scenic path that debuted in 2016. Along the way, you’ll pass by verdant ferny woodlands and arrive at the enchanting Aira Force waterfall. These wooden boats operate year-round and can whisk you away to Howton Pier, conveniently located on the other side of the lake.
Address: Glenridding, Ullswater CA11 0PH, United Kingdom
6. St John’s College, Cambridge
St John’s College in Cambridge marked Wordsworth’s first venture beyond the confines of the Lake District. He vividly described his arrival in 1787, crossing the picturesque River Cam and being greeted by the striking towers and pinnacles of “the long-roofed chapel of King’s College” in his autobiographical masterpiece, ‘The Prelude’.
While at St John’s, Wordsworth called the first of the college’s three courts home. You can explore this historic spot today by following a well-marked walking path. It’s a fascinating journey through Wordsworth’s past and the timeless beauty of Cambridge.
Address: St John’s College, St Johns St, Cambridge CB2 1TP, United Kingdom
7. Rydal Mount, Ambleside
Rydal Mount, a cherished family residence of Wordsworth’s, is just a 10-minute drive from Wordsworth Grasmere. This idyllic property boasts a beautifully manicured garden, a cosy tearoom, and, of course, the poet’s own dwelling, furnished with personal belongings and pictures.
From time to time, Rydal Mount hosts special events such as cyanotype workshops, craft fairs, and sketchbook lessons. Unsurprisingly, it even sets the stage for weddings, making it an exceptional venue for celebrating life’s special moments. The sheer loveliness of this place would undoubtedly enrich any visit to the Lake District.
Address: 1 Rydal Mount, Rydal, Ambleside LA22 9LU, United Kingdom