Cumbria and the Lake District – England
DAY 6 – William Wordsworth lived in both the villages of Grasmere and Rydal, pretty villages on the shores of two sparkling lakes. Grasmere is now a sizeable settlement and large crowds come in August each year for the Grasmere sports. There are also good walking trails in the area.
As with most visitors, we headed for Dove Cottage. Wordsworth first settled at Dove Cottage with his sister Dorothy, and it was here that he experienced his most creative years. In 1802 he married an old school friend, Mary Hutchinson. They led a simple life, bringing up their children and he frequently received visits from poets such as Coleridge and de Quincy. In 1820 Wordsworth published his ‘Guide through the District of the Lakes’.
In 1850 William caught a cold on a country walk, and he died on 23 April, St George’s Day, at the age of 80. He and Mary who died 9 years later have a simple tombstone in the churchyard of St Oswald’s Church in Grasmere, now one of the most visited literary shrines in the world. William Wordsworth wrote some 70000 lines of verse, 40000 lines more than any other poet. Each year, crowds flock to the annual ceremony of strewing the church’s earth floor with fresh rushes.