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Dove Cottage (& Wordsworth Museum)

Last updated: 26 March, 2024

Of all the Wordsworth sites dotted around the Lake District, Dove Cottage is arguably the most atmospheric. Once an inn called the Dove & Olive, this little whitewashed cottage was Wordsworth’s first home in the Lakes after returning from London; he moved here in 1799 with his sister Dorothy, wife Mary and his small family, and remained here till 1808.

Informative guided tours delve into the secrets of the house and its history. The house is packed with fascinating possessions, from a pair of his spectacles and his passport to a portrait of his favourite dog, Pepper, given to him by Sir Walter Scott. Look out for the bedroom plastered with newspaper – a makeshift form of insulation necessitated by the Wordsworth’s impecunious circumstances.

At the back of the cottage is a charmingly wild garden, which Wordsworth called his ‘domestic slip of mountain’ – he tended to it himself, and often composed poetry out here too.

Don’t miss

There’s a great little Wordsworth Museum next to the house, which has exhibits including original manuscripts, journals, letters and artefacts.


Price from: £12
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Dove Cottage is a ten-minute walk from the centre of Grasmere. It is very popular, so it’s a good idea to pre-book online; at time of writing, tours are allocated by hourly time slots. There is a pleasant cafe located next to the cottage which does light lunches, cakes and teas.

When to do it

It’s open Tuesday to Sunday, from April to October.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Lake District

  • Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)

beautiful landscape in the Lake District

Destination guide

Imposing mountains, wild landscapes, tranquil lakes and picturesque towns combine to make the Lake District uniquely beautiful, and one of the best places in Britain for walking, climbing, boating and biking.