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.
Travel bucket list idea:
Rydal, Cumbria, United Kingdom (UK)|www.rydalmount.co.uk|
Though Dove Cottage is the most famous of Wordsworth’s Lakeland homes, Rydal Mount is the one where he spent the most time – 37 years, to be precise, from 1813 until his death in 1850.
It makes an interesting companion piece to nearby Dove Cottage; altogether grander in scale, and surrounded by fine gardens, it’s a clear sign of Wordsworth’s increasing fame, wealth and poetic prestige.
Most of the house’s rooms are open to the public, from the family bedrooms to the grand drawing room and the poet’s own attic study. It’s full of interesting details for Wordsworth scholars: portraits of the poet, and possessions including his favourite walking stick, his picnic box, and the well-thumbed family bible.
Outside are the landscaped gardens which William apparently laid out to his own design (he was a passionate gardener).
The gardens are lovely to wander, but most moving of all is the small field that William dedicated to his beloved daughter Dora, who died of tuberculosis in 1847. In spring, it’s a sea of daffodils.
While you’re there
A walk down to Rydal Water is well worth the time. Wordsworth himself often wandered the lake shores in search of inspiration, often declaiming lines of his poetry out loud.
Getting there & doing it
Rydal Mount is halfway between Ambleside and Grasmere. There is limited parking, but the 555 and 599 buses stop the end of the lane leading up to the house.
When to do it
It’s open seven days a week, from March to late December. Closed in January & February.
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