Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage, the family home of William Wordsworth
Guided tours icon Shop icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

This traditional Lakeland cottage was the home of the poet William Wordsworth. In 1799, Wordsworth fell in love with Dove Cottage and Grasmere whilst on a walking tour of the Lake District and within a few months had set up home here with his sister, Dorothy. It was whilst living here that Wordsworth produced the most famous and best-loved of his poems and Dorothy wrote fascinating Grasmere journals.

In this inspiring landscape of lakes and fells, largely unspoilt since Wordsworth’s time, it’s easy to understand why he called this valley the ‘calmest, fairest spot of earth’.

An entertaining guided tour of Dove Cottage gives a vivid impression of what day-to-day life would have been like for Wordsworth and his family, as well as providing the opportunity to soak up the unique and creative atmosphere of the cottage.

Afterwards, take a stroll through the delightful fell-side garden behind the cottage, which Wordsworth referred to as a ‘little domestic slip of mountain’. The garden has been restored to the half-wild state that Wordsworth and Dorothy lovingly created from local plants and materials. It was a place of peace and inspiration for Wordsworth, who would often compose poetry outdoors.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Gallery, Association or society, Heritage site, Library, Archive, Garden, parklands or rural site, Museum

Opening hours

Our National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported redevelopment project, Reimagining Wordsworth, will be taking place throughout 2019. As a result there are some changes to what will be available when you visit this year.

The museum will be closed for the whole of 2019.

Dove Cottage will be closed from January until late summer. It will open in mid-August and will close again at the end of October (exact dates to be confirmed) until Spring 2020.

From 1 March onwards, when Dove Cottage is closed, there will be a special alternative experience held in our library, the Discover Wordsworth talk. These sessions will include a film of Dove Cottage narrated by one of our experienced guides, plus time to view the library with objects and manuscripts on display. The Discover Wordsworth talks will run every 30 minutes, on the hour and half hour, every day of the week.

In March the talks will run from 10.30am, last talk 4.30pm.

From 1 April until Dove Cottage re-opens they will run from 9.30am, last talk 4.30pm.

From 1 November – 23 December the Discover Wordsworth talks will run from 10.30am, last talk 3.30pm.

There may be times when both Dove Cottage and the Discover Wordsworth talk are unavailable or when we are offering the Discover Wordsworth talk instead of the Dove Cottage tour during the summer. This could be due to pre-booked visits, events, or circumstances beyond our control. We will ensure that we share information about these occasions as soon as we are able to; however it may be that this is with very short notice. Please check our website or call us (015394 35544) the morning before you visit to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information.

Admission charges

Adult: £6.00
Patrons and Friends: free
National Art Pass: free

Discounts

  • National Art Pass
Getting there

The car park for Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum are located on the A591, the main Kendal–Keswick road through the central Lake District. Look for the big blue sign just south of the Grasmere mini-roundabout.

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

The collections held at Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum are founded on the papers, books and personalia which Wordsworth bequeathed to his family. Through this material, and subsequent collecting, the museum covers not only the lives and works of Wordsworth and his circle, but the wider phenomenon of British Romanticism, and the role of the Lake District in inspiring writers and artists of the Romantic Movement.

Aside from its outstanding manuscript and portrait collections, the museum holds important paintings, prints and drawings of the Lake District. Among these is Joseph Wright of Derby's painting of Ullswater, David Cox's 'Morecambe Bay Sands', and drawings by Joseph Farington.

Collection details

Social History, Personalities, Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art, Costume and Textiles, Archives

Key artists and exhibits

  • Designated Collection
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Illustration showing the Devil's Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale

A Day With John Thelwall

  • 3 August 2019 10am-4pm

John Thelwall was a leading radical of the day. He supported the French Revolution, campaigned for universal suffrage and annual elections for Parliament, was tried for treason, spent part of his life in the Lake District, and was a strong advocate for elocution lessons. Now, Professor Judith Thompson of Dalhousie University brings him back to life – just for one day!

We will begin the day by taking a walk in Thelwall’s footsteps, visiting key places in the Lake District while learning about his life, work and politics – and why, in the 21st century, political awareness and participation is more important than ever. This easy to moderate walk will be about 3 miles, and will include a stop at the Devil’s Bridge and walk along the riverside.

After a break for lunch and the journey back to Grasmere, we will join Judith in the Jerwood Centre reading room for a book launch straight out of the 18th century as Judith takes on the character of Thelwall for a reading from Poems, Chiefly on the Scenery of Nature – and asks you to decide how much you think that his writing speaks to the world today.

Look out for an announcement detailing the route and meeting place for this walk.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£10 for a ticket combining both the walk and the talk, or walk £6 and talk £5 (For details of the talk see: ‘Why Should We Read...John Thelwall?’)

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/a-day-with-john-thelwall/

People looking closely at an old map.

Grasmere History Group

  • 6 August 2019 7:30-9pm
  • 3 September 2019 7:30-9pm

Grasmere History Group is a group of local people who meet monthly to discuss matters of local history. It is a very friendly, informal gathering at which we share our interests and ask questions of others who might know the answers we seek. We have a wide range of interests and in recent years we have produced exhibitions about Grasmere in the First World War and the early years of tourism in the Lake District.

New members from near or far are very welcome and we are always looking to meet more people with fascinating stories to tell about Grasmere and the Lake District. We usually meet on the first Tuesday of each month in the Jerwood Centre at 7.30pm. A speaker or discussion topic is often arranged in advance; for more information about a specific date please get in touch with us.

Admission

Free

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/whats-on/events/

Image of Polly Atkin

Discover Poetry

  • 15 August 2019 7:30-9pm
  • 19 September 2019 7:30-9pm

Do you like reading poetry, but never find the time? Would you like to read more, but don’t know where to start? Would you like to talk about poetry with a friendly, open group? Join Grasmere poet Polly Atkin by the fire with a cup of tea and enjoy a selection of classic and contemporary poems chosen to reflect the changing seasons. This year we are hosting these sessions both at Dove Cottage and at Rydal Mount, so please check ahead to find out where we are each month. You will find us in Rydal Mount from March to June, and in Dove Cottage from July to September.

On the occasions of readings at Rydal Mount in April, May and June, we invite you to take the unique opportunity to enjoy a cream tea in Wordsworth's dining room, and to explore the house and gardens while the house is closed to the general public. From 6.00-7.30pm at £15 per person: please contact Rydal Mount to book.

Where

Rydal Mount
Rydal
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9LU
England

Admission

Free.

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/whats-on/events/?series=279

A woman writing some poetry.

Dove Cottage Poets

  • 1 August 2019 2:30-4:30pm
  • 5 September 2019 2:30-4:30pm

Dove Cottage Poets is an informal poetry writing group that meets at the Wordsworth Trust on a monthly basis. Anyone who wishes to develop their poetry, or just enjoy shared reading and writing, whatever stage you are at, is very welcome to come and join us.

We meet, with an awareness of Wordsworth’s heritage, to continue the tradition of creating poetry in Town End. Each month we either have a member-led session on a particular theme or technique, or we bring new poems that we have discovered and enjoyed to share with each other. We also read and discuss new poems written by members of the group, so do bring extra copies of something you are working on if you would like to.

Tea and coffee will be available.

For further information about a specific date or to be added to the group email list, please contact us on enquiries@wordsworth.org.uk

Admission

Free.

Image of Wordsworth's Passport

Reimagining Wordsworth On Tour

  • 19 July 2019 1:30-2:30pm *on now
  • 3 August 2019 11am-12pm

This year we are taking Wordsworth on the road!

From April to September we will be out and about running pop-up sessions in Cumbria, sharing our love of Wordsworth, connecting with our neighbours, and exploring some exciting projects that we’d like your local knowledge and help with. Our special theme will be Wordsworth and Cumbria: for example, do you know of any connections between Wordsworth and your own neighbourhood? In all, Wordsworth spent 70 of his 80 years living in Cumbria.

Our free pop-up sessions will introduce William Wordsworth, his sister Dorothy, and their life at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, where they lived from 1799-1808.  You will get to know this remarkable family through exploring reproductions of their letters, notebooks and journals, as well as finding out how some of the world’s best loved writing came to be. We’ll also bring along one or two original items from our collection to give a sense of how we handle and use museum artefacts to bring stories to life. You don’t have to be a poetry buff to enjoy these sessions!

If you would like more information about access, please contact the venue directly.

We are always adding stops to our tour, so don’t forget to keep checking back – and if you’d like to host us in your area, get in touch at enquiries@wordsworth.org.uk

Tour schedule:

8 April, 1.30-2.30pm, Egremont Library
15 April, 10.00am-12.00pm, Allerdale COSC, Maryport
27 April, 10.30-11.30am, Millom Library
2 May, 2.00-3.00pm, Shap Library
3 May, 10.30-11.30am, Keswick Library
14 May, 2.00-3.00pm, Penrith Library
21 May, 7.00-9.00pm, Whitehaven Archive Centre
25 May, 11.00am-12.00pm, Workington Library
29 May, 2.00-3.00pm, Ambleside Library
12 June, 10.00-11.00am, Ulverston Library
18 June, 2.00-3.00pm, Seaton Library
3 July, 2.00-3.00pm, Cockermouth Library
12 July, 11.00am-12.00pm, Culterham Hall, Mawbray
19 July, 1.30-2.30pm, Wigton Library
3 August, 11.00am-12.00pm, Maryport Library

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/whats-on/events/?series=304

Image of people sitting in Dove Cottage garden drinking tea

Pop-up Poetry

  • 26 July 2019 2:30-4:30pm
  • 2 August 2019 2:30-4:30pm
  • 9 August 2019 2:30-4:30pm
  • 16 August 2019 2:30-4:30pm
  • 23 August 2019 2:30-4:30pm
  • 30 August 2019 2:30-4:30pm

Come rain or shine, this summer you’ll find us in the garden or upstairs in our new café ready to serve up a slice of poetry. These relaxed and friendly gatherings are perfect for people of all ages – rediscover an old favourite poem, find a new one…or have a go at writing one of your own! Take a look at our website before you visit to find out where we will be located for each session.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/whats-on/events/?series=307

Image of spines of historic books

Why Should We Read William Wordsworth?

  • 27 July 2019 4-5pm

When we think of great works of literature, we sometimes picture serious tomes written by serious writers: unapproachable, historic…and on occasion, deeply daunting!

In this series of talks we travel back to when the Romantic authors were just starting out. Some were already establishing a reputation, others were yet to make a name for themselves, but all were creating work that would survive and thrive over the passing centuries…and none of them would have been able to imagine the impact that they still have today. Reading their works while the ink was still fresh, and hearing them for the first time, were experiences that couldn’t be matched – until now.

Our talks will introduce you to this diverse set of influential writers through the very best bits of their work. Ideal if you are new to these authors – and a pleasure for everyone to hear the words aloud, read by people who know them very well indeed. Our speakers will set aside their lecture notes, reading to you from original 200-year-old books, surrounded by beautiful early editions of all the Romantic authors…and we’ve even given them the option of doing it in character!

In this talk Professor Stephen Gill, Retired Professor of English Literature in the University of Oxford, will introduce you to the writing of William Wordsworth: Ground-breaking poet, early eco-warrior, and key figure in British Romanticism.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5.00

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/why-should-we-read-william-wordsworth/

Image of a group of people standing in Dove Cottage garden, looking over at Grasmere village

Places of Poetry

  • 29 July — 4 August 2019

As part of the nationwide Places of Poetry project, we are running a week of free events exploring the literary and natural heritage of the Lake District through poetry. Throughout the week we’ll have plenty of activities bringing literature to life in our outdoor spaces, as well as…

Guided Walks, 29 July - 4 August, 2.00pm each day

Meet outside our shop for short guided walks that will let you explore some of the places that inspired the Wordsworths’ writing, and hear William’s poetry in the very places that inspired him.

Pop-up Poetry Special, 2 August, 2.30-4.30pm

A leading poet will be in residence at our regular pop-up poetry café, so drop by to enjoy some poetry and even write verses of your own over a nice drink.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/places-of-poetry/

Image of spines of historic books

Why Should We Read John Thelwall?

  • 3 August 2019 4-5pm

When we think of great works of literature, we sometimes picture serious tomes written by serious writers: unapproachable, historic…and on occasion, deeply daunting!

In this series of talks we travel back to when the Romantic authors were just starting out. Some were already establishing a reputation, others were yet to make a name for themselves, but all were creating work that would survive and thrive over the passing centuries…and none of them would have been able to imagine the impact that they still have today. Reading their works while the ink was still fresh, and hearing them for the first time, were experiences that couldn’t be matched – until now.

Our talks will introduce you to this diverse set of influential writers through the very best bits of their work. Ideal if you are new to these authors – and a pleasure for everyone to hear the words aloud, read by people who know them very well indeed. Our speakers will set aside their lecture notes, reading to you from original 200-year-old books, surrounded by beautiful early editions of all the Romantic authors…and we’ve even given them the option of doing it in character!

In this talk Professor Judith Thompson of Dalhousie University will introduce you to the writing of John Thelwall: Orator, radical, poet, journalist, and elocutionist.

(This is part of a talk/walk event: see details of the walk at ‘A Day with John Thelwall’)

Suitable for

  • 16-17

Admission

£5.00

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/why-should-we-read-john-thelwall/

Image of a handmade notebook, tied with ribbon

Notebook Binding Workshop

  • 24 August 2019 10am-4pm

Why not nurture your creative spirit at one of our workshops? An opportunity to slow down, immerse yourself in a traditional craft, learn a new skill and create something beautiful. All of our workshops include the materials that you will need for the day, as well as light refreshments – with an option for a delicious lunch provided by a local café.

Expert bookbinder Helen Golding Miller will teach you how to make your own beautiful notebooks from start to finish, using traditional methods and materials. If you are looking for the perfect way to showcase your creative endeavours, a special notebook in which to keep your journal, or would like to make a unique gift, this might be the workshop for you!

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£40, or £50 including lunch. This workshop must be booked in advance.

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/notebook-binding-workshop/

Image of spines of historic books

Why Should We Read Lord Byron?

  • 7 September 2019 4-5pm

When we think of great works of literature, we sometimes picture serious tomes written by serious writers: unapproachable, historic…and on occasion, deeply daunting!

In this series of talks we travel back to when the Romantic authors were just starting out. Some were already establishing a reputation, others were yet to make a name for themselves, but all were creating work that would survive and thrive over the passing centuries…and none of them would have been able to imagine the impact that they still have today. Reading their works while the ink was still fresh, and hearing them for the first time, were experiences that couldn’t be matched – until now.

Our talks will introduce you to this diverse set of influential writers through the very best bits of their work. Ideal if you are new to these authors – and a pleasure for everyone to hear the words aloud, read by people who know them very well indeed. Our speakers will set aside their lecture notes, reading to you from original 200-year-old books, surrounded by beautiful early editions of all the Romantic authors…and we’ve even given them the option of doing it in character!

In this talk Professor Simon Bainbridge of Lancaster University will introduce you to the writing of Lord Byron: Nobleman, poet, politician, and supporter of Greek independence.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

£5.00

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/why-should-we-read-lord-byron/

Image of spines of historic books

Why Should We Read Samuel Taylor Coleridge?

  • 28 September 2019 4-5pm

When we think of great works of literature, we sometimes picture serious tomes written by serious writers: unapproachable, historic…and on occasion, deeply daunting!

In this series of talks we travel back to when the Romantic authors were just starting out. Some were already establishing a reputation, others were yet to make a name for themselves, but all were creating work that would survive and thrive over the passing centuries…and none of them would have been able to imagine the impact that they still have today. Reading their works while the ink was still fresh, and hearing them for the first time, were experiences that couldn’t be matched – until now.

Our talks will introduce you to this diverse set of influential writers through the very best bits of their work. Ideal if you are new to these authors – and a pleasure for everyone to hear the words aloud, read by people who know them very well indeed. Our speakers will set aside their lecture notes, reading to you from original 200-year-old books, surrounded by beautiful early editions of all the Romantic authors…and we’ve even given them the option of doing it in character!

In this talk Dr Meiko O’Halloran of Newcastle University will introduce you to the writing of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Poet, literary critic, philosopher, and theologian.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£5.00

Photograph of calligraphy tools over a background of hand-drawn letters

Calligraphy Workshop

  • 28 September 2019 10am-4pm

Why not nurture your creative spirit at one of our workshops? An opportunity to slow down, immerse yourself in a traditional craft, learn a new skill and create something beautiful. All of our workshops include the materials that you will need for the day, as well as light refreshments – with an option for a delicious lunch provided by a local café.

World-renowned calligrapher Manny Ling will introduce you to the basics of calligraphy, from how to use essential tools to some of the scripts that can transform words into visual art. By the end of the day you will have the confidence to begin your journey in this dynamic medium – as well a beautiful piece of art to hang on your wall!

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£40, or £50 including lunch. This workshop must be booked in advance.

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/calligraphy-workshop/

Image of wool and knitting tools

This Golden Fleece: A Creative Journey of Knitting, Purpose and Place

  • 20 October 2019 10am-1pm

Why not nurture your creative spirit at one of our workshops? An opportunity to slow down, immerse yourself in a traditional craft, learn a new skill and create something beautiful. All of our workshops include the materials that you will need for the day, as well as light refreshments.

Esther Rutter spent a year writing and knitting her way round the British Isles to learn about the country’s long-held fascination with all things woolly. In this special workshop she will take you on a journey through her new book, This Golden Fleece, invite you to examine historic knitted items from our collection, and then guide you through beginning your own stranded colourwork patterns, inspired by the Dales knitters and the landscape of Cumbria. All knitting materials included. Please note that participants must be able to knit and purl.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£20. This workshop must be booked in advance.

Website

https://wordsworth.org.uk/events/this-golden-fleece/

Getting there

The car park for Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum are located on the A591, the main Kendal–Keswick road through the central Lake District. Look for the big blue sign just south of the Grasmere mini-roundabout.

Dove Cottage
Town End
Grasmere
Cumbria
LA22 9SH
England

Website

http://www.wordsworth.org.uk

E-mail

enquiries@wordsworth.org.uk

Telephone

015394 35544

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
advertisement