Grasmere is for some, the ‘Heart of the Lakes’, its name comes from the lake which lies to the South. The village itself is on the river Rothay which flows into Grasmere Lake and is overlooked by Helm Crag more commonly known as the Lion and the Lamb. The terrain around Grasmere offers something for all abilities with gentle lakeside strolls and stunning high level routes all accessible from the door.
To the East Helm Crag offers a stunning view over Grasmere and can be accessed directly from the town as can Fairfield Horseshoe, which is not for the fainthearted, taking in 8 of the Wainwright fell tops on route! Many hikers stop in Grasmere whilst walking Alfred Wainwrights Coast to Coast Walk. The main A591 connects Grasmere to Keswick via Dunmail Raise to the North, Ambleside to the South and to the West, High Raise, Blea Rigg and SilverHow. Grasmere is only a short hop over Red Bank, which runs close to our Grasmere Cottages, Dale End Farm & Dale End Barn to Elterwater and the Langdale Valley. It’s a stunning walk and done by many hikers each year, taking in Loughrigg Terrace on the way, one of the best views in the whole of the Lake District. You’ll need to stop for refreshments at the Britannia Inn in Elterwater though, before you head back to Grasmere. You can see all of our Langdale Cottages and our pet friendly lake district cottages here.
Dove Cottage, on the outskirts of Grasmere was home to William Wordsworth from 1799 before he moved to Allan Bank and then onto Rydal Mount, only a short drive from Grasmere and well worth a visit, the gardens are beautiful. Wordsworth was buried in the churchyard of St Oswalds in Grasmere. the annual traditional Grasmere Rushbearing Ceremony centres here and features intricate bearings made of rushes and flowers. The ceremony features Maids of Honour, a brass band, the church choir and the local school children, although anyone can join in.
Grasmere Sports takes places each August, it’s top of the list on the village calendar, and is one of the most popular traditional events in the Lake District. Featuring Cumberland wrestling, fell running and hound trails, plus a selection of stalls and entertainment for all the family, it really is worth supporting, like so many of our Lake District traditions, it relies on plenty of visitors to keep it going.
We couldn’t write anything about Grasmere without mentioning the Gingerbread, Grasmere Gingerbread is perfect for taking up the fells when you’re walking (it comes wrapped so is very practical). It’s made to a ‘secret recipe’, the shop ‘Sarah Nelsons Grasmere Gingerbread‘ is tucked away in the corner of St Oswalds Church, owned and run by the Wilson family. Baked and sold freshly every day, beware of imitations, Grasmere Gingerbread now has its own trademark!
Grasmere is also a wealth of little cafes, pubs and restaurants, the most popular seems to be the Jumble Room, it’s the one all our guests talk about, we think it’s their unique approach to cooking and serving food and is a must if you’re in the area. The Red Lion pub is right in the centre of Grasmere as is Baldrys Tea Rooms, the Miller Howe Cafe, Villa Positano and Grasmere Garden Centre which also has a lovely little cafe inside. If you’re looking to have a drink in the evening then Tweedies, the Lamb Inn, the Travellers Rest and the Badger Bar are all worth a visit, also serving meals all day and evening.
For those of you staying in one of our Grasmere Cottages, then you will be pleased to know there’s a good selection of shops in Grasmere, the Coop has a wide selection of essentials but there’s also a bakery, post office and chemists, handily the chemist sells lightbulbs which we think is unusual but really handy when you need it! As with most lakeland villages, there’s a wide selection of independent outdoor shops, if you can’t find a waterproof coat in Grasmere and Ambleside, you’re never going to find one. If you’re looking to spend a few pennies on gifts then you’ll find plenty of choice in Grasmere, Barneys Newsbox is a regular haunt of our children, they have a fantastic selection of jigsaws, great on a rainy or lazy day in the Lakes.
There’s a regular bus service through Grasmere, in the summer the open top busses come through the village too, you can travel on these with an Explorer pass and go all over the place for only a few pounds a day. Leaving the car behind is always a good idea, you get to see so much more when someone else is doing the driving.