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Don't blink or you'll miss it.
Grasmere village was the home of English poet William Wordsworth, who famously declared that "he wandered lonely as a cloud", not in Grasmere in August he didn't. At peak periods the place is overun with tourists, visiting a whole host of Wordsworth inspired businesses, Wordsworth Tea Rooms, Organic Bath Cleaners, Hotel, B&B, Antiques, Nik Naks, etc..etc. These businesses are mostly run by people from Surrey with beards (not a pretty sight on the ladies) seeking to get back to nature and escape the rat race. Why is it that every tourist destination is taken over by people intent on selling you.. ornaments, bath salts, candles, and (as Grasmere is in the mountains) cuckoo clocks? If the cuckoo clocks aren't enough to drive Williams ghost round the bend, the low flying military jets intent on straffing his beloved daffodils certainly would. "Fluttering in the breeze".. more like.. "blown away by the afterburners"
The great man himself lived a short step from where the main village car park now stands. Just turn left out of it instead of right towards the bustle of Grasmere village. The hamlet of Townend is a haven of peace, quiet and an escape from the commercialisation of the village. This is where Wordsworth lived when he wrote all his best poetry. It's still easy to see why he loved it so much as you stroll down what used to be the main turnpike. You can visit Dove Cottage and have a look around the Wordsworth Museum and if you are there on a Wednesday, you can hear modern poets read their own and older, more famous work at free poetry readings on the hill where William himself paced as he composed.
At one time in the past it would have been a quaint sleepy hamlet nestling below the impressive Lakeland Fells, but the road improvers did their worst and now its an easy two hour drive from Manchester and Liverpool and on occasion it feels like the whole country has descended on the village. So pick your time to visit, outside the peak periods Grasmere reverts to a quiet village but it really can hardly be called Cumbrian - the property values have long since priced out the majority of the locals.
Try Sarah Nelson's traditional Grasmere gingerbread which can be bought at the Old School House next to the church. Its excellent, why the staff in the shop have to dress as if it's 1850 is unknown. It's hardly convincing when the village is clogged with visitors from Cheadle Hulme to Arizona in muddy boots and steaming waterproofs.
This of course is serious walking country and many make Grasmere their base, which is fair enough really. On most days knee breach clad armies of people head up onto the Fells. Grasmere is the starting point for many fellwalks, the favourite probably being the ascent to the impressive summit of Helvellyn which dominates the village, but there are plenty of good walks in the surrounding hills. Be warned the weather is notoriously changeable and a warm sunny day can rapidly change into torrential rain, cold winds and zero visibility, so don't climb high if you haven't got waterproofs, maps and serious walking gear with you.
Another aspect of the village worth a visit is the Heaton Cooper Gallery, this is the home of the archtyepal Lakeland landscape, the sweeping watercolour vistas that adorn a million living room walls.
Lovers of peace and tranquility will prefer to visit in autumn, winter and spring when the village is less crowded and it is possible to appreciate the silence that descends.