There was a light mist covering Grasmere when we got up Tuesday morning (May 15th). The view from our rooftop deck at Heidi's Grasmere Lodge was all that I'd hoped for. . . .
Soon it was evident we would have another sunny day. . . .
I took a peek into the Cafe on our way to the Breakfast Room. . . .
|Big Breakfast; Belgian Waffle|
After breakfast Ken took these photos from the rooftop deck. . . .
This is when we decided to change our plans for the day. We'd planned to take the bus up to Keswick and spend the day touring Derwentwater by boat and on foot. On further reflection we decided to give walking to Rydal Mount another try. I didn't feel like I'd done my time with Wordsworth justice. On our way to the start of the footpath I passed this little fellow who promptly lay down so I could rub his tummy. I would see him later when we returned. He lay down without being prompted for another belly rub. . . .
Andy Levy carved this stag in front of the Grasmere Garden Village. I also discovered that the Swallows and Amazons statue is one of his carvings. . . .
It seems a GPS wouldn't be of use to us on this path anyway. . . .
This time, however, we would be going in the direction of the →→→. We already decided we'd take the bus back to Grasmere from Rydal Mount. Our walk would start at 3⃝ and end at 1⃝. . . .
This was a welcomed sign of, hopefully, a better walk today. . . .
I was really missing my sheep in Near Sawrey so I was very glad to see this little lady. . . .
....and her lamb. . . .
The clematis grew along the fence to Faeryland which was not open yet. You can barely get a glimpse of the gypsy wagon in the lower right corner. . . .
Here is a photo from their website. If we'd had the time I would have loved to rent one of their boats. . . .
|photo credit: Faeryland Grasmere|
....a garden beyond the iron gate. . . .
....a trickling spring. . . .
....and a view of the lake across the lane. . . .
As we strolled along the lane I wondered if these houses were built to live in or as holiday homes. In either case, it would be wonderful to be a child growing up or visiting here. . . .
I followed a path down to the water next to this huge tree that beckoned me. . . .
I found this bench there. . . .
It was a warm day so these dogs were probably loving the chance to be in the water. . . .
Every once in a while you'd see wool caught up in the branches or in the fence rails. . . .
This must have been a boat house along the lake shore. . . .
I wonder if this swan is a descendant of the swans Wordsworth wrote about (see Part 2 of the video at the end of my last post starting at 4:53). I hope you were able to watch both Part 1 and 2 of the videos "Wordsworth's Sense of Place". . . .
We are at 4⃝ now. I did not realize there was a trail through the Estate until I was researching for this post. . . .
I took the path up to the kissing gate. . . .
This is looking back at it after I'd gone through. . . .
Ken followed the path down to the shore instead. . . .
These sheep dogs were being told by their owner to stay. . . .
They were very intense. . . .
Then he released them to continue frolicking in the water. . . .
I came down and joined them. . . .
We are at 5⃝ now and headed back up to the path for Rydal Caves. . . .
This couple with the bikes couldn't agree on which path to take either. . . .
Carpets of Bluebells covered the hillside. . . .
We'd walked 2 miles so far. I was surprised that Ambleside was only 2 ½ miles away. . . .
I would love to know the story of this abandoned cottage. . . .
Thither I came, and there, amid the gloom
Spread by a brotherhood of lofty elms,
Appeared a roofless Hut; four naked walls
That stared upon each other!
-W.W. “The Ruined Cottage”
Rydal Water was in view now. . . .
Cloud-piercing peak, and trackless heath,
Instinctive homage pay;
Nor wants the dim-lit cave a wreath
To honor thee, sweet May!
-W.W. “Ode, Composed on May Morning”
Somehow we'd missed the path to the caves. The path we'd taken took us back down to the water's edge. . . .
I sat down to rest and happened to look up and saw a paraglider. . . .and do you see the stone walls snaking UP the mountain. Amazing. . . .
The breath of the cows you may see him inhale,
And his heart all the while is in Tilsbury Vale.
It had grown even warmer and everybody was enjoying the water now. . . .
We'd walked through the woodland and through another kissing gated. The footbridge across River Rothay was just ahead. . . .
We had arrived at 6⃝. . . .
Crossing the main road we saw the sign for Rydal Mount. . . .
In early Spring this path up to the church in Dora's Field is covered with daffodils that Wordsworth and his wife with the help of their gardener planted in memory of their daughter who died at age 43. . . .
We thought the path would take us to Rydal Mount but it only climbed the hill. . .
.....and brought us back down to the church. . . .
St. Mary's Church was on the estate of Lady Anne le Fleming of Rydal Hall from whom Wordsworth rented Rydal Mount. He and his family worshipped here. . . .
Just past the church was the path to the tea shop where we would stop for lunch. It was a part of Rydal Hall, now a Christian Retreat Center. This garden had tree wood carvings. . . .
Sheep grazed along the walkway to the tea shop. . . .
Rydal Hall was up these steps. . . .
The sheep followed us as we crossed a tributary of River Rothay, but there was a gate on the other side to prevent them from going to the tea shop with us. I think they were a little leery of the dog anyway. . . .
Lower Rydal Falls was our view from the picnic table outside the tea shop. . . .
Wordsworth's nephew, Christopher, wrote this account of his uncle showing him the falls for the irst time. . . .
"He accompanied me to the gate and then said if I had a few minutes longer to spare he would like to show me the waterfall which was close by – the lower fall of Rydal. I gladly assented and he led the way across the grounds of Lady Fleming (Rydal Hall) which were opposite to his own to a small summer-house. The moment we opened the door the waterfall was before us. The summer house being so placed as to occupy the exact spot from which it was to be seen. The rocks and shrubbery around closing it in on every side. The effect was magical. The view from the rustic house, the rocky basin into which the water fell and the deep shade in which the whole was enveloped, made it a lovely scene. Wordsworth seemed to have much pleasure in exhibiting this beautiful retreat."
Wordsworth writes about this waterfall in his poem "An Evening Walk". . . .
I opted to have another cream tea as my lunch. . . .
Just then an older (even than us) couple drove up in this 1964 MG. . . .
After lunch we both stopped to give it a close-up look. . . .
Rydal Mount was a short walk back to just above the church. William Wordsworth lived here from 1813 until his death in 1850. His widow continued living here until her death nine years later. . . .
We saw only four other people at different times while there. I purchased a self-guided tour pamphlet and we walked through the house at our own pace. The woman who greeted us noted that the house was still lived in part-time by Wordsworth descendants. It had gone out of the Wordsworth family after Mary's death, but their great-greatgrandaughter, Mary Henderson, nee Wordworth, bought it in 1969. Several doors upstairs had PRIVATE signs attached. . . .
The first door off the hallway was the dining room. It was part of the original old yeoman style farm cottage from the 1500s. . .
You can see their gift/tea shop through this window. . . .
The entrance gate can be seen through this window. . . .
There was a portrait of one of the living descendants in the hallway that led to the living room. . . .
The Drawing Room was added in 1750 by the Knotts. . . .
These are the steps we will take later up into Wordsworth's garden. . . .
The Inman portrait can be seen below. . . .
The room off to the left of the above room is where I had proof that someone was living in the house--I saw a kernel of popped corn on the couch! . . . .
The Library is off to the side of the drawing room but was a separate room until 1968. A servant once told a visitor that this was his master's library where he kept his books, but his study was out of doors. . . .
Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy's, bedroom was part of the original farm house above the dining room. Dorothy lived with William before his marriage to Mary and continued to be a part of the family until her death in 1855. She had a huge influence on his early poetry and many thought she was as good a writer as William. Her journals were first published in 1897. . . .
This is the view of the front garden. . . .
William and Mary's Bedroom. . . .
These stairs lead up to Wordsworth attic study. He added this room onto the house. . . .
You can see more of the house at this excellent blog post about it HERE.
I was very glad that we'd changed our plans for the day so that I didn't miss Wordsworth garden. . . .
The steps, which Wordsworth built, took us up to the sloping terrace built by the Knotts in the 18th century. . . . .
I sat here for a while taking it all in. . . .
Wordsworth built this Summer house at the end of the terrace. . . .
William designed the five acres of garden here at Rydal Mount. It has changed very little since his day, according to the guide pamphlet. . . .
There were steps leading down the side of the slope. . . .
You could catch a glimpse of Rydal Water every once and a while. . . .
Bluebells and ferns covered the landscape. . . .
This is a view of the house from the main lawn. .. .
The view of the front of the house from the Norse mound. . . .
We only had to walk down the lane past St. Mary's to get to the main road where we'd catch the bus back to Grasmere. . . .
When we got back to our room we made ourselves tea and sat on the rooftop deck. There was still time to check out a few shops before they closed. Not to be missed, we'd bought one package of Sarah Nelson's Grasmere Gingerbread in the morning but stopped in to purchase several packages to give as gifts. . . .
Sarah's gingerbread has been made and sold from this cottage since 1854. . .
You can read the amazing history of Grasmere Gingerbread HERE and HERE. Just down the street was the Wordsworth Hotel and Spa was originally a 17th century shooting lodge. . . .
A horse made out of wood in front of a shop. . . .
We could see the 1769 Inn at Grasmere from our rooftop deck. . . .
...so decided we would eat supper our last night in Grasmere there. . . .
Inside was another wooden horse. . . .
I substituted mushy peas for fries with my Steak & Ale pie because they are THAT good. . . .
|Guinness Stout; Hawkshead Beer Battered Fish & Chips with mushy peas; Hawkshead Steak & Ale Pie with mushy peas, and steamed vegetables|
It was 9:04 p.m. Once last look before drifting off in slumberland. . . .
We'd walked 17,419 steps; 8.12 miles; 50 flights of stairs.
An audio reading: Dorothy Wordsworth's Letter & Journals from 1794-1836
An audio reading: Dorothy Wordsworth's Letter & Journals from 1794-1836
Up Next: Time to Head Home