Depart your overnight accommodation for a literature lovers tour of the Lake District. The outstanding landscape and scenery of the Lake District inspired novelists, storytellers and poets for centuries including Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, Arthur Ransome, John Ruskin, Wainwright amongst others.
You will first travel to the western shores of Lake Windermere, to Wray Castle. A 16-year-old Beatrix Potter used to visit Wray Castle on her summer holidays, giving her inspiration for some of her early work. From Wray Castle travel through the medieval village of Hawkshead, which is where William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. Located in the centre of Hawkshead, is Beatrix Potter’s Gallery, a 17tgh century house once the offer of her husband. Spend time exploring the historical village also home to the oldest Quaker meeting house in Cumbria.
Continue the short distance onto Hill Top Farm, this is Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farmhouse, a time capsule of her life which she bought in 1905 with the proceeds from the Tale of Peter Rabbit (please note the farm is closed on Fridays). Enjoy time exploring the cottage gardens filled with flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables as well as viewing the house itself filled with her favourite things.
From Hill Top Farm you will travel to Tarn Hows, which was recommended for walkers in Wordsworth’s 1935 guide through the district of the Lakes. Later in 1930, was partly bought by Beatrix Potter and subsequently left to the National Trust in her will.
The next stop is, Coniston, the third largest lake in the Lake District and is famous for an array of reason. The Victorian artist, John Ruskin owned Brantwood House located on the Eastern Shores of the Lake. Arthur Ransome based his children’s novels Swallows & Amazons on Coniston Water and it was also the scene of many attempts to break the world water speed record. In 1967 Donald Campbell achieved 230 miles per hour in Bluebird K7 but unfortunately lost control of the vessel and died instantly.
You’ll visit Brantwood, a historical house, museum and centre of arts once owned by John Ruskin. 2019, marks the 200th birthday of Ruskin and therefore they are holding numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year.
From Coniston you will travel into the beautiful Langdale Valley past Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater and onto Grasmere. The village of Grasmere is famous for its association with William Wordsworth, where he spent 14 years of his life and is buried at the St Oswald’s Church. Spend time in the village of Grasmere and pick up some delicious Grasmere Gingerbread located next to the churchyard. Named as the best gingerbread in the world, Sarah Nelsons 1854 recipe lives on.
End the day, with a unique private literacy talk from the historian at the Armitt Library & Museum. The Armitt Library was founded in 1912 and is a legacy of the extraordinary literary society that lived or wrote around Ambleside in the 19th century, including William Wordsworth, John Wilson (Christopher North, Thomas De Quincey, Hartley Coleridge, Harriet Martineau, John Ruskin, Thomas and Matthew Arnold, Beatrix Potter and others.
The historian introduces rare books and documents from our secure store, explain their significance and relate the stories associated with them, and their authors including Beatrix Potter, The Fairy Caravan, John Rusk, The Whistler Affair and William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleride, Lyrical Ballads. The visit, in this unique setting, will be an entertaining delve into some of the Armitt’s prized literary volumes and documents that form the Lake District’s literary heritage.
After a day filled of Lake District literature, head back to your accommodation and get inspired yourself.