Top things to do at Allan Bank

Woodland at Allan Bank in Grasmere

Once home to William Wordsworth and Hardwicke Rawnsley, Allan Bank has a rich history, but it isn’t a traditional National Trust property. There’s no collection here, and the building is only partially decorated after a fire in 2011, but by leaving the building as an empty shell, it focuses the eye on the most significant feature of Allan Bank- its landscape.

Take a walk

Enjoy an easy stroll along our garden path and take in the stunning views of Grasmere as they change through the seasons. Step into the kitchen garden and discover how our gardeners are working to make it into a haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinators and get some tips on how you can do the same at home.

The Allan Bank woodland walk is stunning in autumn –head along the rugged path carpeted in fallen leaves and discover the many species of fungi growing there. Pick up a spotter guide from the welcome hut if you want to know more about the different species

The woods in autumn at Allan Bank in Grasmere
The woods in autumn at Allan Bank in Grasmere
The woods in autumn at Allan Bank in Grasmere

Landscape Garden Talks

Be guided round the garden as you discover the journey of the land use in the Lake District Using the landscape, as seen from Allan Bank, discover how during Wordsworth’s lifetime the land in the Lake District developed from being used purely for agricultural use to being enjoyed and appreciated for leisure and tourism as it is today.

Every Tuesday- See chalk board on arrival for times. Weather dependant.

Red Squirrels.

Allan Bank is a great place to see our native red squirrels. See if you can spot one of our furry red squirrels on one of the feeders or scampering about on the lawn. We work hard to make Allan Bank their ideal home spending over £900 on feed every year.

A red squirrel at Allan Bank
A red squirrel at Allan Bank in Grasmere Cumbria
A red squirrel at Allan Bank

Three Big Heads

Autumn and winter 2021 is the last chance to see the Three Big Heads installation celebrating three former residents- Trust co-founder Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley, poet William Wordsworth and mountaineer Samuel Taylor- Coleridge.  Wander through the houe to see three giant charcoal portraits, drawn straight onto the walls of the house by local artist, Sarah Jackman and look out over the views that inspired these three amazing people.

See the whole picture this year at Allan Bank
A close up of the Coleridge portrait at Allan Bank
See the whole picture this year at Allan Bank

Perfect picnic spots

We don’t serve food but we do offer plenty of perfect picnic spots. So bring something along with you or pick something up from one of the many cafés or shops in the village and head up to us to enjoy your lunch with a views of Grasmere Lake or cosy up inside in the Butlers Pantry.

Find a great read

Nestled in the corner of the Butler’s Pantry, Allan Bank’s second-hand bookshop is now open and stocked with a wide range of great reads. Take some time to browse the shelves then head into the grounds to find a quiet corner to read and relax, knowing that every book you buy helps to conserve Allan Bank for the future. Donations of books are very welcome.

Be inspired

It’s hard not to feel inspired by the landscape here. Bring your own art supplies and settle down in front of the bay windows in our creative space, or out on the lawn for the best views. Or grab your camera and get snapping. We’d love to see your photos on Facebook @NationalTrustAllanBank.

A visitor sketching the view from the garden at Allan Bank, Grasmere, Lake District Cumbria