This lovely Georgian townhouse, in the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, was the birthplace and childhood home of romantic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy.
Presented as it would have been when they lived here with their parents, three brothers and servants, Wordsworth House and Garden offers an unforgettable chance for all ages to experience life in the 1770s.
The house is peopled by friendly, knowledgeable guides, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays in term-time and throughout the school holidays, the maid-of-all-work is cooking in the kitchen – and always keen to stop for a chat.
There is real food on the dining table, a fire burning in the kitchen grate and a recipe William and Dorothy might have eaten for you to taste. Ink and quill pens are ready in the clerk’s office, and if you play the piano, you might like to try the replica harpsichord.
The children’s bedroom is full of toys and dressing up clothes; there is a daily children’s trail, and down in the cellar, the household’s ghosts are waiting to tell their stories.
The exhibition rooms house a changing programme of displays. In the downstairs discovery room, there is a permanent exhibition about William’s Lakeland legacy and his key role in the founding of the National Trust, along with family games and activities.
Free tea and coffee are served in the upstairs discovery room, where there is a display telling the story of Wordsworth House in the 20th century.
The beautiful riverside garden that gave William lifelong inspiration is packed with 18th-century varieties of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, and there is a mini flock of heritage chickens waiting to meet you in the small walled garden.