Eight reasons to visit Wordsworth House this month

Two women wearing 18th-century hats taking a selfie

A visit to Wordsworth House and Garden, childhood home of one of the world’s favourite poets and Cumbria Tourism’s Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, makes the perfect day out.

Here are eight very good reasons why...

1. William’s garden is a riverside oasis

Follow in William’s footsteps and ‘wander lonely as a cloud’ in the heritage walled garden that provided him with life-long inspiration. Drink in the colours and scents of centuries-old varieties of flowers and herbs, stroll on the terrace to watch the Derwent, his ‘fairest of all rivers’, flow by – and meet our mini flock of hens.

A costumed servant picks heritage apples in Wordsworth House garden
A woman in Georgian costume picking apples
A costumed servant picks heritage apples in Wordsworth House garden

2. You’ll be fascinated by our new exhibition

Our new exhibition, ‘Under Northern Skies’, runs until Sunday 3 November. Taking their cue from Wordsworth’s role in motivating the founders of the National Trust and the global conservation movement, a group of local teenage curators have created a series of powerful displays highlighting their hopes and fears for the natural environment.

The exhibition includes a selection of original illustrations by artist Gustave Doré for ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, written by Wordsworth’s fellow Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and published in their co-authored volume The Lyrical Ballads.

3. You can uncover the truth about 18th-century life

The costumed servants are hard at work in the kitchen on Wednesdays and Saturdays in term-time and daily in school hoolidays – and they’re always keen to stop for a chat.

They also give 10-minute talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm. So whether you’re interested in the horrible truth about 18th-century life, the inner world of William’s sister Dorothy or what Georgian underwear was like, they have all the answers.

4. You deserve a special treat

Our shop is packed with tempting gifts and souvenirs and a wide range of books by our exhibition contributors – you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to treating yourself or a loved one.

When you’ve finished browsing, why not pop into our upstairs discovery room for a free cuppa and a homemade scone? Independent blog National Trust Scones says ours are ‘divine’! While you’re there, you can uncover more of the story of this very special family home.

Books by our exhibition contributors are on sale in the shop
Books piled up outside Wordsworth House
Books by our exhibition contributors are on sale in the shop

5. There’s lots to keep kids entertained

There’s a ‘Let’s count like a Cumbrian’ children’s trail around the house and garden plus replica toys, games and dressing up clothes available every day. At weekends, they can play games William and his sister Dorothy would have enjoyed, hunt for bugs and bees in the garden, and get tips on how to turn an ordinary backyard into a nature haven.

During school holidays, there is a full programme of family activities.

6. There’s so much more to discover

There are hands-on rooms to explore, and our downstairs discovery room has a permanent exhibition about William’s Lakeland legacy. There’s a display about the house in the 20th-century in the upstairs discovery room, and visitors say our quirky toilets make a visit worthwhile on their own.

7. The drive is Britain’s best

If you’re travelling from the central or southern Lakes, Cockermouth is around 45 minutes from Ambleside – and the drive on the A591, through the fells and along the side of Thirlmere, is officially Britain’s best.

8. Cockermouth is a ‘gem’ town

Cockermouth is one of a small number of English towns to be granted ‘gem’ town status because of its historic architecture. So why not stay a while and explore its charming Georgian streets and alleyways, take a stroll by the river, look around the independent shops and enjoy lunch in a local café or restaurant?

We look forward to welcoming you to Wordsworth House and Garden!