Tha area of the Lakes around the little villages of Grassmere and Rydal is where William Wordsworth (1770-1850) described as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”. Starting at the churchyard where Wordsworth is buried, you pass Dove Cottage, his Grasmere home, and follow a path to Rydal known as the “coffin route”. Like other “coffin routes” around Britain, it was used to carry bodies from a parish that didn’t have a burial ground to one that did. When you reach Rydal church on the walk, you will see that it has no graveyard. Also in Rydal you see Wordsworth’s other main residence, Rydal Mount, before returning along a path with great views of Grasmere.
Why it’s special
William Wordsworth, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, launched the Romantic age in English literature with the joint publication Lyrical Ballads. This key member of the Lake Poets lived in Dove Cottage from 1799 to 1809 and wrote most of his best known verse there, including his Ode: Intimations of Immortality, Ode to Duty, and My Heart Leaps Up, together with parts of his autobiographical epic The Prelude. At first he shared the cottage with his sister, Dorothy. They took particular pleasure in their wild-looking garden, which Wordsworth called their “little nook of mountain-ground”.