Tag Archive | Grasmere Village

Snowy Grasmere at last!

Well at last the rain has gone and things are looking a bit more seasonal in the village. Snow overnight and blue skies this morning mean January is looking more hopeful weather wise.


Grasmere snow

At the moment car parks in Grasmere are still free to help the local economy recover, however I visited all three car parks today and there were only a handful of cars in each. Roads were clear and it was a beautiful day. A slight worry.


Free parking in Grasmere

Grasmere in weather like this is wonderful to visit.


Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere

Even if you don’t come to walk on the fells the village is like a winter wonderland.


Grasmere Village in Winter

Even a little wander round the riverside walk is a delight in the snow.


Millennium Stone Grasmere

I was actually going to get my shopping from the Co-op, who could have a better trip to the shops!


Broadgate Grasmere

Not a lot of people around here either. What a shame.


Broadgate Grasmere

Can’t believe what everyone is missing. Shopping bought and still “wandering lonely”!


Wordsworth Graves in Winter

As I always do, went by the Wordsworth Graves to see if the snowdrops were out yet. Still “wandering lonely”.


Grasmere is open!

Grasmere is open! Roads from the south are clear of snow it’s one of the best times to visit and we are ready to welcome you. Yes some shops are still recovering from flooding but we will all look shiny new for you very soon. The Grand at Grasmere has a brilliant new look. Lots of hotels and holiday homes have real bargains at this time of year and if you are worried about slipping in the snow, Mountain Warehouse were featuring a bargain in snow grips, so no excuse!


Snow Grips

Grasmere Rainbows, Autumn, and Halloween.

October in Grasmere has been an amazing month for rainbows.

Grasmere Rainbow

Grasmere Rainbow

The beautiful weather we had over the summer has led to sunshine and showers and with the showers, rainbows. Lots of rainbows!

Another Grasmere Rainbow

Another Grasmere Rainbow

Early morning has been beautiful too. Great cloud inversions looking towards the mere.

Grasmere Cloud Inversion

Grasmere Cloud Inversion

and once the clouds dispersed a little, wonderful reflections.

Grasmere Reflections

Grasmere Reflections

October in Grasmere also means Autumn Festival and thoughts of Harvest. It was pouring down this morning but this display in the entrance to St Oswald’s Church brightened up the morning.

Autumn Church Porch Grasmere

Autumn Church Porch Grasmere

Crossing the road at Church Stile I noticed the National Trust shop was looking very Autumnal too.

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Grasmere National Trust Shop

Halloween is also fast approaching and in College street the Herdy shop was brightening up a rainy day.

Autumn Herdy Shop Display

Autumn Herdy Shop Display

Lucia’s Takeaway had been busy with their own personalised pumpkin.

Lucia's Pumpkin Grasmere

Lucia’s Pumpkin Grasmere

and at National Trust Allan Bank it was pumpkin central as they were having a pumpkin trail over the half term holiday.

Allan Bank Pumpkins

Allan Bank Pumpkins

Cocoa Hearts chocolate shop had lots of people sheltering from the rain making chocolates to take home.

Cocoa Hearts Grasmere

Cocoa Hearts Grasmere

and a witch seemed to have taken up residence in the Good Bag shop next door.

Witches are good

Witches are good

So despite the rain, Autumn is a great time to be in Grasmere, and when the clouds part…..

Grasmere Light

Grasmere Light

the views can be truly spectacular.

Halloween Rainbow

Halloween Rainbow

So keep an eye open for rainbows, and Happy Halloween everyone.


Grasmere Celebrates the Diamond Jubilee

I always feel proud of Grasmere, but never more so than this morning. On my early morning walk there was a sign saying “use side entrance of church” so I did!.

Jubilee Party St Oswald’s Church

In all the years I have been here, I have never seen such a sight. The interior of St Oswald’s Church was all decked out for a Jubilee Party.

Jubilee at St Oswald’s Grasmere

The lucky children of Grasmere School were having a “street party” inside the church. Something they would no doubt remember for a long time. Each child’s name was made into a crown, and the scene was set.

Let’s Celebrate

That got me thinking. Why not photograph more of the businesses that had made an effort for the Jubilee. So here we go. All credit to the following for making things so nice for our visitors.

Potted Out Cafe Grasmere

Potted Out Cafe had the flags flying over their door, and also these displays in their plant pots. Well they are part of the Garden Centre after all!

National Trust Information Centre

All Red, White and Blue in the Information Centre Window.

Jubilee Gingerbread Shop

I think Sarah Nelson would have been very proud of the display the present family members had made of the Gingerbread Shop.

Gingerbread Shop Celebrates

Next up, The Wordsworth Hotel.

Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere

Nearly got lead astray at this point as I could see everyone in the Hotel restaurant tucking into their breakfasts, which looked delicious!

Baldry’s Tearoom Grasmere

Luckily Baldry’s Tearoom was shut, as they have the most yummy cakes you can imagine.

Heidi’s Grasmere

The flags were flying at Heidi’s Cafe. A great place to stock up on a packed lunch for your walk.

Red Lion Hotel Grasmere

One of the oldest buildings in Grasmere. The Red Lion Hotel.

Attic Shop Grasmere

And the newest shop, just opened in a new home. Attic, full of wonderful gifts.

Heaton Cooper Studio Grasmere

Loved the Heaton Cooper Studio window. Obviously making the most of the fact that we also have the Olympic Torch passing through the village as well.

Herdy Shop Grasmere

Everyone’s favourite the totally cute Herdy shop.

Beck Allans

A great base in the centre of the village. Beck Allans holiday cottages and Bed and Breakfast.

The Storytellers Garden Grasmere

I suppose it was inevitable that the Storyteller Laureate of Great Britain would have the flags flying.

Story Teller Laureate Taffy Thomas

And guess what! Storyteller Taffy was at home. Full of tales of the events he was holding over the Jubilee holiday. In his newly spruced up garden, and as part of the Tales and Trails season, which take in walks to Helm Crag and Rydal Water.

Jubilee fairy

He was also telling me about an event he is appearing at, at the newly re-opened Allan Bank. An evening of fairy stories and music for mid summer. Sounded great.

Grasmere Church

So there you have it. A little insight into Grasmere life. With events planned all over the 4 day holiday, it’s a great place to be. Hog roast, sports, concerts in the church and a beautifully decorated village. What more could you ask.

Finally, come rain or shine, I spotted these in an outdoor shop in the centre of the village. You too can be patriotic come rain or shine!

British Wellys

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012

Grasmere Village Jubilee

Taffy Thomas MBE Grasmere Storyteller.

Situated in Grasmere, across from St.Oswald’s Churchyard is a very special place. In a row of 17th Century cottages is the home of Taffy Thomas MBE.

Church Stile Grasmere.

One of the earliest occupants was a Richard Harrison who died in 1662. By the eighteenth century it had become Robert Newton’s Inn and William Wordsworth, his brother John and Coleridge stayed here for several days during their tour of the Lake District in 1797. Now it is the home of The Northern Centre for Storytelling. Tales in Trust is a resource for storytelling in the North of England.

The Northern Centre for Storytelling.

Taffy has always been a familiar character, in the old days he used to cycle round on his tricycle nowadays he has a wonderful minibus called Betsy II. Always with a story or a riddle to tell, he is one of life’s real characters.

Taffy Thomas. Photo by Steve Barber.

Taffy has given enjoyment to children and adults all over the world with his stories, and was recently given the amazing title of the first ever Laureate for Storytelling. Running for two years from Jan 2010 to Jan 2012 he is now truly a fine ambassador of storytelling. As Laureate he was given several gifts. These were:- 1Kg of dried beans, a simple compass, a packet of love hearts, a clear glass bottle, a tall white candle, a silver lucky charm bracelet, and a whistle. These have to be worked into stories during his time as Laureate. I look forward to hearing them.

The Storytellers Garden, Grasmere.

Situated next to the centre for storytelling is The Storytellers Garden. Many amazing tales have been told here, and every event always sells out fast. My favourite events are at Halloween and Christmas, both special times in the garden. In the photo you can see a brazier. Taffy used to love listening to Johnny Morris (of Animal Magic fame) who told tales over a brazier as The Hot Chestnut Man in the 1950’s. He was given permission to recreate this and as part of a Festival I used to help organise called Grasmere Festival of Stars, the Hot Chestnut Man was reborn on 26th November 2005. Taffy commissioned a blacksmith to make the brazier and chestnuts roasted while he told his tales.

Taffy Thomas. Photo by Steve Barber.

Taffy has an amazing coat. Called the storytelling coat it is a unique piece of textile art made by Paddy Killer. Point at something on the coat and Taffy will tell you a tale about it. Taffy is also involved in a monthly storytelling club at The Watermill Ings, where you can listen to stories and enjoy a pint.

Tales in Trust, Grasmere.

So the next time you are in Grasmere, look out for this sign. Who knows, Taffy might be in residence and tell you a story.

Update August 2011.

Taffy is now so busy now that he is Storyteller Laureate that he is travelling all over the Country (and further afield) telling his stories. He is now situated at the end of he building at Church Stile beside his Storytellers Garden. The other part of the building is occupied by the National Trust Information Centre.

Taffy Thomas Storyteller

So far his year Taffy has been busy taking part in events for the Lake District Summer Music Festival, doing story walks around the village and is due to perform at the world famous Grasmere Sports at the end of August. He will also be doing his famous Halloween stories and Christmas events. If visiting Grasmere, it is always worth giving him a phone on 015394 35641 to see if he will be in the village when you visit.

Taffy Thomas

Caught up with Taffy at the Lakes Alive Event in Kendal and he had brought out his “stop me and tell one” cart for a final run.

Taffy. Stop me and tell one bike

Taffy was often a familiar sight on the streets of Grasmere with his bike, so it was a pleasure to see him out and about on it again!

Taffy Thomas Storyteller Laureate

Early Morning Grasmere Lake

One of the best things about living in the Lake District is that if you wake up early and it’s a nice day, you can fit in a walk before work.

Grasmere Lake

It is often repeated that there is only one lake in the Lake District, so saying I went for a walk round Grasmere Lake would be wrong. As the name suggests it is a Mere. When the poet Gray visited Grasmere as one of the earliest tourists in 1769 he described it as “One of the sweetest landscapes that art ever attempted to imitate…”

Early morning, Grasmere Lake.

The mist was rising off the water when I arrived and there was not a sound other than the birds and sheep. Even the traffic on the main road hadn’t started yet. Species of birds ever-present on Grasmere include Black Headed Gull, Coot, Mallard, Mute Swan and Canada Geese. Many attempts have been made over the year to cull the Geese around Grasmere and Rydal Water, because they compete with sheep for grazing, but they continue to flourish.

Helm Crag from Grasmere Lake.

Several spellings of Grasmere can be found through the years. Gressimer,Grysmyre,Gressmere but the probable origin is Grisemere meaning “Lake of swine” . One of the early uses of the forest was the herding and pannage of pigs. Hard to believe such a stunning setting could be named after pigs!.

The weir, Grasmere Lake.

I had approached the weir from “Penny Rock” a sharp corner on the road which opens out into a view the length of the lake, on the road from Ambleside to Grasmere. The turnpike road through Grasmere was made about 1770 although the road by Penny rock was not made until 1831. Having to blast through the rocks at this point was so expensive that it added a penny on to the rates, hence the name Penny rock.

Bluebells on the Fellside.

The hillside at the moment is tinged blue with all the bluebells, a wonderful sight.

Reflections on the Lake.

The reflections on the lake were beautiful this morning, I just missed a heron flying past in this shot, will have to be quicker off the mark in future.

Grasmere Lake.

Some facts about Grasmere Lake. The lake is 1540 metres long, 640 metres wide and at it’s deepest 21 metres.

Towards Deerbolts woods.

The view above is looking in the direction of Deerbolts Wood and Silver Howe. Roe deer as the name suggests frequent the area. When they see you they head off up the fellside in leaps and bounds revealing their pale rump patches.

Time was marching on, so work was calling, but what a lovely start to the day. Priceless.

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