Tag Archive | Lake District

Nearly there….

View towards Helm Crag

As lockdown Three starts easing and holiday homes, non essential shops, outdoor seating for cafes and pubs and best of all hairdressers! are able to open again from 12th April the village will start to come alive again.

Grasmere Daffodil Garden

The daffodils are out in the daffodil garden and the only thing still missing is the smell of gingerbread wafting in the air but hopefully that will happen soon too.

St Oswald’s churchyard

We hope that visitors to the village will observe the country code. During the time between lockdowns last time there was a huge amount of rubbish abandoned in the village and on surrounding fells.

Riverside walk Grasmere

Let’s hope the sun shines and everyone can enjoy a great UK staycation.

Daffodils in the churchyard

Where better to visit after being stuck at home for so long than Grasmere Village. See you soon!

Not the Grasmere we know. Covid-19 2020

I have always used this blog as my own personal diary. It’s seen a lot of different things happening in the village over the years but none so strange as the last few months. Everyone in the world (literally) knows the effect of Covid-19 so I won’t dwell on it.

When have we ever not wanted visitors in the village? As the poster says “extraordinary times”.

Grasmere St Oswald’s Church with the door closed. Grass growing long in the churchyard. No snaking line of tourists queuing up outside the gingerbread shop. Easter and Bank holidays with no visitors.

The Coop did an amazing job keeping the village supplied with essentials and were very proactive in keeping the shopping experience safe. Thank you Tom and staff.

Wouldn’t you just know it. The sun blazed down day after day. Going for fresh air and exercise was a pleasure but one couldn’t help feeling it was such a shame not to be able to share with visitors.

After a very wet start to the year we watched as the river practically dried up.

Spare time was spent making masks to keep family and friends safe.

The traditional Grasmere Sports and Rushbearing cancelled. Then, suddenly little shoots of hope.

No the circus hadn’t come to town, however due to the ingenuity of staff, children were at last able to attend school in a socially distanced way.

Herdwick sheep real and otherwise raised a cheer when non essential shops were allowed to open this week.

Hopefully Hotels, and other accommodation providers will follow soon, along with restaurants and pubs.

Visitors we have missed you. It’s been very quiet which although nice sometimes isn’t always a good thing. Let’s all respect each other, follow the safety guidelines and hopefully the sun will keep shining when you come back.

Grasmere Village 2018

Another year nearly gone. Another year where other commitments have overtaken writing my blog. Let’s have a look at what has been happening in the village this year through photographs I have posted on Twitter (yes I do still have time to do that so to keep up to date you could follow @grasmerevillage).

Mixed weather this year. Long periods of sunshine during the Summer then torrential rain in Autumn. Rushbearing Day was beautiful. Grasmere Sports Day was wet, wet, wet.

Our newly rendered church tower looked good in the sunshine, as did our new Farmers Market, which has proved a great hit with locals and visitors alike.


A snowy Dunmail Raise


Snowdrops at Wordsworth’s Grave


Cheeky Little Robin


Snowmen at the River Rothay


Broadgate Grasmere


Grasmere Co-op Joke


Grasmere Sports Field


Dunmail Raise


Grasmere Church


Grasmere Market


Grasmere Market


Heaton Cooper Studio


Designs on Japan Exhibition


Grasmere Maidens


Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens


Grasmere Rushbearing


St. Oswald’s Rushbearing


Grasmere Market


Grasmere Summer Weather


Broadgate Grasmere


Grasmere Sports


Hounds Grasmere Sports


Church Stile Grasmere


Tour of Britain Grasmere School


Tour of Britain Grasmere


Allan Bank Grasmere


Allan Bank Grasmere


Dancing on the green Grasmere


Lest we forget. Grasmere


Helm Crag Grasmere


Open Top Bus Grasmere


Broadgate Grasmere


St Oswald’s Church Grasmere


Allan Bank Evening


Rainbow Grasmere


Rainbow Sam Reads


Church Stile Autumn


Stock Lane Grasmere


Remembrance Day Grasmere


Allan Bank walk Grasmere


Allan Bank Walk


Allan Bank Tunnel


Allan Bank Tunnel


Xmas crafts Heaton Cooper


Gingerbread House

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016 was rather a wet one. It became obvious fairly early on in the day that the rain wasn’t going to ease up.


Grasmere Rushbearing Maiden

Grasmere Rushbearing Maiden

With good spirit everyone dressed for the weather and started to parade through the town.

Grasmere Rushbearing 2016

Procession passes along Churchstile

I thought the owner of Bridge House Hotel in the centre of this photo looked rather happy about something and later discovered she had become a Grandmother for the second time very early that morning!

Singing the Rushbearing Hymn

Singing the Rushbearing Hymn

Normally everyone gathers on the village green to sing the traditional Rushbearing hymns but the ground was a bit soggy so a stop was made on College Street instead.


Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens

I couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for the Rushbearing maidens. While everyone else had the benefit of a waterproof coat they had to tough it out in traditional costume.

A rather wet Rushbearing

A rather wet Rushbearing

I noticed more than one person dashing in to Lucia’s for a takeaway coffee to warm up with.

Children in the parade

Children in the parade

Time to head back to St Oswald’s Church

Bearings and Umbrellas

Bearings and Umbrellas

I think umbrellas brighten up the parade on a rainy day.

Processing down Church Stile Grasmere

Processing down Church Stile Grasmere

Taffy Thomas the storyteller always has a good view point from the Storytellers Garden.

A welcome sight

A welcome sight

Back at church and time to get inside and dry off before a welcome cup of tea.

Grasmere Rushbearing Parade

Grasmere Rushbearing Parade

Now all the time I was watching there was one thing that I kept thinking. How heavy must the cloth the Rushbearing Maidens were carrying have got as it was absolutely sodden by the end.

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2016

Grasmere Rushbearing Maidens 2016

So well done girls you did a great job!

Anyone who wants to see photos of sunny Rushbearing parades need look no further than this blog. You win some and you lose some but no matter the weather the show goes on.


Grasmere Celebrates The Queen’s 90th Birthday

We really have been having some gorgeous weather in Grasmere recently. It has been wonderful to see people sitting outside pubs and cafes soaking up the sunshine. Business has picked up since the A591 has reopened and things are more or less back to normal.

Grasmere flags are flying

Grasmere flags are flying

Almost overnight flags have appeared in the village as Grasmere gets ready to celebrate The Queen’s 90th Birthday.

Grasmere celebrations

Grasmere celebrations

If you are in Grasmere on Saturday 11th June why not come and join us. From 1-4pm we will be inviting people to bring their own picnic to the park. A little bird tells me The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa might even be offering complementary strawberries and cream.

Miller Howe Cafe Grasmere

Miller Howe Cafe Grasmere

In the park on Saturday there will be sports and trophies for all ages, Kendal Concert Band will be playing and Grasmere Glee Club. Grasmere Players will also be performing.

Heaton Cooper Grasmere Window

Heaton Cooper Grasmere Window

On Sunday 12th June at 4pm there will be a service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s Life.

St Oswald's Church

St Oswald’s Church Grasmere

A well known face in Grasmere Cameron Butland will be back to lead the service and there will be tea and cake for everyone afterwards.

St Oswald's Grasmere

St Oswald’s Grasmere

So as you can see we are all ready to celebrate, lets hope the weather holds out just a little longer.

Grasmere Village

Grasmere Village

How many more flags will spring up tomorrow?

Cunninghams Grasmere

Cunninghams Grasmere

You will just have to visit us and see over the weekend.

Mountain Warehouse Grasmere

Mountain Warehouse Grasmere


Written in memory of my Father in law who built the shop above. Long time lover and resident of Grasmere.

Eric Shaw. Died 25/5/2016 a month from his 99th Birthday.

Eric Grasmere Sports age 7

Eric Grasmere Sports aged 7

Spring at Allan Bank Grasmere

A beautiful Spring day. As Allan Bank in Grasmere (a National Trust Property unlike any  other) was open, I decided to take a wander up the hill and see what they were up to. This is the fifth year the property has been open and a while since I have written about it.


Beatrix Potter and Daffodils

The property is a short walk from Grasmere (disabled parking on site) and has the most glorious views of Grasmere. The sun was shining and the daffodils were out. Lambs in the surrounding fields. Paradise!


Allan Bank Grasmere

Grasmere school children were enjoying the grounds as part of their Forest Schools activities. It looked as though they were having an Easter egg hunt.

Allan Bank Art Room

Allan Bank Art Room

The Art Room had been changed around over the Winter. Anyone adult or child can just sit down and use the art material provided to paint the amazing view out of the window.


Refreshing the flowers at Allan Bank

In the kitchen cafe one of the volunteers (they are always looking for more) Janet was making Easter floral arrangements to decorate the tables. Tea and coffee are by donation and you can wander around the house, tea in hand.


Roaring fire in Wordsworth’s Study

Or if you are lucky grab a seat beside the roaring fire in Wordsworth’s Study, pick up a book and relax.

Allan Bank was once the home of Wordsworth and his young family but was also the home of Canon Hardwick Rawnsley one of the co-founders of the National Trust. This is the 150th Anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s Life and Canon Rawnsley was an inspiration to Beatrix when she was a young girl. He encouraged her creativity and also encouraged her in her love of the countryside.


Beatrix Potter Quote Cushion

Scattered around the house were cushions with quotes. I particularly liked the ones in the play room.


Peter Rabbit Cushions

The play room was just waiting for little Easter visitors with books and toys to enjoy.


Playroom Allan Bank Grasmere

Allan Bank isn’t just for children. Upstairs is the Chorley Hopkins Mountaineering Library with a wealth of books on Mountaineering both in the Lake District and beyond.


Mountaineering Library Allan Bank

Just along the corridor is a craft room where visiting crafters sometimes demonstrate lace making, printmaking etc. There are lots of vintage board games in here too. Looking out of the window you can quite often see the resident red squirrels but none today.


View from Craft Room Allan Bank

Just time for a quick look in the little shop, but the grounds were calling. Sunshine in the Lake District can’t be wasted.


Allan Bank Shop

In the grounds there is a fabulous woodland walk with great views. It is steep in places but well marked and resting places to be found. I had a little seat to look at the mere.


View of the Mere from Allan Bank

Next further up the path with a glimpse of Helm Crag in sight.


Allan Bank Woodland Walk

And finally Helm Crag in all it’s glory.


Helm Crag Grasmere

Something that hasn’t changed this year, or for a long time before is the old Victorian viewing tunnel in the grounds.


Tunnel in grounds Allan Bank Grasmere

Time for a last cup of tea and tempted to cake by Sophie to round off my visit.


Tea and cake at Allan Bank

For more information about Allan Bank Grasmere see http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

Follow them on Facebook. National Trust Allan Bank or Twitter. @AllanbankNT

My previous Blogs with the history of Allan Bank.





Grasmere and Daffodils

Spring is arriving at last in the village. We now have a lifeline in the form of a bus link to Keswick so we aren’t feeling quite so isolated, and the work on the A591 needed after Storm Desmond is progressing. We can be easily accessed from the South or by the scenic route over Kirkstone Pass to the North. It is always a lovely time to visit. Snow on the fell tops, daffodils appearing, shops stocked up for the new season and hotels all spruced up over the winter. Some good bargain breaks at this time of year too.


Daffodils and snow in Grasmere

Today we had rain, sleet, snow and sunshine, and that was just the morning!


Wordsworth and Daffodils

It’s a funny thing but I suppose we all have our own idea of when Spring has arrived. The thing I always look for are the daffodils starting to flower at Wordsworth’s grave. Well today there were daffodils appearing everywhere.


Sam Read Bookshop Grasmere

Even in shop windows. This was a lovely Spring window display in Sam Read Bookshop and further down the road Herdy was getting in on the act too.


Daffodil Herdy

Of course the Lake District is always associated with daffodils because of William Wordsworth’s famous poem. Grasmere has it’s very own daffodil garden and you can find part of the poem reproduced there.


Wordsworth. Daffodils poem.

In the garden I would say the daffodils will be perfect just in time for Easter this year.


Grasmere Daffodil Garden

I decided to head round the riverside walk through Broadgate, then to the Mere.


Grasmere Sign Post

The Environment Agency have been dredging the River Rothay since the floods in December and as I approached the other day I was amazed to see that as the digger exited the river, three canoeists appeared and used the slipway to launch their canoes! A nice bit of positive thinking.


Canoeists River Rothay

They paddled along and the next thing I spotted them in the Mere.


Canoeists Grasmere

We might have had a lot of rain over the winter but another advantage is that everything is looking very lush and green at the moment. As you can see Grasmere is ready for the new season, all that is missing are the visitors. Get yourselves up here, you don’t know what you are missing!


Spring crocus

Wintery Grasmere Walk

Up till now it can only have been described as a rather wet miserable winter. Nothing like the last few years where we have had a really good amount of snow. However things changed earlier this week and I was able to get out and about around Rydal and Grasmere.

Snowy Grasmere

Snowy Grasmere

The cloud was right down and it was debatable whether it would be brighter higher up but it was nice to get out without being rained on!.

Rydal Water

Rydal Water

A watery sunshine was trying to break through the mist.



I decided to wander up by Rydal caves and then decide which direction to continue in.

Across Rydal

Across Rydal

Gradually I was getting above the low cloud and arrived at a snowy Rydal caves.

Rydal Caves

Rydal Caves

Hardly a soul about. Crisp snow not too trampled yet.



Just a couple of folk on the horizon, and now well above the clouds.

Above the clouds

Above the clouds

Time to head back down to Grasmere.

Heading to Grasmere

Heading to Grasmere

It looked very cold down in the valley, it’s amazing how it can vary from one vale to the next.

Across the Lake

Across the Lake

It was starting to look very grey in the direction of Dunmail Raise. Allan Bank standing out across the lake.

Towards Allan Bank

Towards Allan Bank

The best part of the day had been and gone and it was getting very chilly. Time to head home for a warm drink.



This walk was earlier in the week and the snow has lain on the hills. It was forecast that we were going to have huge amounts of snow over night last night, however we seem to have escaped the worst and the heavy snow has been centred on Wales, Bristol and the South. It is just very, very cold and now icy underfoot. More snow forecast for the weekend. Watch this space….

Snowy Grasmere

Snowy Grasmere














Grasmere Winter Wonderland

The first snow of the winter arrived, and as I was early for work I decided to walk round the lake. What footwear, was my first thought, however as the snow was really thick I just put my snow boots on as they are warm, waterproof and have a good grip and it is just a low level stroll.

Grasmere Winter Wonderland

Starting off at the Garden Centre opposite the Church, the road to the side is called Red Bank Road.

Snowy Grasmere Garden Centre

I knew there wouldn’t be much traffic as the snow was so thick, but I wasn’t prepared for such a wonderful walk. Off up Red Bank I went, stopping to look at Faeryland Tea Gardens.

Faeryland Grasmere in the Snow

You can hire rowing boats here during the summer, but these boats were not going anywhere in a hurry!

Frozen Boats Faeryland Grasmere.

Further up the lane it was almost like being in Switzerland the snow was so deep.

Red Bank Road Grasmere

After passing this house you carry on up the lane past a house with a letterbox in the wall on the left, then the views become more open before you come to a stile to cut down to the lakeside.

Frozen Grasmere Lake

The morning light was gorgeous with the sunshine reflecting on the snow.

Early Morning Grasmere Lane

When you get down to the lake there is a little boathouse and a bench to sit on, bit chilly for hanging about at this time of year, but lovely in the summer.

Boat House Grasmere Lake

The rest of the walk is straightforward with a path running along the side of the lake, it can be very busy in Summer but I only met one other person, and this little chap!

Robin Grasmere Lake

Now there is a story behind this, as I approached the other person all I could see were several robins all flying at her repeatedly. I couldn’t work out what was going on. Turns out she always takes a handful of bird food out on her walks and these greedy birds were looking for more. It was like a scene out of Mary Poppins!.

Looking over frozen Grasmere Lake towards Dunmail Raise

Although the sun was coming up, the far end of the lake was in shadow and it was bitterly cold, the ducks had found some unfrozen water to swim in though.

A very chilly Grasmere Lake

Through the woods and back on to the main road at Penny Rock. Penny Rock, so called because a penny was added on to the rates to cover the cost of blasting through the rock to build the Turnpike road to Grasmere. Although the Rydal sections of the road were made about 1770, this section was not made until about 1831.  As you leave Grasmere going up Dunmail Raise towards Keswick look to the left and you will see The Toll Bar Cottage, a reminder of the direct tax which used to be levied on all road users.

Towards Silver Howe

To be honest, it was this bit of the road that was the worst to walk on, while the snow on the other side had been crisp and untouched, this side of the lake is on the main road and obviously the snow ploughs had shoved all snow from the road to the pavement.


It was also in the shadow, so much colder.

Winter, Grasmere Lake.

Now I know the purists are going to contact me saying “There is no such thing as Grasmere Lake, it’s a Mere” well just to put the record straight. Obviously I know that but sometimes it is difficult to distinguish Grasmere as in Village, from Grasmere Lake. Hence my use of the word lake.

Just time to cut round by Dove Cottage and then back into the village.

Dove Cottage Grasmere

More snow is forecast later this week, so looking forward to more wintery walks.

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