The Lake District – or at least where we live in the English Lakes – seems to be having a spell of great weather. Today, while going about Windermere to do our shopping and visit the bank, I saw people wearing flip flops, shorts and T-shirts. It is barely Spring, and the coats are off already!
One of the shops was selling daffodils. I saw them sitting on the counter and thought about the wild daffodils we can see around Lake Windermere, 5 minutes walk from our door, and at Rydal Mount (www.rydalmount.co.uk), which made me think of William Wordworth’s ‘Ode to the Daffodils’ written in 1802. The first verse is quoted below:
I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
In 1847, Wordsworth planted a field of daffodils in memory of his daughter, called Dora’s Field (www.visitcumbria.com/amb/doras-field.htm). In my mind, I often associate daffodils with Wordsworth, not just because of his poem quoted above but also because of Dora’s Field.
In 1847, Wordsworth planted a field of daffodils in memory of his daughter, called Dora’s Field (www.visitcumbria.com/amb/doras-field.htm). In my mind, I often associate daffodils with Wordsworth, not just because of his poem quoted above but also because of Dora’s Field.This link, www.destinations-uk.com/articles.php?link=articles&country=wales&id=299&articletitle=William%20Wordsworth,%20Lake%20District%20Poet, gives an interesting and concise precis of Wordsworth’s life in the Lake District.
When I was 13, we began to study Wordsworth in school, amongst other authors, and I have always enjoyed his poetry. His life seems so full of romance to me, in the way in which a story of long ago has a hint of romance, almost like a fairytale. Of course his life was not a fairytale; nonetheless, the ethereal beauty and romance of the Lakes especially when the morning mist hovers above the ground always conjures up for me the world of Wordsworth so very long ago.
Rydal Mount is located close to Dove Cottage, by Grasmere, which is about 10 miles from Blenheim Lodge, our guest house. I remember visiting both places, but I have to say that I particularly enjoyed looking around Dove Cottage as it has been kept in much the same style in which Wordsworth knew it. A guide takes visitors around Dove Cottage and regales them with anecdotes of Wordsworth’s life as well as the history of the house (www.wordsworth.org.uk).
Wordsworth also lived in Cockermouth, where he was born in a fine Georgian house, now called Wordsworth House (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworth-house). I have yet to visit this house, but will do so one day when I get the time. The National Trust has rendered the house into an imaginary trip back in time: ‘Presented as their bustling family home and peopled by costumed servants, it offers an unforgettable chance for all ages to see, smell, hear, touch and even taste what it was like to live in the 1770s.’
I hope that visitors to the Lakes who enjoy Wordsworth will get the opportunity to visit his previous haunts. The beauty and peace of the Lakes inspired Wordsworth to write some of the most memorable lines of poetry, still remembered more than a century after his demise. The lakes he admired, the mountains he extolled, the paths he trod, the ancient villages he loved, are all still here for today’s visitors to experience and enjoy.
Guests at Blenheim Lodge will find an easy bus link to Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount just 5 minutes’ walk from our B&B. Explorer tickets give travellers the option of hopping on and off the buses that ply the route between Bowness on Windermere where our guesthouse is located to various towns and villages on the road north to Keswick. You can also incorporate boat rides on your bus excursion north and back. And if you prefer to drive, there is parking available in the grounds of these two attractions.