Friday, October 1, 2010

Wordsworth Trail

Today was very wet and rainy so we decided to see the local historic sights. We drove to Cockermouth - about 15 miles away hoping to see the house where Wordsworth grew up but it had changed its open hours and was closed. so we then drove 15 miles in the opposite direction to Grasmere and visited Dove Cottage where Wordsworth wrote a lot of his poetry plus the adjoining Wordsworth Museum.

It was very interesting. Wordsworth lived there with his sister Dorothy, wife Mary, sister-in-law Sarah and three children. Apparently they did a lot of walking in the fells and not much washing. Dorothy is now credited with suggesting a lot of the wording for Wordsworth's poetry through her journals. The cottage was quite small and Rob and Josie will be interested to hear that it had a stream running through part of the kitchen. Coleridge lived nearby and was an opium user. It seems as if Wordsworth and Coleridge were a lot like 1960s hippies, moving out into the country, growing their own vegetables and taking drugs. However, Wordsworth did eventually become Poet Laureate for Queen Victoria - though did not write any poetry at that time.

When we got back to Keswick, the weather had improved so we went for a walk to Castle Heights and had a great view of the village and lake in evening sun.

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