To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere
Image courtesy of Wordsworth Grasmere.

To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere, Cumbria 18 February — 30 December 2023 Tickets from £6.00 — Book now

It’s not difficult to see why the Lake District attracts over 25 million visitors each year. With its rich history and dramatic landscape of rugged coastlines, wild and windy fells and soothing lakes, it’s a destination for culture-seekers and outdoor adventurers of all ages.

Experience Cumbria through the words and images captured by tourists over two centuries ago.

A new exhibition at Wordsworth Grasmere – ‘To the Lakes!’ invites today’s visitors to the Lake District to experience Cumbria through the words and images captured by tourists over two centuries ago. Visitors to the exhibition will find out more about the area’s history and the people who were drawn to it – how they spent their time, where they stayed, how they dressed and the equipment they needed. Remember the first tourists to the Lake District wouldn’t have had access to specialist clothing, motorised transport, AirBnB recommendations, cameras and mobile phones. This unique exhibition invites you to find out more about the first tourists and their discovery of this beautiful part of the UK.

Find out more about the first tourists and their discovery of this beautiful part of the UK.

The tourist industry in the Lake District has changed considerably over the last two hundred years. When William Wordsworth was born in 1770, few people visited Cumbria as a leisure destination; those who did were usually middle class and travelled without a guidebook. By the time of William Wordworth’s death in 1850, more visitors were heading to the area – the tourist industry in the Lake District was thriving.

At ‘To the Lakes!’ you’ll find a number of items from the Wordsworth Trust’s collection on display, including a large selection of artwork, costumes and activities. There will also be a selection of words and images created by some of the first tourists to the Lake District, alongside guidebooks by William Wordsworth and Thomas West, writer of the first Lake District guidebook in 1778.

There will be a programme of additional activities and events, exploring tourism through history, taking place throughout the course of the exhibition too.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The fund aims to provide pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local businesses, and people and skills. Click here for more information.

To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere, Cumbria 18 February — 30 December 2023 Tickets from £6.00 Book now

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Where to go near To The Lakes! at Wordsworth Grasmere

Cumbria
Museum
The Wordsworth Museum

Next door to Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s first family home, is the Wordsworth Museum, which houses an unsurpassed collection of the Wordsworths’ letters, journals and poems.

Dove Cottage, Grasmere, image courtesy of venue
Cumbria
Museum
Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage is where William Wordsworth lived and wrote, and where the Wordsworth Trust continues that work today with poets in residence and public programmes.

Cumbria
Shop
Sam Read Bookseller

Award-winning small bookshop in the Lake District. Est. by Sam Read in 1887. Run by Will Smith and Polly Atkin.

Forest Side Restaurant
Cumbria
Restaurant
Forest Side Restaurant

We love the fantastic Forest Side Restaurant. Attached to the historic Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere, this is one of the best places to eat in Cumbria.

Allan Bank, Grasmere, image courtesy of Visit Cumbria
Cumbria
Museum
Allan Bank

Once home to William Wordsworth, this historic villa now combines a small, informal art gallery with a giant indoor mural space.

The Merzbarn today, courtesy Littoral Arts Trust
Cumbria
Gallery
Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbarn

Tucked away in a remote corner of the Lake District is Kurt Schwitter’s Merzbarn, an artistic epitaph to the avant garde ‘godfather of modern art’.

The Armitt Museum
Cumbria
Gallery
The Armitt Museum

Full of interesting and unusual objects, The Armitt is a museum that shares the history and heritage of Ambleside and its people.

Cumbria
Restaurant
Fellini’s

Fellini’s does fancy ‘Vegeterranean’ food and films. What better way to treat yourself after a hard tramp in the Lake District?

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