What is it about the Lake District, which inspired some of England's greatest writers and artists? During your stay, why not find out about the lives and works of some of the area's most famous people: William Wordsorth, Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin, Arthur Ransome and John Cunliffe (famous for Postman Pat)...to name a few..
Dove Cottage in Grasmere was the home of poet and writer William Wordsworth, from 1799 to 1808. Dove Cottage is now the home of the Wordsworth Trust and is the place where Wordsworth spent his most productive years. It is linked to Rydal Mount (Wordsworth's most beloved home) by what is called the Coffin Path, a spectacular 50 minute (gentle) walk, with spectacular views.
Rydal Mount was Wordsworth's home from 1813 until his death in 1850.
If you are keen to follow the trail of William Wordsworth you can also see the graves of William Wordsworth and his family (pictured above), in the village churchyard at Grasmere.
Wordsworth's birthplace is in Cockermouth, north-west of Keswick and you can visit his birthplace and childhood home Wordsworth House, now a national trust property.
Artist and philosopher John Ruskin's history lives on in and around Coniston Water. Coniston Launch (or the National Trust's Gondola) can take you to Brantwood, Ruskin's home on the shores of the Lake. You can drive directly to it if preferred. Open all year.
Of course there are numerous other famous writers, including Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome, with strong connections in the Lake District.
Beatrix Potter's home Hilltop, where she wrote many of her famous children's stories, has been kept exactly as she left it, complete with her furniture and china. There is a traditional cottage garden attached to the 17th-century house. Pictured above is the World of Beatrix Potter an attraction where the Lakeland tales of Beatrix Potter are brought to life. Visitors can also learn more about the life of Beatrix Potter.
Arthur Ransome based a lot of the places in his books on real places many of which were places in the Lake District. Lake Windermere and Consiton Water was the setting for Swallows and Amazons and it is thought that 'wild cat island' is in fact Peel island on Consiton Water. Captain flint's houseboat was inspired by the Steam Yacht Gondola which still sails around Coniston, although this was eventually modelled on Esperance (now at Windermere Steamboat Musem). Coniston Launch offers special interest cruises that explore the locations used by Arthur Ransome in his books.
John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat, lived and taught in the area. His Postman Pat books are set in Kendal and the remote valley of Longsleddale.