Grasmere - explore and visit

Grasmere village and Grasmere Water

Nestling at the foot of some spectacular fells and with its own lake, this village has many shops, pubs and cafes. You can also visit Wordsworth's grave in the churchyard and buy the legendary Grasmere Gingerbread.

Popular walks include following Red Bank Road and then the footpath along the west shore of the lake towards Rydal Water.

In the summer you can hire rowing boats on the lake.

Wordsworth Trust

Picture of William Wordsworth

Learn about England's poet laureate at Dove Cottage in Grasmere.

More on Wordsworth Trust and book

Rydal Water

This small lake often has beautiful reflections to the west of Loughrigg fell. Wordsworth lived in Rydal Mount, open to the public. Dora’s Field, named after Wordsworth's daughter, is next to the church and is covered in daffodils in springtime.

On the western side of the lake is a footpath up to Loughrigg Terrace and its huge cave, formed by quarrying.

Rydal Mount

Picture of Rydal Mount where Wordsworth once lived

Visit Wordsworth's best loved family home, where he wrote many of his famous poems.

More on Rydal Mount and book

SwimSafe code

Be Seen, have support

Swimmers may be able to see boaters but boaters may not be able to see swimmers!

  • Have a safety boat or canoe support displaying a white and blue Alpha flag Blue and white Alpha flag, warning of divers or swimmers in the water.
  • Wear a bright swim cap and tow a bright float.
  • Never swim alone.

Take a look at the photos below. If you were steering a boat, which swimmer is easier to spot?

Showing how much easier a swimmer is to spot when next to a support boat

Be Water wise

Exposure to cool water can rapidly lead to hypothermia

  • Wear a wetsuit to keep you warmer and more buoyant.
  • Enter the water slowly to get used to it.
  • Check the depth and the water bed by walking in carefully.
  • Don't jump in.

Be Informed

Other people use the lakes too! Windermere, Derwentwater, Coniston Water and Ullswater are busy with boats. People on boats may struggle to see swimmers. A collision with any boat can be fatal.

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Be Mindful

  • Choose one of the quieter lakes that do not allow boats.
  • Avoid mooring areas, marinas and jetties used by boats, ferry routes and boating channels.
  • Be aware boaters may be in any area of the lake at any time of day or night.
  • Only swim when weather conditions are suitable - remember they can change quickly.

Print out a handy guide

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Useful links

Getting there and around

Bus service 599 runs between Bowness, Windermere, Rydal and Grasmere, in summer it runs up to every 20 minutes with an open top service. Service 555 runs from Lancaster and Kendal to Keswick via Grasmere and Rydal. You can now cycle or walk on the Grasmere Trail which links Ambleside and Grasmere via the shores of Rydal Water and Grasmere.  For more information and links to timetables see our travel and transport pages.

Need holiday accommodation?

Cottage near Coniston - copyright Charlie Hedley

We've cosy holiday cottages, quirky boutique hotels, friendly bed and breakfasts and luxury hotels!

Our commission goes towards keeping the National Park special: Browse and book accommodation online here