Step back in time as you enter Wordsworth's family home

A visit to the Lake District isn't complete without seeing this 400-year-old cottage

Get a unique insight into Wordsworth, his family and friends

Personal effects owned by Wordsworth give an insight into life in the early 1800s

A place where Dorothy kept her famous 'Grasmere Journal'

An inspirational setting and the place where Wordsworth's most famous poems were written

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It was in this little cottage, at times ‘crammed edge full’ with people, in the heart of the remote Lake District, that William Wordsworth wrote some of the greatest poetry in the English language and Dorothy kept her famous 'Grasmere Journal', now on display in the Museum.

William came across his first Grasmere home by chance as he and his brother John walked along this lane with his fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in late 1799. He and his sister Dorothy moved in just a few weeks later.

The cottage had once been an inn, the 'Dove and Olive Bough'. It was now to be the Wordsworths’ home for the next eight years. In 1802 William married Mary Hutchinson and three of their five children were born here.

Step into Dove Cottage to get a sense of that time: stone floors, dark panelled rooms, glowing coal fires and the family’s own belongings. Little has changed in the house since the Wordsworths lived here.

Stroll in the Dove Cottage garden, a place of refuge, meditation and inspiration. It was, wrote Wordsworth, ‘the work of our own hands’. Here they planted flowers and vegetables, watched birds and butterflies and, most importantly, read, talked and wrote poetry.


Dove Cottage is an old building, and unfortunately only the ground floor rooms are accessible by wheelchair. However, people with restricted access can also see a virtual tour of the whole of Dove Cottage at a computer terminal in the Wordsworth Museum. The Wordsworth Trust is grateful to the Band Trust for supporting this facility.

Take a look at our events programme - there is something for everyone!

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What's on

Further Readings in The Prelude 1805

Jerwood Centre
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Talks 29
Nov 2017

Wordsworth & Environmental Change

Dove Cottage & Garden
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Talks 05
Dec 2017

Wordsworth & Social Reform

Dove Cottage & Garden
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Talks 05
Dec 2017

Must-see when you visit

Dorothy's amazing journal

See the journal entry for the day when William and Dorothy saw the famous daffodils.

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The Jerwood Centre

The Jerwood Centre is where our collection is stored under controlled conditions and cared for. If you would like to be shown around please phone before you arrive to check that someone is available.

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Wordsworth's skates

Wordsworth enjoyed skating on the frozen lakes of the county in the depths of winter. Two very different pairs of his skates survive and can be seen during your visit.

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Wordsworth's tea caddy

Tea was so precious that it was kept in a locked box like this one and Dorothy Wordsworth wrote that it was used at least twice. See if you can find it on your visit.

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