Discover Dove Cottage

William Wordsworth's first family home is the only place in the world to see his personal belongings.

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William Wordsworth - A Biography

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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

Dove Cottage Poets

The Foyle Room, opposite Dove Cottage
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Poetry events 05
Jul 2018

Discover Poetry

Dove Cottage & Garden
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Event 05
Jul 2018

Simon Armitage

The Daffodil Hotel
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Poetry events 17
Jul 2018

Must-see when you visit

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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Dove Cottage garden

Stroll around the Wordsworths' 'domestic slip of mountain'

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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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