Dove Cottage – Home of a literary great

I RECENTLY visited Dove Cottage which is famous for its inhabitants. Home to Wordsworth and his family hundreds of years ago, Dove Cottage is situated in the most glorious landscape of the Lake District. The writer’s close friend Coleridge moved to Keswick to be within walking distance of Wordsworth so he was a regular visitor in this house. The Wordsworth’s often hosted large numbers of people in the few rooms he had which one can only imagine gave the house a warm and cosy feeling if not slightly cramped. Once the Wordsworth’s moved out, another large literary figure of the time, De Quincy and author of ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater’, moved in.

Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage

The house itself is very quaint and quite small. Before it was home to one of England’s literary greats, it was an inn, and the dark boarding makes the rooms feel smaller. However, its petiteness is what makes it lovable. Inside the cottage some of Wordsworth’s possessions still are there for instance the infamous couch where he penned ‘Daffodils’ and his suitcase he took on his travels around France, marked with his name although it didn’t quite fit. Some of De Quincy’s opium scales are still there. As an English student, this made a tangible connection between the writings of a literary hero and this historical figure as a real person. The cottage is surrounded that Dorothy, William’s sister planted; you are free to walk round the garden, noticing the quotations from Dorothy’s diary as you walk, in the fresh Grasmere air.

Tours are taken of the cottage multiple times a day, even on a Sunday. You can also visit the museum ran by the Wordsworth Trust, housing artefacts and portraits not just of Wordsworth and his family but of the other Lake Poets and Classic Romantics. The house is well worth a visit and super close to Grasmere and Windermere lakes so you can make a day of it.