Home to rolling glens and emerald-blue lakes, the romantic Lake District has inspired some of England’s most renowned storytellers. Here are a few ways to follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth, and John Ruskin in Cumbria.
Beatrix Potter was an English conservationist, illustrator, and writer—most famous for penning The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Visitors come from across the world to Lake Windermere, Coniston Water, and surrounds to see for themselves the landscapes and locations that so inspired her. Local attractions for fans of Peter Rabbit and friends include Hill Top farm—where Potter once lived—and the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead.
Tarn Hows is an area of wilderness nestled in the Lake District National Park and once owned by Beatrix Potter herself. According to Potter’s diaries, she spent many hours walking along the shoreline, and—when the land came up for sale in 1930—she raised the money to buy it to ensure it remained protected. It’s now owned and cared for by the National Trust.
Widely considered among the most famous of Britain’s 18th-century Romantic poets, William Wordsworth drew enormous inspiration from the Lake District. His house in the small market town of Cockermouth is a popular attraction, and visitors can step back to the 1770s and see the property as Wordsworth himself did.
Dove Cottage in Grasmere is another of Wordsworth’s homes, and today it is a top pilgrimage site for poetry lovers. No visit is complete without a trip to Grasmere Lake and Rydal Water, beautiful expanses of clear water and open skies believed to have inspired his works. You can also visit the pretty village of Hawkshead, where William Wordsworth went to school.