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The Lake District Poets

Coniston Jetty-take the Gondola over to Brantwood where John Ruskin lived and workedA popular choice for Book Clubs and Literary Societies are the works of this group of young poets that emerged at the end of the 18th-century in the Lake District. Enthralled by the wonderful, wild scenery and inspiring views these so-called Romantic poets composed some of our most well known and best loved poems during this period. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Robert Southey are probably the main figures but numerous other literary types visited them, discussed ideas and enjoyed their hospitality.

What could our book club do?

  • Visit Dove Cottage, where Wordsworth lived from 1799 to 1808, and the Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery in Grasmere. Private evening tours and poetry readings are available.
  • You could also visit Rydal Mount near Ambleside where Wordsworth lived for 37 years. Enjoy a guided, private tour of the house and gardens, a poetry reading, a glass of wine and some local Grasmere gingerbread!
  • Costumed guides reveal the reality of life in the 1770s in Wordsworth's birthplace, Wordsworth House at Cockermouth.
  • John Ruskin's home, Brantwood, is beautifully situated on the banks of Coniston in a stunning 250 acre woodland estate with 8 distinct gardens. The house is full of his work and memorabillia and there is a coach house selling contemporary arts and crafts.

Anything else of interest in the area?

  • Take a trip on Coniston Lake on the famous National Trust steam yacht, Gondola.
  • Visit Hill Top where Beatrix Potter lived and wrote many of her best loved tales.
  • Sizergh Castle dating from the 14th-century and extended in Elizabethan times is surrounded by a fabulous garden and there's also a shop selling fine local produce.
  • Take a private guided walk led by a mountain expert - all standards of fitness catered for!
  • Visit the original Lakeland shop - the home of innovative kitchenware.
  • Want a spot of retail therapy? Try Kendal which is brimming with tempting little shops, cafes and restaurants.
  • You could visit the Mardale Inn at Bampton which featured in the cult film Withnail and I.

Recommended reading for your book club

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge

Tintern Abbey by Wordsworth

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge by Wordsworth

The Prelude by Wordsworth

The Stones of Venice by John Ruskin

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas de Quincey

Recommended viewing for your book club

Withnail and I (1987)
Starring Richard E Grant as Withnail, Paul McGann as Marwood and Richard Griffiths as Monty.

Miss Potter (2006)
Starring Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter and Ewan McGregor as Norman Warne.

Pandaemonium (2000)
Starring Linus Roache as Samuel Coleridge, John Hannah as William Wordsworth and Samantha Morton as Sara Coleridge.

Book Club Tours look forward to welcoming you to Cumbria to discover more about the Lake District poets.

Book Club Tours LLP, 33 Broad Lane, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 3AL • Tel: 020 8979 2285