December marks the 250th birthday of Dorothy Wordsworth; diarist, letter writer, one of the first women to climb Scafell Pike (England’s tallest mountain) - and of course, sister of Romantic Poet, William Wordsworth.

Dorothy had a deep connection to the natural world and her writing vividly brought to life scenes of the Lake District that you can still experience today.

Read on to discover some of our favourite places to celebrate the legacy of Dorothy Wordsworth.


Dorothy was born in this Georgian market town on 25 December 1771 and it is easy to see why she became so inspired by nature from a young age, as Cockermouth is nestled beside some of our most peaceful lakes and mountains.

Wordsworth House, Cockermouth

‘Wordsworth House’, Dorothy’s childhood home has been recreated with period furnishings and costumed guides, allowing you a glimpse into life growing up in the household.

Wordsworth House is closed over the winter and reopens in spring, a glorious time when the garden comes to life in the backyard.

Daffodils in Grasmere

There is plenty more to explore in Cockermouth this December – Art lovers will be fascinated by the new light installation, ‘Portrait of Dorothy’ which is on display on the main street as part of the Christmas light display.

Or take on an outdoor adventure on the National Trust’s new ‘Dorothy Wordsworth 250th anniversary’ cycling and walking trail that follows a 32-mile journey from her birthplace in Cockermouth to Rydal Mount, the place where she died.


The charming village of Grasmere was a place where Dorothy gathered a lot of her creative inspiration and her ‘Grasmere Journals’ feature some of her most loved work.

Dove Cottage, with its whitewashed walls and slate floors was Dorothy and William’s first home together and it has been brought back to life at ‘Wordsworth Grasmere’ –  the newly expanded museum where you can learn more about the pair and experience life the way they did over 200 years ago – with plenty of hands-on activities for all ages.

Wordsworth Grasmere

Wordsworth Grasmere

Visit the ‘Dorothy’ exhibition and view her special treasures on display, then head up to their unique viewing platform with breath-taking views of Grasmere Vale.

Or celebrate Dorothy at their special event on 22 December where you can join in the fun and try your hand at Georgian Christmas crafts. Book your ticket here.

If you are looking for a place to stay then the Wordsworth Hotel is a great place to indulge, with fine cuisine, an indoor pool and luxury bedrooms –  it has everything you need for a restful stay and has easy access to the many walks that Dorothy loved to explore.|

Scafell Pike

Dorothy was not only a talented writer but she was also a mountaineering pioneer for women, being the first female to conquer Scafell Pike – England’s highest peak – with her childhood friend, Mary Barker.

Scafell Pike is not for the faint hearted standing at 3,200 ft tall in the Lake District National Park. This climb should not be underestimated and requires some experience, make sure you are equipped with the right gear and always check the weather forecast.

And when you make it to the top – remember to take a moment to breathe it in and appreciate the efforts of this largely unsung female pioneer.

Rydal Mount

Rydal Mount was the Wordsworth’s family home from 1813 and the place where Dorothy died in 1855. It lies between Ambleside and Grasmere and commands glorious views of Windermere, Rydal Water and the surrounding fells.

Wordsworth Grasmere

You can spend hours touring the house and exploring the 5-acre grounds at Rydal Mount, with its fellside terraces, summer house, ancient mound and rock pools.

Garden at Wordsworth Grasmere

There are so many great places and trails to explore this December, where you can walk in Dorothy’s footsteps and feel inspired by the beauty of nature around you.




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