Newest Review: ... unchanged. Grasmere is incredibly popular with walkers as it is essentially surrounded by mountains - Easedale tarn has a waterfall with ... more
Theres nothing mere about grasmere!
Grasmere in general
Member Name: pania22
Grasmere in general
Advantages: amazing, stunning, something for everyone
Disadvantages: I wish it was on my doorstep.
I have been to New Zealand. It is stunning. Breathtakingly stunning. Staggeringly stunning. Absolutely completely "to die for" stunning (whole new set of reviews on its way shortly.
So when my best friend in the whole wide world (literally, i think a seperate hemisphere counts as the whole wide world) announced he was coming to visit from afore mentioned amazing kiwi country we quickly entered into a competition of "my place is better than your place." My only issue was that I knew I was about to loose, massively with an air ticket to NZ riding on it.
This was about to get expensive...
So i racked my tiny little brain for the best place in the entirity of the UK that was:-
a) Easily manageable as a car journey
b) Lots of free places to go visit and minimal costs to eat
c) Contained stunning scenery
d) Had plenty to do and some challenging walks
And that in all honesty sums up both Grasmere and the Lake District as a whole.
Arriving in Grasmere under cover of darkness on the 2nd day of our lakeland stay, the town was as pretty as a picture. All lit up on a balmy easters evening with the lakeland hills silhouetted all around, both myself and my travelling comapnion (and my parents in the car behind) were all extremely impressed.
The town of Grasmere nestles in the valley between Helm Crag, Long Crag, Loughrigg Fell and the main Langdale range. It immediately smacks of old world charm, contributed to by the typical bubbling brook and riverside church.
Mainly famous as being the dwelling place of Poet Laureate William Wordsworth and his much loved sister Dorothy, the town attracts many lovers of his works on a pilgrimage to the family graves each year. Grasmere is also famous for its amazing gingerbread,
The High street is situated around an extremely characterful Village green and is a hot bed of typical lakeland shops and cafes. Every imaginable item is able to be purchased from the numerous guide books, os maps and walking gear that you would expect, through to some very tasteful holiday souvenirs. My advice though would be to shop around for an item as the shops tend to get cheaper the further out of town you head!
For food and general eatery nothing can come more highly recommended than Baldry's restaurant, situated on the left hand side of the road as you walk along with the Best Western hotel on your right. Strolling along looking for a place to eat we were attracted to the clean and tidy interior along with a much advertised vegetarian breakfast on the menu. Perfect!!
So we entered, ordered, and waited, and waited some more but boy was it worth the wait!!! each breakfast was sent out with a dinner plate chock full of different breads and jams, the biggest pot of tea you could imagine and an english breakfast that would've been shared between 2 people let alone eating it yourself! Thus fortified we headed out to explore the town further.
Talking a short stroll further down the road away from the Best Western revealed the Wordsworth Daffodill garden. the top path through the churchyard leads after a very short amble to the wordsworth graves. But don't expect to be able to pick out the actual William all that easily. There are no less than 4 William Wordsworths buried in the family plot! maybe a deliberate ploy to entice you to linger longer i have no idea. Taking the lower path, paved with dedicated tiles that can be purchased and installed at a small price, leads through a daffodil bound, extremely relaxing garden. This garden eventually forms part of the delightful riverside walk along a very shallow, extremely inviting river.
Nowhere can the town of grasmere be mentioned without also including the famous grasmere gingerbread, already excellently reviewed here by a fellow dooyooer but the best £1.65 you will ever spend!
growing bored with sight seeing we ensconced mother and father in a comfortable spot and headed out to experience one of the much more challenging hill walks in the area of helm crag, leaving Grasmere behind and experiencing instead a wonderful scenery of waterfalls and lakeland tarns.
There are numerous places to stay within grasmere and as such shopping around is a must. We stayed in the Best Western hotel which, I am sad to say we were all very disappointed with as it is in need of a dramatic face lift and not worth the money.
The grasmere hotel itself is hailed as one of the favoured resting places and should be considered. Or there is a vegetarian hotel for those people so inclined.
Bed and breakfasts also form a wide part of the tourism industry here but personally I would rather be able to recline in a room with my own bathroom and able to pop down to the hotel bar for a top up where required!
Access to the lakes is amazingly easy with the use of the M6 toll road north and the excellent road network that the lake district provides.
National Express coaches runs aq very regular service into Grasmere at a cost of a touch over £50 per adult ticket (from the midlands)
Trains also run into windermere for over £64 per return.
Grasmere, and indeed the entire lakedistrict epitomises the english countryside and is much preserved through the legacy of Beatrix Potter who purchased massive swathes of land throughout the lakes and bequeathed them on death to the National Trust. If you haven't yet and don't plan to visit then you have not experienced the jam in englands doughnut.
Summary: The english show the kiwis a thing or two about how to do breathtaking!!
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