Some of the world’s greatest poets, writers and walkers were inspired to achieve great things while living and working in the Lake District.
William Wordsworth was the second of five children born to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson, and was born in 1770 in Cockermouth in the Lake District. Wordsworth lived for most of his life in the Lake District, staying in Grasmere, Keswick and Rydal Mount. He was probably the most famous of the Lake Poets and the area´s connections to him contribute largely to the Lake District´s popularity. Visitors can still go and see Dove Cottage in Grasmere where Wordsworth once lived, and Rydal Mount. The Lake District inspired the famous poet to write some of his most famous works, including Daffodils or ´I wandered lonely as a Cloud ...´ which was written after Wordsworth saw a host of golden daffodils while out walking with his sister, Dorothy in Ullswater.
Wordsworth died on the 23rd April, 1850 and his final resting place is in the Churchyard of St Oswald´s Church, one of the most visited literary shrines in the world.
Beatrix Potter was born in London on the 28th of July 1866, but later lived exclusively in the Lake District. She had a lonely childhood, educated by a governess at home, she hardly had any contact with people outside her immediate family.
Beatrix loved animals from an early age and had numerous pets that she studied and made drawings of all through her childhood. Her parents rented Wray Castle near Ambleside and Beatrix fell in love with the natural beauty of the Lake District right away and spent numerous summer holidays in the Lake District.
As an adult, she lived most of her life in the Lake District, inspiring her to write her books, in particular The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
She also made numerous paintings and sketches of the Lake District’s landscape. After her death in 1943, she left her 14 farms and 4000 acres of land to the National Trust, on the proviso that her favourite home, Hill Top at Sawrey, was opened to the public and left unchanged.
Alfred Wainwright was born in Blackburn, Lancashire in 1907, and at 23 went to the Lake District for a week’s holiday and immediately fell in love with the natural beauty of the Lakelands.
He is well-known for his seven Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, which he made while working in the Borough Treasurers Office in Kendal in 1941. His handwritten and hand-drawn works of art have inspired all fellwalkers for the last 40 years. A recreation of the Borough Treasurers Office in Kendal where he worked is exhibited in The Kendal Museum of Natural History. Alfred Wainwright died in 1991.
John Ruskin was born on the 8th of February 1819, and was a famous poet, artist, critic, social reformer and conservationist. Ruskin fell in love with the Lake District when he was 5 years old on his first visit to Keswick in 1824.
Throughout his life he spent holidays in the Lake District and in 1871 he bought Brantwood near Coniston. After meeting Hardwicke Rawnsley and Octavia Hill, the founders of the National Trust, Ruskin had an enormous interest in the conservation of the Lake District.
John Ruskin was one of the most prominent figures of the Victorian Age.If you are planning to visit the Lake District to explore the lakes, and find out more about the famous past residents of this beautiful region, Windermere is a perfect base.