Exploring Grasmere: Helm Crag and Dove Cottage
During the summer of 2015, I spent a lot of time exploring the Lake District. I was living in Lancaster by myself, and for £10.80 you can get an Explorer ticket, which allows you to travel anywhere in the Lakes and back.
The first place I decided to go was Grasmere. I’d been studying Wordsworth at university so it seemed the perfect place and Helm Crag is quite an easy climb with gorgeous views.
I began by wandering around the town, which is super sweet with lots of cute little cafes and trinket shops. I had been told countless times that I had to try the famous Grasmere Gingerbread, so I first called in at the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop – which I have to say was worth the trip. There’s also a lovely group of art shops and galleries which I went around after climbing Helm Crag.
The climb up Helm Crag was initially very steep with a million steps – in the hottest part of the day – but once you break through the trees, the views are beautiful!
The rest of the way is pretty easy until the last third, which requires a slight bit of rock climbing. That may be exaggerating, but I did end up on hands at one point…
I suddenly found myself faced with the ‘Lion and the Lamb’, one of the two fantastic rock forms at the top of Helm Crag. Standing on the top of which, with the wind almost blowing me off, was really fun. And climbing the ‘Howitzer’ or ‘The Old Lady Playing an Organ’ was even better.
The summit of Helm Crag is often debated as, technically, the top of the Howitzer is the highest point, but not everyone can quite reach the tippy-toppest point so it’s really down to personal opinion.
Having explored the summit, I found a sheltered area in which to enjoy my gingerbread. It was delicious, not your usual gingerbread – more like a biscuit – but still yummy and the perfect sugar fix before the descent.
On my second visit to Grasmere, I had to visit Dove Cottage – the home of William Wordsworth. I’d been studying Romanticism at university and so felt it was a must on a rainy day in Grasmere. It was actually really interesting and I got a personal tour. Plus the walk there and back was worth it.