Few regions of England have a literary heritage that is as rich and varied as that of the Lake District. Writers, poets and artists have long been attracted to the area, and the most famous of these, William Wordsworth, was born at Cockermouth, lived for a short time in Penrith, was schooled in Hawkshead, and for much of his life lived at Grasmere and Rydal. Consequently there are a large number of sites with direct links to William Wordsworth, and following the Wordsworth trail could take up an entire holiday. His birthplace in Cockermouth, the Grammar School in Hawkshead, and his homes at Dove Cottage (Grasmere) and Rydal Mount are all open to the public.
Children’s author, Beatrix Potter also lived and worked in the Lake District, although not until after the publication of many of her books. Several of the locations in her books are Lakeland ones, and many landmarks are recognisable from her original drawings. The Beatrix Potter Gallery, in the centre of Hawkshead, and Hill Top, the farmhouse where she first lived in the Lake District, are both open to the public.
John Ruskin, the artist, writer and critic lived for the latter part of his life at Brantwood, which stands on the East Side of Coniston water. The house is now open to the public, and well worth a visit.
Several other literary heroes are associated with the Lake District, including Hugh Walpole, Arthur Ransome, Harriet Martinique, and more recently, the poet Norman Nicholson.