couple taking photos at alcock tarn in grasmere

A Local’s Guide to Grasmere

8 March 2021 Local area

Grasmere is a small village with plenty to offer visitors to the Lake District. Here we give you a locals guide!

Despite being a small village, Grasmere is one of the most popular villages in the Lake District. Many visitors to Park Cliffe choose to visit this quaint town during their stay. Here we give a local’s perspective on the best things to do in Grasmere. You’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding where to grab a bite to eat or a souvenir to take home!

Visit Grasmere shops

Grasmere has a small but wide range of local – and mostly independent shops – to take a look in. From Grasmere’s very own Gingerbread shop  next to St Oswalds church and Grasmere Chocolate Cottage for those with a sweet tooth to The Attic and Heaton Cooper for all your stylish homeware needs. The Herdy Shop (iconic in the Lake District) and Sam Read’s bookshop to pick up your next holiday read are both firm favourites with visitors. There’s also a  selection of outdoor shops in case you’re missing a layer or two or are in need of new walking boots!

grasmere gingerbread shop

st oswalds church

Grasmere garden village

Grasmere Garden Village is on the smaller side but aims to cater for all your needs, whether you have a small allotment or a large garden. As well as a selection of evergreen shrubs, ornamental specimens and beddings plants, they also have a wide range of pots and planters, books and bulbs, garden supplies and even some clothing and footwear.

grasmere garden village

Coffee stop

If you’ve forgotten your flask and are in need of a hot ‘cuppa coffee or tea, then the cafes in Grasmere will soon sort you out. If you stay long enough you might find yourself ordering lunch as well! Our recommendations are Emma’s Dell and Mathilde’s Cafe.

tea and cake in grasmere village

Time for a stroll

Grasmere is a fantastic starting point for a number of scenic walks. Here we list some of our personal favourites to enjoy during your touring or camping holiday in The Lakes. There are plenty of routes for all ages and abilities.

Helm Crag (approx. 6km)

Better known as ‘The Lion and the Lamb’ as from afar it resembles the iconic ‘Lion and Lamb’. This is an interesting fell to hike up with steep parts, crags and a blustery top requiring moderate effort. This could be done in a morning or afternoon of a day trip to Grasmere.

Loughrigg (approx. 8km)

Not quite a fell as Wainwight recognises, calling it a ‘midget mountain’. More of a large hill that a mountain compared to other fells recognised in his books. Mostly gentle and undulating the hill is a steady walk, but do be careful in bad weather as the different paths can become confusing.

Easedale Tarn (approx. 8km)

A good walk for the family – the route starts off through farmland and meadows before you start the ascent which is mostly made up of stone steps until you reach the tarn, and by then you might fancy a dip in the water! Perfect for a paddle (or swim, if you dare) in the summer, Easedale Tarn is a good picnic stop or a stepping stone onto a bigger mountain day as it gives you height to start to climb fells such as Sergeant Man.

The Coffin Route

A relatively easy walk between Ambleside and Grasmere is to take the old Coffin Road. It can be used to connect Fairfield and Hellvelyn to create a wider horseshoe. The Coffin Route was used in medieval times as an old corpse road to carry those who had died to the burial grounds in St Oswalds church in Grasmere. Sinister, we know, but you certainly won’t be encountering any more coffins on this route. Instead, you can enjoy the great views of Rydal water. To get back we would recommend one of the frequent buses that travel between Grasmere and Ambleside. Alternatively make the walk a circular route and coming back on the other side of Rydal walk.

Directions for the circular route.

The National Trust has recommended some excellent walks in Grasmere.

walking in grasmere

Visit the Park Cliffe blog for more inspiration on walks and days out in the Lakes.

Visit Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage is the former home of the famous romantic poet, William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. They lived in the house during the nineteenth century. The house has been preserved to look the way that the Wordsworths’ would have lived in the house all that time ago. Now, a tourist attraction and research centre, Dove Cottage also has an exhibition, café, gift shop and library with some of the earlier editions of Wordsworth’s work.

Visit Allan Bank

After leaving Dove Cottage, Wordsworth moved to Allan Bank where National Trust founder, Canon Rawnsley, also later resided. The house has a large garden and has been partially restored giving you an insight into the home it once was.

allen bank lake district

We hope you enjoy a day out in Grasmere during your stay at Park Cliffe. If you would like more information or things to do recommendations please contact our friendly reception team. They’d be more than happy to help.