All of the day time readings will take place in the reading room of the Jerwood Centre at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere.
The Reading Room is on the first floor but there is lift and a outside slope for access for wheelchairs or those with mobility issues. If you are coming in a chair, do let us know and we’ll make sure the room is set up to allow you easy access and appropriate space. If you foresee any other access issues or questions please get in touch – we’d like to make sure this is as comfortable and approachable an event as possible.
The reading room is temperature controlled as it houses the Wordsworths’ own library collection, as well as many other Romantic era editions, so even if it’s hot outside (not impossible in the Lakes in July) we’d recommend an extra layer or two if, like me, you’re a cold-blooded creature.
The tea and coffee and break-out space will be in the Lower Rotunda, which is directly opposite the ground-floor entrance to the Jerwood Centre.
Lunch is not provided, which is why we’ve allowed an hour and a half, so that if you wish to you can walk the short distance into the village to go to one of the many cafes or pubs. We heartily recommends Baldry’s and Greens. There is also a great cafe on site now at the Wordsworth Trust, which does a range of hot and cold food, and is less than 5 minutes walk from the event location.
If you bring a packed lunch you are welcome to eat it in the Lower Rotunda if it is wet out, or if you prefer to be indoors, or in the museum garden (behind the Jerwood Centre). Equally well, you might want to take your picnic on a little walk. The lake shore, for example, is less than 15 minutes walk from the site, and has plenty of nice spots to sit and and take in your surroundings.
Travel and Transport
For those coming by car, the Wordsworth Trust car park is directly off the main road into Grasmere (the A591), before you get to the village itself. There is a small charge (£1).
You can get to Grasmere by public transport, though it can be a little costly and time-consuming. The Stagecoach 555 and 599 buses stop just before the Wordsworth Trust car park on the way into the village from the south, and just opposite it from the North. You can get a day pass for all buses in the area for £10 (which will actually take you as far as Newcastle), but individual tickets from Windermere or Ambleside can be quite surprisingly expensive. The 555 goes all the way to Lancaster, through Kendal, so if you don’t mind sitting on the bus for 2 hours you can get to and from Lancaster for £10.
The closest train station to the south of Grasmere is Windermere. You can also travel to Penrith station, and Oxenholme Lake District. From Penrith you can take a bus to Keswick, then can the 555. From Oxenholme you need to go into Kendal town centre to catch the 555.
We’d encourage anyone who is coming by car to think about whether they can help anyone else out by car-sharing. If you are driving, have space in your car, and are willing to take passengers, please use the comments section here to make your availability known.
Accommodation and Longer Visits
Some of your may want to stay in Grasmere on the nights before and/or after the event. There are many places to stay in Grasmere, from holiday cottages to organic hotels, to b&bs, to hostels.
If you wish to extend your stay, you might be interested in other poetry events in the area. Simon Armitage is reading for the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere on June 30th, and Lancaster University has a conference on July 2-3 on World Authors and Translators in the Global Circulation of Capital which features a poetry reading from Mazen Maarouf.
There are, of course, many other wonderful things to spend your time on in and around Grasmere, not least the Wordsworth Trust itself, and the landscape that has been so influential to so many generations of poets.