A Literary Wonderland

Keswick has attracted great poets and artists for centuries. This is still reflected today in the town's street names such as Southey Street and Wordsworth Street.

The guest book for one house reads like a Who's Who of English Literature. Greta Hall, former home of Lake Poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey is now a family home. Southey described it as 'perhaps the finest single spot in England which commandsa view of mountains and lakes and woods superior to that in which I an now writing.'

Its visitors included William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Keats, Shelley, Sir Walter Scott, Ruskin, De Quincey and William Wilberforce.

Keswick is an ideal base to explore the places William Wordsworth lived. It is a short journey west to his childhood home - Wordsworth House in Cockermouth and south to Dove Cottage in Grasmere and Rydal Mount in Ambleside.

Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate when Robert Southey died in 1843. He  initially refused the honour, saying he was too old, but he accepted when Prime Minister Robert Peel assured him 'you shall have nothing required of you.' He kept his word and Wordsworth was the only Poet Laureate not to write any offical poetry.