"To the Lakes!": Historical Meal and Walk

Wordsworth Grasmere, winner of the Cumbria Tourism Award 2023 for ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ are planning to recreate the experience of a 1792 tourist with an historical meal and guided walk up Helm Crag on Saturday 9th September.

Jeff Cowton, Principal Curator & Head of Learning of Wordsworth Grasmere, said:

‘In ‘re-walking’ this route, we plan to gain a greater appreciation of what the early Lake District explorers did, and how they did it. We also hope to better understand how the experiences of the early tourists have shaped our own appreciation of the Lake District’

This event will be filmed and will appear as part of a trilogy of short films at Kendal Mountain Festival in November 2023.

Captain Joseph Budworth made a pedestrian tour of the Lakes in 1792, enjoying a hearty meal at Robert Newton’s inn in Grasmere before climbing nearby Helm Crag. As he noted, ‘The projecting point looked formidable … not less so … from having a full bellyful’. Budworth made it onto the ‘pinnacle’, an achievement his guide remarked not having seen done previously by a ‘stranger’ (tourist). This event seeks to recreate Budworth’s pre-walk meal and his ascent of Helm Crag.

The event is based Budworth’s account of his tour, first published in 1792 as A Fortnight’s Ramble to the Lakes in Westmoreland, Lancashire, and Cumberland, and was intended as a ‘Journeying Companion’ for the increasing numbers of tourists to the area seeking an alternative to travelling to the Alps through revolutionary France.

Using original research and Budworth’s description of his meal, food historian and demonstration chef John Crouch will recreate the menu as accurately as possible and will explain the history, sourcing and preparation of the dishes.

‘After as good and well-dressed a dinner, at Robert Newton’s, as man could wish, we set out to surmount the steep ascent of Helm Crag …’

After the meal at Wordsworth Grasmere, which will finish around 2pm, attendees have the option of joining our team of experts and costumed performers as they retrace Budworth’s ascent of Helm Crag, including readings from his original account of his walk.

Saturday 9 September, 12pm, tickets £30 (The ticket is for the cost of the meal and participation in the walk is not compulsory). To book tickets: www.wordsworth.org.uk

Credit: ‘Historical Tourists’ Wordsworth Grasmere
Credit: ‘Historical Tourists’ Wordsworth Grasmere