Excursion One - Wordsworth House and Garden & Naworth Castle*
We head to the pretty town of Cockermouth to visit Wordsworth House and Garden. Birthplace and childhood home of William Wordsworth, this fine Georgian house is presented as it would have been when Wordsworth lived here and we experience late 18th-century life on our out-of-hours guided tour. The garden is planted as it would have been in the poet’s day with 18th-century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers.
Afterwards, we visit the romantic medieval Naworth Castle, the private ancestral home of the Howard family. A border stronghold dating back to 1335, the castle was remodelled in the 16th and 17th centuries. Almost destroyed by a devastating fire in 1844, restoration began in 1850 but the interiors were the work of the 9th Earl of Carlisle who counted many of the eminent Pre Raphaelites, including William Morris, among his friends.
Excursion Two - Rydal Mount, Dove Cottage & Ambleside
We start with a visit to Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's family home for the greater part of his life from 1813 until his death in 1850. Lying between Ambleside and Grasmere, the house commands glorious views of Lake Windermere and retains a lived-in, family atmosphere plus portraits, personal possessions and first editions of the poet's work.
Next is Dove Cottage, home to Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808 and his first family home. Little changed since Wordsworth’s tenure, the story of the house and family is vividly told here, with many of Wordsworth’s furniture and possessions on display.
We finish the day in the bustling town of Ambleside situated on the northern shores of Lake Windermere where we have free time to explore at leisure. There’s also a chance to view the quirky National Trust-owned Bridge House, standing over Stock Beck.
Excursion Three - Hadrian’s Wall & Wallington
The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall as a fortification across Britain some two thousand years ago. We’ll explore part of this fascinating archaeological site before visiting Housesteads Roman Fort, Britain’s most complete Roman fort. Wander through the ruins of this ancient hilltop fortress and visit the fascinating museum, which gives an insight into the life of a Roman soldier.
We continue on to Wallington, the much-loved home to generations of the unconventional Trevelyan family. Fans of the Pre-Raphaelites will love Wallington’s Central Hall, decorated to resemble an Italian courtyard. Built towards the close of the 17th century, the rather plain Palladian exterior hides an interior brimming with interest, including wonderful collections of ceramics, paintings and needlework.
*Please note: On 14th May and 10th September departures, Naworth Castle is unavailable. It will be replaced by a visit to Tullie House Museum.