• Saving the red squirrels of the Lake District

    While visiting Grasmere you may have spotted a number of red squirrels running in and around the village.

    Once a popular sight and the only native species in England, red squirrels have suffered a major decline. Since the introduction of the grey squirrel, red squirrels have dropped from around three and half million to an estimated one hundred and twenty thousand.

    Helping to protect the red squirrels are the Grasmere Red Squirrel Group, who work with Allan Bank to make Allan Bank their ideal home. Supplementing the red squirrel’s diet, Allan Bank puts out monkey nuts and sunflower seeds every morning into their special feeders. They help to monitor the population and keep an eye out for any sick or injured squirrels.

    As well as the Grasmere Red Squirrel Group, there are a number of groups in and surrounding Cumbria all with the same purpose to ‘protect the red squirrel’.

    To find your nearest group visit:


    To find out more or to see how you can show your support visit:



  • Rydal

    Walking distance: 2.2 miles - 47 minutes

    Rydal is a small village that lies along the main road between Ambleside and Grasmere. Rydal was originally part of Grasmere until it gained parish status in 1826. The name Rydal comes from the Old Norse meaning ‘valley where rye was grown’.

    Rydal Water lies between Nab Scar and Loughrigg Fell and is one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District at 3/4 of a mile long. However, it remains very popular because of its connections to poet William Wordsworth. Wordsworth and his family lived in Rydal Hall till his death in 1850. The rash field next to the churchyard is known as 'Dora's Field', named after Wordsworth's daughter, Dora. Daffodils have been planted in the field in memory of Dora, who died in 1847.

  • St Oswald's Church

    St Oswald’s Church is the parish church of Grasmere. The church is named after St Oswald, a 7th century Christian King of Northumberland. The parish church of Grasmere, Rydal and Langdale have their own sperate gate to the church yard. St Oswald's Church is the resting place of William Wordsworth and his family. Near the organ is a glass case containing Wordsworth’s prayer book and the tombstones of Wordsworth and his family can be found in the church graveyard. St Oswald's offers worship, music, poetry and celebrations today, as well as superb views of the fells that can be seen through the clear east window.

    To find out more about St Oswald’s Church visit https://www.achurchnearyou.com/church/12407/

  • Allan Bank - National Trust Property

    Allan Bank is a large Georgian house overlooking the village of Grasmere, once home to the late poet William Wordsworth. The house is perched on a rocky hillside above the village with the view of a craggy fell behind.

    In 1808, Wordsworth and his wife Mary moved into Allan bank with their three children. Also living with them was Mary’s sister and their literacy acquaintances, Thomas De Quincy and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They lived in the house for two years but moved out shortly after as the chimneys smoked excessively and arguments with the landlord took place. The house was brought in 1915 by Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, a founder of the National Trust. He brought the house after he retired and spent his retirement in the picturesque village of Grasmere. The house was left to the National Trust in 1920 after his passing.

    In March 2011, a huge fire broke out at Allan Bank, one of the largest fires Grasmere has ever seen. After the fire, the National Trust decided that the house should be restored and open to the public. The house has undergone an extensive restoration project with the building being left as a blank canvas for visitors to decide it’s future.

    Jeremy Barlow, the National Trust’s General Manager for the Central and East Lakes, explained how visitors can influence the appearance of the house;

    “This won’t be like other historic houses – you won’t find Wordsworth’s spectacles laid on a desk in his study. In each of the rooms we’ve given our visitors hints about the fascinating history of this lovely home and the chance to be creative in the way so many of it’s former occupants were.

    Each of the rooms of the house has been given a theme. The framed artists of the Heaton Copper family, who have a gallery in Grasmere village, have helped create the art room where visitors will be inspired by sketches of Allan Bank and the Lake District. In the room where Wordsworth once slept, we’ll be encouraging visitors to help us design the planting of the gardens, while song lyrics and famous quotes will inspire the writing on the wall – literally – in the literature room. Interior designers can get arty and even help influence the future paint colours of the interior, and there will be some intriguing ways of bringing the outdoors indoors in yet another of the interactive rooms”.

    The house is open most days during the summer and only a short period during winter. To avoid disappointment please check the opening times through the link provided.

    To find out more about Allan Bank and to plan your visit, visit:


  • Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Shop

    Aside from it’s connections to poet William Wordsworth, Grasmere is also famous for it’s gingerbread. The famous ‘Grasmere Gingerbread’ is made using a ‘special recipe’ created by Sarah Nelson. Victorian cook, Sarah Nelson, invented 'Grasmere Gingerbread' in 1854 in the village from which it gets its name. A unique, spicy – sweet cross between a biscuit and cake, it’s reputation quickly spread and is now enjoyed by food lovers all over the world. Visitors of Grasmere are greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly baked gingerbread coming from The Gingerbread Shop. Aside from selling the famous ‘Grasmere Gingerbread’, the shop also sells it’s own award winning rum butter, toffee, fudges, chocolates, conserves, Kendal Mint Cake and more.

    Who was Sarah Nelson and how did she come to make the famous Grasmere Gingerbread?

    Sarah Nelson was born in 1815 in the small village of Bowness of Windermere. One of two children, Sarah had a younger sister called Ann. Both Ann and Sarah had limited education available to them where learning the art of domesticity was the best gift their mother could give them. During the 19th Century, skivvying for wealthy families was one of the few realistic carers for working class women.

    Working in local big houses Sarah learnt as much as she could, observing the working ways of higher placed and more skilled staff. She eventually worked her way up to the position of cook in a Kendal household. During her time as a cook, Nelson became a creative cook adding to her skills, where she then moved to a household in Penrith. It was there she met her soon to be husband, Wilfred Nelson. They went on to have three children, a son and two daughters. Sadly, their son fell ill to cholera and later died, both Sarah and Wilfred were devastated. Fearing their daughters may get ill too, they moved to the picturesque village of Grasmere.

    Despite being a long distance from major towns and cities, Sarah and Wilfred pulled through. Wilfred worked as a grave digger in St Oswald’s Churchyard and for a local builder whilst Sarah took on washing, cooking and baking for larger houses in the District. Working for Dale Lodge, the seasonal home of Lady Maria Farquhar, Sarah stocked her pantry with cakes and biscuits. As well as preparing savoury dishes for the mistress of the house, Sarah stocked her pantry with homemade cakes and biscuits.

    The exact time of which Sarah Nelson made her famous gingerbread is unknown but is believed to have been made during the winter of 1854. Neither a biscuit nor a cake but somewhere in-between, no-one had ever tasted anything similar before. Still working at Dale Lodge, Sarah began selling slices of ‘Grasmere Gingerbread’ wrapped in parchment to villagers and tourists outside her home.

    As the 19th Century wore on, Sarah was known as ‘Baker and Confectioner of Church Cottage’. Sarah placed her handwritten secret recipe in a local bank vault to keep it safe. The recipe is still kept secret today and is the same recipe Nelson used to make her famous gingerbread. Sarah passed away in 1904, aged 88, but her legacy lives on which sees her famous gingerbread being made to the present day.

  • Local Artist Christine Shaw

    Local artist Christine Shaw will be displaying her artwork at Allan Bank in Grasmere from the 4th April till the end of May. Christine has combined fine pen and ink with Japanese papers to create striking original pieces of art. The artwork can be brought with a percentage of the sales going towards supporting Allan Bank for the future.

    To find out more about the event visit


    Our social media assistant, Holly Goddard contacted Christine to find out more about the exhibition and her work. 

    A brief description of yourself and your work

    Christine Shaw

    'I was Born in Glasgow, Scotland where I studied Textile Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee graduating in 1979. I then moved to Manchester to study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Clothing Technology. Having completed my studies, I moved to the Lake District to take up an offer of seasonal work in Grasmere and never left. Having recently retired from our family business designing and retailing fabrics and knitwear which were exported around the World I am enjoying having time to combine two of my favourite things, Japan and Art. Many of my customers were Japanese and I found the culture fascinating. I like to combine Japanese paper with fine pen drawing using Rotring Pen or Derwent Pens and pencils which are made locally, so feel I am mixing a little of the Lake District with Japan. Although I do have a few Limited Edition Risograph prints for sale most of my work is original, I like the concept of someone being able to purchase a unique work of art.'

    Is there anything in particular that inspires your work?

    'I think  my Artist statement says it all. I love the Lake District and also Japan. We used to have a little group in Grasmere of Japanese working in the area and those of us trying to learn the language. We had Damson (instead of Cherry blossom viewing) Moon viewing parties and lots of cookery fun. Having originally trained as a textile designer Japan has everything I adore, stunning texts and kimono fabrics, washiest paper, exquisite stationery, pens and pencils.'

     Have displayed your work at Allan Bank in the past?

    'I did work at Allan Bank when it opened as a property and was there for several years. It is a place that gets under your skin and I am happy to be able to help raise money for the upkeep of this property through my art work. I have previously exhibited at Case Art in Glasgow and a solo exhibition at National Trust Church Stile in Grasmere.'

    Christine’s work is available from the Bumblebee Gallery in Kendal and will be available later this year at Beck Steps Gallery in Grasmere. To find out more about the Bumblebee Gallery visit


    Christine also works part time at the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere. To find out more about the Heaton Cooper Studio visit


    Alternatively, you can follow Christine on Twitter @cragchris or email  cragchris@msn.com

    Christine also writes a series of blogs on Grasmere village, the Lake District and her art which can be found below




    Christine has done a lot for Greens over the years and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her ongoing support.

  • Red Bank from White Moss

    Located in the beautiful Lake District we are surrounded by a number of breath – taking walks for you to explore.

    Take a morning stroll to Red Bank from White Moss near Ambleside. The walk takes you along Loughrigg Terrace and through the beautiful woodland of Red Bank. On return come across the calm waters of Grasmere and Grasmere Lake. Grasmere is one of the most popular villages in the lakes and is home to lake poet William Wordsworth. Loughrigg Terrace is located between Grasmere and Rydal and is known for its stunning views of bluebells between spring and summer.

    For a further insight into this walk and directions please visit


  • Stockghyll Force - Ambleside

    Located in the beautiful Lake District we are lucky to be surrounded by a number of breath-taking waterfalls such as Stockghyll Force.

     A short and sweet walk from the heart of Ambleside. The waterfall is known as a hidden gem where it is invisible on a map but easy to find if you know the way. The stream that starts the walk can be found next door to Cunningham’s outdoor shop located in Ambleside.

    Stockghyll force flows into the River Rothay which drains eventually into Windermere. Windermere has a heavenly industrialised past and used to be nicknamed Rattle Rhyll. Many of the old mill buildings can still be seen in Ambleside with some of them now seen as local shops. The old mill buildings used to produce bobbins for silk and cotton thread in the process of making wool.

    To find the falls can be difficult to find although a friendly local will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

    For a further insight into this walk, including directions please visit:


  • Grasmere and Rydal Water

    Located in the bustling village of Grasmere we are surrounded by a number of walks for you to explore.

    On this walk come across some stunning views and landmarks of Grasmere and Rydal water. The walk takes you on The Coffin Route which was the route taken to carry the dead to St Oswald’s church in Grasmere. Grasmere is one of the most popular villages in the lakes and is home to lake poet William Wordsworth.

    Rydal water is one of the smallest lakes in the Lake District but makes up for it with its connections to lake poet William Wordsworth. Steps leading up to the lake come across ‘Wordsworth’s seat’ a favourite viewpoint of Wordsworths. The lake is tightly enclosed between the steep slopes of Loughrigg Fell and the Fairfield Forceshoe.

    For a further insight into this walk and directions please visit


  • Silver How

    Have a couple of hours spare or want to make the most of the weather, why not take a walk to Silver How.

    Starting from Grasmere village the walk passes by Allan Bank, the temporary home of poet William Wordsworth and his family. On route climb through towering juniper bushes and cross a high plateau taking in the stunning views of The Langdale Pikes, Bow Fell and the Band, Pike of Bisco, and Helm Crag. Bow Fell is one of the popular fells which features a circular route via the Band. Pike of Bisco lies between the summit of Wrynose Pass and the Oxendale branch of Great Langdale. The northwest end of the summit once had a large cairn but now a much smaller cairn stands in its place.

    For a further insight into this walk, including directions please visit: