Tag Archives: garden tour

William’s childhood garden is looking glorious again

19 Sep

Our head gardener, Amanda Thackeray, with her Cumbria in Bloom certificate.

September is a lovely month to enjoy the heritage walled garden that provided William Wordsworth with life-long inspiration. Stroll among the ripening apple trees, admire the changing colours and breathe in the fresh riverside air.

The garden was severely flooded last December courtesy of Storm Desmond, but – thanks to a great deal of hard work by our head gardener Amanda and her team – it’s looking fabulous once more. As a result, we’ve just been awarded Cumbria in Bloom’s prestigious County Chairman’s Rose Bowl for 2016.

Listen to some poetry on the summerhouse audio player as you watch the Derwent, Wordsworth’s ‘fairest of all rivers’, flow by. If it’s sunny, relax on a bench or we can lend you a rug. You might even like to bring a picnic – or you could get a takeaway from our café.

On Tuesday 20 and 27 September, Amanda will lead special tours at 11.30am. These are always popular and places are limited, so if you’d like to join her, please arrive in plenty of time.


Here comes the summer fun at Wordsworth House

10 Jul
American visitors

Looking the part: A family of American visitors get into the 18th-century spirit

Summer is a great time to visit Wordsworth House and Garden if you’re young – or young at heart – as we’ve got a packed programme of activities for all the family.

There are dressing up clothes for all ages and sizes – and lots of reproduction toys – waiting for you in the children’s bedroom. In the clerk’s office, you can write with a quill and ink, while in the kitchen, the servants are always delighted to get help with their chores.

In our newly recreated cellar, design and cut out your own pastry pie top, and in the revamped Wordsworth Room, you can read or write poetry, play word games and explore the dolls’ house.

There’s loads going on in the garden too, including the opportunity to create your very own 18th-century portrait against a beautiful backdrop – just borrow the outfit of your choice from the house and get into character!

Chris Jackson

In the frame: Visitor Chris Jackson creates his own 18th-century-style portrait

If you’ve got poetry in your soul or enjoy reading a bit of children’s verse, visit our amazing poetry tree in the small walled garden. And if inspiration strikes, you can even add your own contribution.

We’ve also got special additional activities each day from 20 July to 1 September.

On Saturdays, join us at 11.30am or 2.30pm, when the servants will be talking about how Georgians of all classes amused themselves. Then, why not try your hand at a game of cards or skittles 18th-century style?

There will be special talks and tastings, also at 11.30am and 2.30pm, every Sunday.

On Mondays, again at 11.30am and 2.30pm, there’s our very splendid new All-a-Buzz family garden activity. Learn about bugs, bees and butterflies – and taste some edible plants.


All-a-Buzz: Come and find out about bumblebees

On Tuesdays, head for the kitchen, roll up your sleeves and learn to make clapbread. Drop in any time between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

Herbs and hedgerows are the subject of our fascinating Wednesday talks (again at 11.30am and 2.30pm). From poisonous puddings to nettle cloth, find out about the bizarre ways the Georgians used herbs and foraged plants.

Thursdays are your chance to catch a pastry fish – get creative in the kitchen any time between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

And, finally, on Fridays, we all be taking a well-earned day off, as it’s the one day of the week that we’re closed!

Glorious garden tours

5 Jun

If you’re going to be in the Cockermouth area in June, why not pop along and join one of Amanda’s fascinating garden tours?

Come and meet Amanda and explore our lovely garden

Expert: Come and meet Amanda and explore our lovely garden

She will be showing groups round at 11.30am on Mondays June 10, 17 and 24. Numbers are strictly limited though – so get here in plenty of time!

Here are some pictures to whet your appetite…

Roses, lavender and snapdragons

Blooming gorgeous: Roses, lavender and snapdragons

Peony with Solomon's seal

Perfect petals: A peony with Solomon’s seal

Elegant: Aquilegia, or Granny's bonnet

Elegant: Aquilegia, or Granny’s bonnet

Season of mellow fruitfulness

6 Sep
One of the costumed servants picking apples for our working 18th-century kitchen

Harvest: One of the costumed servants picking apples for our working 18th-century kitchen

We keep finding apples with bite marks lying on the paths and in the beds – the Greenup’s Pippins look ripe and delicious because they’re a large variety, but as anyone who tastes one quickly realises, they need to spend a couple more weeks ripening. Hopefully, the Indian summer will last and do the trick.

A lot of people have been admiring our apple crop because, nationally, it’s been such a bad year for apples. Here we have the advantage of being fully walled, which helps protect the garden from the inclement weather, making a better environment for our pollinating insects.

The other advantage we have is that we grow a wide variety of cottage garden plants spread over a long season, providing an ideal habitat for insects, particularly bees, which are one of our main pollinators.

For those who haven’t got high walls, to boost next year’s apple crop, put in as many traditional cottage garden plants as you can. Globe thistle, borage, marjoram, cone flowers and hyssop are particularly popular with bees. For more ideas, have a look at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website.

The apples are a key feature of Amanda’s autumn garden tours, which are on every Wednesday in September at 11.30am – if you’re in the area why not drop in?

If you’re able to visit us on another day, we have fascinating talks in the house at 11.30am and 2.30pm every day. They’re given by the costumed servants, who will be premiering some new subjects this autumn including Meet the Bigwigs (the weird world of Georgian fashion), Capon Ale and Turnip Wine (the story of 18th-century drinking) and Etiquette and Excess (the glories of Georgian dining).

Heritage apples in Wordsworth House garden

Healthy crop: Heritage apples in Wordsworth House garden

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