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Book of the month: Good Run Guide

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Wander Wordsworth's Lakes. © Stephen Meese

To mark the release of our new guidebook, Lake District Trail Running: 20 off-road routes for trail and fell runners (published 1 July), this month, we’re taking a wistful-Wednesday look at one of our past guidebooks, Good Run Guide

Written by experienced runners Louise Piears and Andy Bickerstaff, this is a companion guide to some of the great running spots that can be found in the most scenic locations in England and Wales. The route we’ve chosen to share takes you through William Wordsworth’s old stamping ground in Grasmere. 

Wander Wordsworth’s Lakes

Two homes, two lakes, a fell and a village
Distance: 7.15 miles/11.50 km | Hilly | EXTREME
Flat equiv.: 8.50 miles/13.68 km | Climb rate: 50m/mile
Terrain: Trail, fell and lane
Parking: Car park, southern end of Grasmere village
Post code: LA22 9SJ | Grid Ref: NY 339072
Start: Car park, Grasmere village

'William Wordsworth famously wandered the Lake District ‘lonely as a cloud’ and described Grasmere as the ‘loveliest spot that man hath ever found’.

These days there is little chance of being lonely anywhere in the Lakes, yet it is still rather lovely as this run ably demonstrates. As you may have guessed this run has a strong William Wordsworth theme and passes through much of his favourite countryside and by two of his homes. It combines reasonably flat lakeside paths with rougher, higher paths giving great views over Rydal Water, Grasmere and Grasmere village.

Facilities and safety
Parking is available in the car park at the start, at the southern end of the village. There is a multitude of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs in the village, and the churchyard with Wordsworth’s grave is very close to the start. An alternative start point, useful in high season when Grasmere gets very crowded, is the car park at the western end of Rydal Water.
The first part of this run is on road, followed by easy running around Rydal Water until some very steep climbing on rough trails. The final descent is on steep and rocky but well-defined paths.

Interesting information
This run passes Dove Cottage, the home of Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808 and Rydal Mount, his home from 1813 until his death in 1850. Also on the route, one of his favourite watering holes – the Swan Hotel – used to charge his creative juices. Apparently, while staying with a friend he took the dog out for ‘long walks’ in the evening. One day he and his friend popped in to the Swan for some refreshment to be greeted by the barman ‘Hello Mr Wordsworth, not got the dog with you today?’

Wander Wordsworth's Lakes map.

Click HERE to read more about the Good Run Guide.

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