Christmas at Rydal Mount

In spite of the rain on Saturday, we spent a blissful couple of hours mooching around Rydal Mount, the final home of William Wordsworth, which is now back in the ownership of Wordsworth's descendants.

Rydal Hall in the summer, not in the pouring rain!

Rydal Mount hosted a Christmas Fair, with stalls, carols and food. It was so lovely to wander around, enjoying local produce and sampling some of the food on offer. There were braziers and firepits to provide warmth and glasses of mulled wine.

We were also able to stroll through the gardens and walk in the footsteps of William Wordsworth and Isabella Lickbarrow, on the Isabella terrace. Isabella Lickbarrow was a contemporary of Wordsworth and her poetry and conversation frequently inspired him. Lickbarrow wrote topographical verse as well as a poems concerned with the effects of the Napoleonic Wars. Some of her best poems refer to local beauty spots. One of my favourites is On Esthwaite Water:

The lovely landscape on its sides,
With ev'ning's soft'ning hues imprest,
Shar'd in the gen'ral calm, and gave
Sweet visions of repose and rest.

Inverted on the waveless flood,
A spotless mirror smooth and clear,
Each fair surrounding object shone
In softer beauty imag'd there.

Brown hills, and woods of various shades,
Orchards and sloping meadows green,
Sweet rural seats, and shelter'd farms,
Were in the bright reflector seen.

We also enjoyed reacquainting ourselves with the house and many of the Wordsworth family treasures. Having recently read Polly Atkin's book Recovering Dorothy, I found Dorothy Wordsworth's bedroom particularly poignant, and could imagine the robin perched on the window sill, as Dorothy lay in bed.

We completed the day with a trip up to Grasmere and a look around Sam Read's Bookshop and a stroll around Ambleside, enjoying the Christmas lights and decorations.

A very lovely Christmassey day!