To own and run one of the many Lake District hotels must be the second best job in the World. The top job in the World is to be a New Age Lake poet or better still to have enough money to be Lake poet in residence at a Lake District Hotel. The Lake District is the heart and spiritual home of the British Isles. It is a national park and area of outstanding natural beauty, but these words cannot do it justice. It is a place where every Brit should spend some time before they die. Even the words of the Lake poets themselves struggle to reflect the soul- restoring power of the woods, water and hills of the Lake district.
The Lake poets were in fact a distinct literary movement at the turn of the 19th century. A geographical subset of the new romantics long before Spandau Ballet or Duran Duran put pills on their tongues in search of heaven on Earth. Samuel Taylor Coleridge overused opium but could never quite get as high with it as he could at the sight of the Cumbrian landscape in autumn. William Wordsworth and Robert Southey were the two other leading lights of the Lake poets.
Coleridge’s favourite place on Earth was Greta Hall in Keswick; Robert Southey took up residence there after Coleridge left it. Coleridge said of this now famous Lake district hotel ‘I question if there be a room in England which commands a view of mountains and lakes and woods superior to that in which I am now writing.’ Greta Hall is now home to a family with the second best jobs in the World. It has 3 homely and very comfortable self catering residential wings and an en-suite bed and breakfast room.
Visitors get to see the world as William and Dorothy Wordsworth saw it. Not to mention one or two literary luminaries such as; Lord Byron, John Keats, Shelley, Sir Walter Scott, Sir George and Lady Beaumont, De Quincey, Dr. Arnold, Sir. John Stuart Mill, Robert Owen, William Wilberforce, Ruskin, Humphrey Davey, Lamb and Hazlitt. The appeal of Lake District hotels though does not lie in the accommodation so much as the timeless landscape. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon were filmed in Greta Hall in an episode of the BBC series ‘The Trip.
William Wordsworth is the best known of the Lake poets of course with his lonely cloud wanderings and hosts of golden daffodils. He was in fact born in Cockermouth and was irresistibly drawn back to his roots to live later at Dove Cottage in Grasmere. This is now, as it was then, a picture postcard, quintessentially English, chocolate box cottage. It is also now the home the Wordsworth museum and foundation. You can visit but you can’t stay there. But there is always that most famous of Lake District Hotels, the ‘Wordsworth’. This hotel is full of the old world Lake District charm and of course has those inspiring views from every window.