Lake District Towns and Villages
Rydal in the Lake District National Park
Rydal is situated between the larger villages of Ambleside and Grasmere, in a picturesque setting surrounded by wooded fells rising sharply and offering great views of it's lovely lake, Rydal Water, and surrounding mountains. It consists of a few houses, a church, a hall and Rydal Mount, the home of Wordsworth for over 30 years.
Rydal Mount is a popular attraction, open to the public it was the family home of William Wordworth from 1813 until his death in 1850. It contains family portraits, furniture, some of the poets personal possessions and some of the first editions of his work. There is a large garden, shaped by Wordsworth, and a souvenir shop.
Wordsworth and his family worshipped at St Mary's church which was built in 1824. Wordsworth was a church warden here for a year in the 1830's. Near the church is a small piece of land which Wordworth bought and dedicated to his daughter. Known as Dora's Field it belongs to the National Trust and is always open to the public. Wordsworth planted the field with daoffodils in her memory.
Rydal Hall, is a 16th century building, home to the Fleming family, who also owned Rydal Mount, for generations. It was heavily renovated in Victorian times and containd gardens which were laid out by Thomas Mawson on classical lines, with supurb views towards Rydal Water. The house is now a conference centre but the gardens are open to the public.
Nab Cottage, a 17th century oak beamed farmhouse, formerly home to the poet De Quincey, and later Hartley Colridge lies beside Rydal Water itself, offers Bed and Breakfast.
There is a very plesant walk along the southern shore of Rydal Water up to Grasmere. For best views of the lake, try Loughrigg on the opposite side of the valley or follow the 'coffin trail' which starts directly opposite Rydal Mount and runs under Nab Scar to Grasmere.