Relaxing among the roses in Wordsworth House garden by Val Corbett
Cockermouth’s Wordsworth House and Garden has been shortlisted for Cumbria Tourism’s Visitor Attraction of the Year.
Despite suffering severe flooding in December 2015 as a result of Storm Desmond, poet William’s birthplace and childhood home is a finalist, along with Mirehouse and Gardens at Bassenthwaite and Whitehaven’s Beacon Museum. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 21 June.
Zoe Gilbert, the National Trust property’s visitor experience manager, said: “We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted in this year’s Cumbria Tourism Awards. The house and garden team have done a huge amount of work over the past 18 months to make Wordsworth House and Garden even better than before, and it’s wonderful to have it recognised in this way.
“The house is showing the stunning Word-Hoard photographic exhibition, curated by Robert Macfarlane, and the garden that helped inspire William’s love of nature is looking really splendid again.”
Although the poet’s childhood playground was inundated by several feet of silty water at the end of 2015, it is awash with the heady scents of flowers and herbs once more.
Head gardener Amanda Thackeray said: “Being a walled garden, on a warm day the heat’s retained and all the smells are encapsulated, which makes it a joy to stroll around or simply sit on a bench or picnic on the grass.
“We have about ten heritage rose varieties. When they’re all in bloom, it’s a glorious sight and some of them are incredibly perfumed.”
Visitors keen to see for themselves why the judges were so impressed can take a guided garden tour with Amanda at 11.30am on Tuesdays in June, when they will also be able to meet the house’s new mini flock of Orpington and Silkie chickens. Or they can explore and enjoy the tranquillity at their own pace any day from Saturday to Thursday.
Meanwhile, anyone interested in finding out more about the joys and trials of conserving a Georgian garden can join Amanda at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27 June for a special talk accompanied by coffee and cake. Tickets cost £5 and booking is essential. To secure a place, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wordsworth House and Garden is on Main Street, Cockermouth CA13 9RX. It is open Saturday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm (last entry 4pm) until the end of October. *Adult £8.40, child £4.20, family £21; National Trust members free. (*Gift aid prices include a voluntary 10% donation. See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworth-house for standard admission prices.)