“The house was stunning and we all loved it. Our favourite part was exploring and getting lost in the woods…”
This is from a thank-you letter sent to the Wordsworth family after the recent poetry awards for young people. Christopher Wordsworth and his mother, Susan, were here to present the prizes. And among the schools attending was a group from Bewcastle School, north of Carlisle. So far north that they are only six miles from the Scottish border.
So the Wordsworths were thrilled to receive a batch of letters from the children, several of whose poems were commended at the award ceremony. Especially the note that “we really enjoyed the drinks and nibbles because we were really hungry after our long drive”.
The prize-giving event is an opportunity for local people – well, Cumbrians, if not necessarily local – to visit what many see as a tourist attraction. “It’s on our doorstep yet we’ve never been before,” said one parent from Ambleside, who now recommends Rydal Mount to all her b&b guests.
And we always invite the youngsters to explore the gardens that William Wordsworth created, and which we are continually restoring in accordance with his plans. He would be thrilled to see the grounds being explored by young people loving the chance to run wild if just for a short time. They agreed with Dorothy Wordsworth who said: “Rydal Mount is the nicest place in the world for children”.
“It was like fairies live in the garden,” wrote Niamh from Bewcastle School. “My favourite part was when we ran away from the teachers.”
She sent us copies of pictures of daffodils, and the famous poem in their own handwriting, which she and her friends made, inspired by William Wordsworth.