Nate Chapman ’14 – Since taking English 218 with Dr. Herzog spring semester freshman year, I have maintained a passionate interest in Romantic era poetry. In fact, the class served as one of the main factors that led me to strongly consider, and eventually become an English major. Not only did the class put me on the path to my major, but it also instilled in me a desire to visit the Lake District, which served as home to William Wordsworth, as well as inspiration for many of the Romantic poets. I finally satisfied that desire.
After a long night (or perhaps an early morning describes it more adequately) out on a pub crawl through Brighton with Sussex staff, I awoke at 6 am and began waking up my group for the trip. We departed Falmer Station at 7:26am and began our journey northwest. We arrived in Windermere later that day, ate some lunch, and immediately began searching for activities. The tourist center had plenty of advice to offer, and next thing we knew, we were headed up a trail to a peak with an amazing view of Windermere. The pictures certainly don’t do the region’s beauty justice. It’s easy to see how so many famous poets became inspired by it.
From there we left Windermere and headed to Keswick for some dinner and to find our hostel. We woke early the next morning with intentions of climbing Latrigg, a mountain that proved much more difficult to hike than the one from the previous day. After that we rode the bus to Grasmere to visit Dove Cottage, one of the homes of William Wordsworth, as well as to see where he is buried. Experiencing Grasmere brought about a sort of surreal feeling, seeing these sites in person after learning about them so long ago. From there we did a little more site seeing before making our way back to Oxenholme station and traveling home.
Though visiting the Lake District brought about a feeling of accomplishment for finally seeing it in person, it also left me wanting to return. Hopefully I will get the opportunity to visit again sometime. For anyone interested in Wordsworth, the poem of choice seems to be I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, but my favorite is Ode on Intimations of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood.