Dorothy Wordsworth Walks 12+

Deborah Sutton

Designed for iPhone

    • Free

iPhone Screenshots


When Dorothy Wordsworth moved to Dove Cottage at the edge of Grasmere in December 1799, meeting a woman walking alone would still have been unusual. She did her first long-distance walk with her brother William in 1795, when she was 23 years old, though her aunt had tried to dissuade her from ‘rambling about the country on foot’. Walking, for a respectable middle-class woman, was an activity considered unseemly at best, and dangerous at worst. Dorothy replied carefully, but sharply: ‘I rather thought it would have given my friends pleasure to hear that I had courage to make use of the strength with which nature has endowed me’.

After moving to Grasmere at the end of 1799, Dorothy spent a lot of her time walking. It was an almost daily activity, until illness began to restrict her mobility in 1828, when she was just 56. She completed several long-distance tours across Britain and Europe, and pioneered walks at home in the Lake District, too: she, with her friend Mary Barker, was the first woman recorded to have climbed England’s highest peak at Scafell Pike. Mostly, though, Dorothy’s excursions stayed close to home: she spent a lot of time walking between Grasmere and Ambleside, meeting friends, building new relationships, and – above all – documenting her vivid impressions of the changing landscape through which she moved.
With this app, our aim is to bring Dorothy’s words back to life in the places she was writing, and to offer her as a companion for your walks. William wrote of her that she gave him ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’, because she helped him see the everyday things around him in a new way, and to pay attention to moments or objects he may otherwise have ignored. We hope that these extracts from the journals and poetry Dorothy wrote in the eight years she lived at Dove Cottage will give you new ways of seeing and hearing too, and to introduce you to a version of Grasmere and Rydal you may not be familiar with – however much time you’ve spent here. Although Dorothy valued her walks alone, walking was, above all, a social activity for her – and we think she’d have been delighted to have your company as she shows you around her best-loved places.

To learn more about Dorothy Wordsworth, to experience first-hand life as Dorothy would have known it, and to see her manuscripts for yourself, head to the Wordsworths’ former 
home at Dove Cottage.

Co-produced by researchers at the University of Manchester with the Women in the Hills Network, and Wordsworth Grasmere. Audio recorded with Wordsworth Grasmere and Grasmere Women’s Institute.

App Privacy

The developer, Deborah Sutton, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Location
  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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