William Wordsworth's Dove Cottage reopens after restoration

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image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionWilliam Wordsworth lived at Dove Cottage at the start of the 19th Century

The Lake District home of poet William Wordsworth has reopened after being restored as part of a multi-million pound project.

The work at Dove Cottage, near Grasmere, aims to provide an enhanced experience for visitors.

Plans to relaunch in April to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth had to be dropped after tourist attractions closed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Wordsworth wrote his famous Daffodils poem while living at the property.

He was there with his sister Dorothy from 1799 to 1808 and penned the line "I wandered lonely as a cloud" after being inspired by flowers the pair had seen on the shores of Ullswater.

The building had been closed since last year to allow the work to be carried out.

It included fitting a new roof and sourcing items of furniture, although the main focus of the revamp has been to "make it feel less like a museum", a spokeswoman said.

image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionRestoring the interior saw experts match paint scrapings and find or make furniture more in keeping with the Wordsworths' time there
image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionEveryday items such as newspapers and tea sets aim to give a sense of life at the cottage
image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionVisitors will eventually be able to touch objects and sit on furniture, although coronavirus restrictions currently prevent it

The Wordsworth Trust - the charity responsible for preserving the site - is also rebranding as Wordsworth Grasmere.

It said visitors will be able to "step back in time to get a feeling of daily life as the Wordsworths would have known, and experience a humble home where extraordinary writing and thinking took place".

Curator Jeff Cowton, one of a small number of staff to have had a Dove Cottage door key in recent months, said it had been a "privilege" to spend some of lockdown in the property, which sits just outside Grasmere in the hamlet of Town End.

It is open Saturdays to Wednesdays, although all visits must be booked online as places are limited.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, £6.2m is being spent "sympathetically" expanding the site.

The existing museum will almost double in size and is due to reopen next year with a viewing platform offering views of Grasmere Vale.

image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionA recorded soundtrack of daily life will accompany visitors as they make their way through the rooms
image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionAn introductory film will provide an insight into the Wordsworths' years at Dove Cottage
image copyrightGareth Gardner
image captionReplica manuscripts of their renowned work will be on show

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