Posted By The Bower Inn

Wordsworth wanderings in Dorothy's diary days

There is very little written about Dorothy Wordsworth but we're doing our best to celebrate the sister of the celebrated Romantic Movement poet.

From next month (December, 2016) onwards we're offering guests details of Dorothy's walks in the Quantocks when she lived in the area in the 1790s with her brother.

She was a very interesting character and wrote a fascinating diary about her time in Somerset including details of the various walks she undertook.

Dorothy and William lived at Alfoxden House/Park near the village of Holford, which is now called Alfoxton, for a year. It was here that William met up again with his fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was living with his wife Sarah at Nether Stowey, and the trio became inseparable.

The three strode across the Quantocks daily and many of the views here, and on Exmoor, helped inspire Coleridge to write several of his most famous poems including the Ancient Mariner. Dorothy was also prolific during this period but in a different way.

She wrote in one entry of her Alfoxden Journal: 'Walked before dinner up the Coombe, to the source of the brook, and came home by the tops of the hills; a showery morning, at the hill-tops; the view opened before us very grand.'

We've now recreated some of the walks Dorothy would have accomplished during her time in the area so that anyone wishing to re-trace her footsteps when they are staying with us from December onwards can.

The main walk starts near Alfoxton Park, which is now largely uninhabited and partly unsafe, and includes Holford Combe and the dome of Dowsborough, a hillfort where Dorothy would lie in the sunshine with 'Col', according to her diary.

Coleridge found Dorothy lively, quick-witted and sensitive and, although the poet neglected his wife in favour of spending time with the Wordsworths, there is no suggestion of romance between the pair just companionship.

After a day of walking, guests who stay here can relax in front of the wood burning stove in the bar and warm their toes or soak their feet in one of the en suite bathrooms in our 16 luxury bedrooms.

We provide traditional country breaks with contemporary facilities. Guests can enjoy delicious food, sourced from suppliers and producers that are located as near to us as possible, and experience a good night's sleep in one of our cosy beds, which have Hypnos mattresses and duck down or synthetic duvets, or vintage eiderdowns, combined with fine linens..

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