Monday 28th July 2013: Hawkshead, The Lake District

Roll up, Roll up for the Magical Literary Tour! (See what happened there ;-)

Twelve years after graduating with a degree in English Literature, I finally managed to visit some of the stomping grounds of The Romantics. After explaining to Rob that I didn't mean we had to start looking for Simon-le-Bon and Tony Hadley, we began our Magical Literary Tour. First Stop: Hawkshead.

We decided to pay Hawkshead Grammar School a quick visit which initially felt a little like a Busman's Holiday until I walked through the door and realised that education in eighteenth century Britain did not remotely look like education today. 10 hours of lessons; on wooden benches; full of males. I could only imagine what the National Union of Teachers would say about such a set up.

Wordsworth - you rebel you!
I also discovered that Hawkshead Grammar School's most famous pupil, William Wordsworth, was a bit of a rebel as there was graffiti at his desk where he had carved his name into the wooden bench where he studied. At least he only carved his name into the wooden bench. More often than not, I have taught in classrooms where the graffiti often involves expletives and a few poor spelling mistakes (this is very disheartening for an English teacher when a pupil spells the word 'phuck' on the back of someone else's chair).

Hawkshead truly personified the quaint, beautiful yet under-stated English village. Among the quirky shops and pubs which are shrouded and protected by the beauty of the mountains, there is a special sense of history about it. This adventure is really beginning to heat up!

A very proud moment at Wordsworth's desk