William Gilpin published several Tour Journals and his book on Cumberland and Westmorland was published in 1772.

In 1775 the poet, Thomas Gray visited the area and  published a journal of his tour.

The first  true visitor’s guide was produced by Thomas West who, in 1778 published a route for visitors including advice on viewing the landscape. Opinions on the pomposity of certain aspects of “Romantic Tourism”  were satirised in ‘The Tour of Doctor Syntax’ by William Combe, published between 1809 and 1811, initially as articles in Ackerman’s ‘The Poetical Magazine’. These were published in book form in 1812 with illustrations by Thomas Rowlandson.    

In need of money in 1810 Wordsworth produced his guidebook and others followed. 

These Guides to the Lakes encouraged visitors and the area became particularly popular with the wealthy and privileged  who felt they could no longer safely take the traditional Grand Tour, Europe having become unstable due to various wars and uprisings.

The advent of metalled roads in 1770 had made travel much easier and the coming of the railway to Windermere in 1847 gave access to those from the industrial centres of the North of England and thus, tourism grew and developed to serve the needs of the visitors and so began the mass tourism we see today.

Haunted Rydal