My aunt and I had a Beatrix Potter themed trip to the Lakes a few years ago. We stayed in Bowness-on-Windermere (see the Field House Guest House for a B&B recommendation) so we were close to the ferry the next morning for an early start at Hill Top Farm. Having read all the Beatrix Potter books as a child, I also remember many of the pictures. While touring Hill Top, it was interesting to see all the rooms and furnishings that inspired the drawings. They even had some of the books out on display showing how realistic her drawings are.
Hill Top isn’t a large property and I am thankful that we were not there in high season as I can imagine that it would get quite congested then. Our next stop was the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead where we learned more about Potter’s work in helping to create the Lake District National Park. The Gallery is in the building that used to be the office of Potter’s husband, William Heelis. On display in the Gallery are many of her original drawings and watercolours. Her accuracy and attention to detail are amazing! When in Hawkshead, we also visited the “Hawkshead Grammar School Museum”:http://www.hawksheadgrammar.org.uk/ and the church on the hill. The school dates back to the 1600s and we saw William Wordsworth’s name engraved on his desk. The views of the fells and countryside from the top of the cemetery were beautiful. And, if you want to do some shopping, there is also the flagship shop for Hawkshead outdoor gear – always a favourite of mine. I first discovered Hawskhead clothes in Inverness and was delighted to be able to go to the home store.
Back in Bowness-on-Windermere, we visited the World of Beatrix Potter. The visit starts with a five-minute film about the Tales of Beatrix Potter, there are 3D recreations of Potter’s Tales depicted in a walk through the countryside “complete with sights, sound and even smells!” to quote the brochure, and interactive virtual walks displayed on large screens. There is also a pretty tea shop with indoor and outdoor seating which includes a lovely sculpture capturing the characters from Beatrix Potter’s stories.
Hill Top Farm
Hawkshead, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0LF
Beatrix Potter Gallery
Hawkshead, Cumbria, LA22 0NS
The World of Beatrix Potter
The Lake District, UK