Follow in Beatrix Potter’s footsteps

Days out, Family

The Lake District is a literary haven, perfect for book fans of many fascinating genres and eras. One key author to the area, who has, and still does play a big part, is Beatrix Potter. Author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit and the series of books that followed, she based her books on the places she lived in the Lakes and others that had inspired her writing during her childhood years.

The Lakes are filled with references to her books, you can’t go far without hearing that this location was featured in such and such book. Below we’ve put together the best ways you can follow in her footsteps on your next visit to the Lakes, making sure you experience places from her life, the locations from her books and original drawings created for her stories all those many years ago!

See where she slept – Hill Top, near Hawkshead

In the village of Near Sawrey, just a few miles outside Hawkshead, Hill Top sits overlooking the beautiful Lakes countryside. Now part of the National Trust, like many of Beatrix’s attractions, there is plenty to see on your visit. The house itself has a timed ticket entry arrangement due to the compact size of the cottage and popularity with visitors, so make sure you get there a little early to make the most of the gardens before your allotted house visit. In each room you step back in time as many of the objects have remained untouched since Beatrix herself was in residence at the property, she left detailed instructions to how the cottage should be presented when she left it to the National Trust. See the rooms she slept in, cooked in, and worked in. You can almost picture Beatrix sat at her writing desk penning letters to Noel, her former governess’ eldest son, to whom she wrote with tales of her pets, including Peter Rabbit. On site there is also a small gift shop and the gardens, used in the many stories following Peter Rabbit.

Tip: Near Sawrey is a small village and parking is limited. The car park to Hill Top is just down the hill, a short walk from the cottage. You’ll need to park up, buy your ticket here and walk up to the house. The staff allow time on your tickets for you to get up the road. Be warned during busy periods there may be limited space for parking so get there early.

See her original art work – The Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead

Fans of her work will know the iconic watercolours of the characters in her stories. But all avid fans should definitely pay a visit to The Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead to see a selection of her original drawings. Although a small museum, the pieces on display are original pieces drawn during her lifetime. With a short introductory video to watch when you arrive and interactive displays showing you the history of each book, there’s something for all members of the family. Hear more about the conservation of the Lakes and how Beatrix has played her part in this.

Tip: Tickets are available across the street before you enter the gallery, so head straight there before the gallery itself. When you get into the gallery, make the most of the front desk team’s expertise as they know everything about Beatrix Potter and the Lakes. You’ll end back at the start after a small gift shop, so if you think of questions on the way around pick their brains on the way out too!

See her characters up close – Beatrix Potter World, Bowness-on-Windermere

One of the better known attractions of the Beatrix Potter family, Beatrix Potter World in Bowness is very popular with families. When you arrive from the outside the venue doesn’t look like much – but once indoors you are immersed in Beatrix’s stories. Grab your tickets from the desk and join the queue for the introductory video. Hear all about Beatrix’s history and how her stories came about. Once finished a new door opens as if to transport you into another realm of mystery and delight. As the crowds depart catch a glance at the art work on the walls while you wait to enter the main attraction. Walk the paths through the world of Beatrix Potter, discovering the characters, the stories and the history behind each one. With interactive displays throughout there is lots to learn for all ages.

Tip: The whole attraction can take as little as 20 minutes, or as long as a few hours. Those with children will likely be the latter so come prepared to spend time looking at each and every dormouse creature, every exciting toad on a lilypad, and of course, each of the flopsy bunny characters!

If you’ve been inspired to follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter take a look at our Lake District cottages for availability so you can book your next trip!

Posted by Emma on 20th May 2017