Thursday, May 31, 2018

England's Lake District ~ Land of Beatrix Potter

Earlier this month (before THE WEDDING) I was so excited to go to NW England for a 
Beatrix Potter tour of the Lake District that she loved so very much. We toured several 
farms that Beatrix Potter (she wrote the Peter Rabbit books) bought during her 
lifetime. She bequeathed 15 farms and over 4,000 acres of land to the 
National Trust when she died in 1943, with the stipulation it not be sold. 

I was greeted by Peter Rabbit as I started up the walk to her beloved Hill Top, 
the first home and farm that BP purchased in 1905 in Near Sawrey.  

The entrance to Hill Top! Everything inside Hill Top are kept exactly as Beatrix wanted us to see it
with all of her favorite things and furnishings. Set, just so, by her instructions to the Trust.

Beatrix' straw hat and clogs remain on her chair, as if she just came in from her beloved farm.

Love these silhouettes that are all the rage for collectors today!

The designs on these transferware plates were drawn by her father, Rupert, 
and her brother, Bertram. They were a talented family.

Her treasure room, as she called it, contains many of her collections. This room brought 
me to tears, as I realized she loved her treasures, as much as I love mine.

A collection of Peter Rabbit china and a pace egg that she made for the children
of Sawrey every Easter to use in their egg races.

A doll house like the one BP wrote about in The Tale of Two Bad Mice.

The furnishings, inside the doll house on display, are Beatrix Potter's
own collection and are absolutely fabulous. 

Beatrix' bedroom with the canopy that she embroidered and made herself.

And a walk in her lovely garden that she loved so much.

After spending time in Hill Top and in the National Trust gift shop, we headed to
Castle Cottage her marital home with her husband, Willie Heelis.

This is Castle Cottage where they spent their married years and where Beatrix died. We were
so lucky to get a private tour inside because it is not open to the public. What a tour!

The sixteenth century barn at Castle Cottage! It's as good as new. 

We all went to a picnic with Susan Branch (Isn't she darling?) and her 'girlfriends' (us)
from all over the world. It was held on the Castle Cottage pasture.
I got gifties from two lovely ladies, a picnic basket charm and
Hollyhock seeds from a new Dutch friend.

This is my new friend Emily, who was on the tour with her mom Amy. Isn't she darling in this 
Herdwick tweed fascinator? They were both such fun to explore with.

And this is the class picture of a group of fun picnic girlfriends!
I am in the back between the red coats in the middle.

After the picnic lunch, we went to the Tower Banks Arms pub, which is just across the street.
The owners are delightful and welcoming with the best hard cider on draft!
BP drew it for The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (page 42).

We ended a magical day at Yew Tree Farm, which served for the outside scenes of Hill Top
in the movie Miss Potter (one of my favorites). It is also one of BP's farms.

This is the Yew Tree farm barn. I just love these old, old barns of wood and stone!
I have a lot more share about my trip and will soon in my next blog post.
Hope you enjoyed seeing the places Beatrix Potter called home.
I had the best time there with other BP lovers.