Monday, August 22

Beatrix Potter's Cottage, Hill Top, Cumbria



Hi everyone! Today is my penultimate Lake District post and it's a good'un! It's all about my visit to Hill Top Farm, the former residence of Beatrix Potter, and I have many a photo to share.


The cottage, as the name might suggest, is nestled away on the top of a hill at the end of a spindly garden path lined with plants.

Beatrix was a keen horticulturalist, and devoted more time to the dales and lakes in the second half of her life than she ever did to her claim to fame-- The Peter Rabbit books.

There were gardeners and groundskeepers at every corner, despite the garden's modest size.




(Well, I say modest when you consider the vast acres of land Beatrix was responsible for in her lifetime...Whole woodlands, lakes, fells... The National Trust hit the jackpot when they piqued her interest)

The house itself was beautiful-- the perfect place to squirrel away and get stuck in with whatever you fancied.

Being a little old place, we were only allowed through in small groups. This allowed for a bit more of a leisurely wander through the rooms without having to get elbows out to see all the bits and bobs, so I was happy to wait my turn.

I'll be honest with you guys and say I was never actually a Beatrix Potter fan growing up. I know, it's sacrilegious to say but somehow her books were just never on my radar.

This is particularly weird, I think, because I was obsessed with rabbits when I was little. Maybe it's because Peter wore a blue jacket and I liked pink? Fickle bloody youth.


Someone at the National Trust had worked very hard to ensure that the house was presented as authentically as possible. This meant Beatrix's favourite seasonal flowers in vases throughout and mod-cons kept to a bare minimum (there was one iPad, for card payments, plopped disdainfully in a dark corner and treated with complete contempt by staff).

For all intents and purposes, the general consensus about Beatrix Potter that I garnered from the various exhibits and googling that we referenced that week, was that she was an altogether quite sensible--not particularly whimsical-- woman. It's for this reason that I particularly enjoyed the various knickknacks preserved around the house.

For example, these tiny gloves made for a rabbit (!) alongside seashells she had collected from the coast.

 See also: tiny weeny figurines of all her characters kept safely in a cabinet behind glass.


Just to balance out the saccharine, there was also this china figure of a hound proudly clutching a rabbit in his teeth. Yin and yang and all that.

Before long, we had explored every nook and cranny the house had to share and so headed back home. A great snapshot into the idyllic life of an inspirational woman. You don't need me to tell you it's worth a visit!

Until next time,
Steph

3 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this post! Always been a fan of Beatrix Potter and it was so nice to have a tour (of sorts) of her house.

    I can't believe you weren't a fan of Peter Rabbit in your childhood, though! You should have seen my bedroom circa 1998, it looked like Peter had exploded in there.

    Love the blog as always. (I feel like an embarassing parent/no.1 fan hahaha sorry) x

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    1. Hooray! It's so lovely, definitely worth a visit if you don't mind a six hour drive! Haha yeah I don't think they sell exploded rabbit paper in Homebase but if they did, perhaps not best for children. No way, I love your comments! I appreciate every one :) xxx

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  2. *Also, not literally exploded. That wouldn't be suitable for a six year old. I had Peter Rabbit wallpaper, okay, I meant the wallpaper xD

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