Friday, 01 July 2016

Going potty for Beatrix Potter

The author’s support for nature means her legacy extends beyond her books

Written by Wendy Gomersall
On 28 July 2016, it will be 150 years since the birth of one of the world’s bestloved children’s authors, Beatrix Potter. Though she was born in London, the creator of such delightful stories as The Tale Of Peter Rabbit and The Tailor Of Gloucester is most associated with Britain’s beautiful Lake District and the landscapes that inspired her. Her life is being celebrated with a programme of events, making it an even better time to visit this lovely part of the country.

travel-590-4The World Of Beatrix Potter

When Beatrix Potter died, she left most of her property and land to the National Trust, which now looks after her home, Hill Top, Near Sawrey, Cumbria. A visit to the house, furnished as it was when the author lived there, is a must. On special days you can take an after-hours guided Showcase Tour. Meanwhile, in Hawkshead, the Beatrix Potter Gallery’s exhibition, Realism And Romance – 0344-800 1895, www.nationaltrust.org.uk – runs until 30 October and includes original illustrations from classics such as The Tale Of Jemima Puddle-Duck. Meanwhile, The World Of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on- Windermere – 0844-504 1233, www.hop-skip-jump.com – offers visitors a short film about the author and an exhibition in which her celebrated characters are brought to life. Afternoon tea can be taken in the Beatrix Potter-themed tea room, with home-made cakes and scones. No attraction would be complete without a gift shop, and here there is a treasure trove of gifts inspired by Peter Rabbit and his friends.

travel-590-2Keswick

Holbeck Ghyll – 0800-089 3929, www.prideofbritainhotels.com – which hosted actress Renée Zellweger when she was filming Miss Potter, is offering a two-night Beatrix Potter 150th Anniversary package. The luxury stay includes a chauffeur-driven tour to Hill Top, then heads to Hawkshead and Ambleside, past Yew Tree Farm, which featured in the film.

You also have the opportunity to stop in Ambleside and visit the Armitt gallery – of which Beatrix Potter was an early supporter – featuring art installations of Beatrix Potter, then head on to the walled kitchen garden at the Lingholm Estate, believed to have been the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden, before exploring Keswick and enjoying scenic views of Derwentwater.

travel-590-3Hawkshead

Back at the hotel, a champagne cocktail awaits, followed by a seven-course gourmet menu with wines in the oak-panelled restaurant. The package, ideal for celebrations, is available during July and August only and costs from £1,035 per person, including two nights in the Miss Potter Suite, champagne in the room on arrival, three-course dinner on the day of arrival and gourmet dinner on the second night, room service breakfast on both days, private chauffeur on one day for eight hours, admission to Hill Top and the Lingholme Estate, champagne cocktail, packed lunch and a 30-minute spa treatment per person. 0800-089 3929, www.prideofbritainhotels.com

Contact Wendy at wendy.gomersall@lady.co.uk
Prices are correct at time of going to press.



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