Discover Beatrix Potter’s Lake District in Hawkshead & Ambleside

Hill Top farmhouse near Hawkshead, home of Beatrix Potter, National Trust Beatrix Potter writing by the lake - (photo credit Momentum Pictures) Beatrix Potter - Tailor of Gloucester, 1902 edition (credit Armitt Museum) Beatrix Potter illustration of three-spined & ten-spined sticklebacks - Image & Reality exhibition at Armitt Museum, Ambleside Beatrix Potter illustration of Hygrocybe coccinea - Image & Reality exhibition at Armitt Museum, Ambleside Lake District Summer Music by Tony West

If you haven’t been there yet, you should drop into Beatrix Potter’s world-famous Hill Top farmhouse near Hawkshead, bought from the proceedings of her first book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, and also the inspiring Armitt Museum in Ambleside. Two idyllic Lake District cultural locations where you can discover more about the life and work of a truly remarkable woman.

Hill Top is small and in demand, with visitors coming from across the world. You can sit by the fire in the sweet little pub at Near Sawry – or take a stroll down the lane to the quieter western shore of Windermere – while you’re waiting for your timed slot.

For a leisurely and scenic way to visit Hill Top the Cross Lakes Experience provides a package via Windermere Lakes Cruises from Bowness to Hill Top using boat and bus.

This intimate home at Hill Top is curated as though Beatrix Potter has just popped out for a walk.

On her instructions, the National Trust curate this intimate home as though she’s just popped out for a walk. You’ll recognise some of the interiors from her later books and there are original illustrations in each room.

On the drive to Ambleside stop by the Beatrix Potter Gallery to complete your Beatrix Potter morning, then on to the Lake District’s first gastro pub – the Drunken Duck – for a leisurely lunch.

Then it’s on to the busy little town at the top of Windermere. If the morning’s visit has piqued your interest, the permanent ‘Image & Reality’ exhibition at Ambleside’s Armitt Museum will satisfy you.

Image & Reality is Beatrix Potter’s remarkable story told through her own words and images and through a great wealth of archival material.

There are first editions of her “little books”, plus exquisite botanical drawings and watercolours that are both scientifically accurate, and beautiful works of art. Image & Reality is a portrait of an extraordinarily rich life lived during a period of great social upheaval. As well as an artist and storyteller, Beatrix Potter was a naturalist, farmer and businesswoman who played such an important role in preserving England’s best-loved landscape.

Beatrix Potter - Image & Reality exhibition at Armitt Museum, Ambleside (photo credit The Beatrix Potter Society)
Beatrix Potter – Image & Reality exhibition at Armitt Museum, Ambleside (photo credit The Beatrix Potter Society)

This cultural day could be rounded off with an orchestral concert in the town hall or church – during the Lake District Summer Music festival there are top names, premieres and one-off collaborations.

Or perhaps a well-deserved G&T while watching a live-streamed performance of opera or ballet, or a classic movie, at Fellinis’ cinema?


Hill Top – LA22 0LF

Beatrix Potter Gallery – LA22 0NS

Armitt Museum – LA22 9BL

Fellinis – LA22 0BT

The Drunken Duck – LA22 0NG

To enjoy these Lakes Culture events and much more, book your break in the Lake District here