Beatrix Potter's Hill Top
Cumbria LA22 0LF
Anyone brought up on the wonderful children’s books written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter will love visiting her house. It is like coming home and recognising all the familiar furniture and favourite bits of the garden.
As you walk through the front door you have entered Mrs Tiggy Winkle’s kitchen! Lying on the chair beside the black-leaded range is Beatrix’s straw hat, her clogs on the flagstone floor, as if she has just popped upstairs for a minute. A geranium in its terracotta pot glows on the deep windowsill.
The house is suffused with her personality and reminds us of the simple country life that she lived. There is no electricity or running water and a traditional ‘trug’ stands on the table with vegetables picked from her kitchen garden.
On the other side of the front door is the parlour, the room in the house kept for best where visitors would have been entertained.
This writer can personally attest to the helpfulness of the staff on duty. In this room is the original illustrated letter that Beatrix wrote to her little friend. As I am visually impaired and was having difficulty seeing it, the guide kindly allowed me to take it over to the window to get a better look.
Tailor of Gloucester
As we climb the stairs we pass a familiar grandfather clock. It appears in several illustrations of the interior of 'The Tailor of Gloucester Museum & Shop'.
In one of the bedrooms we find the doll’s house where Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb tried to eat the delicious looking plaster food in ‘The Tale of Two Bad Mice’. Guides will point out the knot-holes in the wooden floor saying this is where the mice lived!
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Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck
Finally we must reluctantly leave this nostalgic house and venture out into the cottage garden. Look! Isn’t that the gate under which Peter Rabbit squeezed to escape from Mr McGregor?
The Tower Bank Arms beside Hill Top is familiar too. It appears in ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck’, that silly duck taken in by the ‘foxy-whiskered gentleman’. The village of Near Sawrey and the surrounding countryside all appear in her books so if you have room in your luggage, bring along a couple of the little books and play I-Spy.
Beatrix Potter's Will
Beatrix Potter was an amazing woman – not only was she a superb artist and author but also an accomplished farmer. She was so concerned for her beloved Lake District and its traditional way of life that she purchased a number of hill farms to prevent them from being broken up, leasing them back to their previous owners to farm. When she died she left her properties and vast tracts of land to the care of the National Trust.
Tickets & Admission Prices (Timed Tickets)
As can be imagined ‘Hill Top’ is an extremely popular National Trust property so a system of timed-tickets operates. Visitors may sometimes have to wait to enter the house.
Tickets cannot be booked and early sell-outs are possible on busy days.
If you would like to visit ‘The Beatrix Potter Gallery’ in Hawkshead Village, keep your ‘Hill Top’ ticket to gain a discount.
The entrance is level and two rooms on ground floor accessible. There are many stairs with handrails to other floors.
Garden has some steps and uneven paths. No toilets.
None at the property. Limited car parking behind Ticket Office.
Small shop selling Beatrix Potter related items at the Ticket Office.
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Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1539 436 269
The National Trust has extensive information on their 'Getting There' page.
- Parking There is limited car parking in the Hill Top car park. It is not situated at Hill Top itself, but about 50 yards away. It is well signed.
From the car park (where you purchase your timed ticket) turn left and follow the narrow road towards and past the Tower Bank Arms. The entrance to Hill Top is just a few more steps. Again well sign posted.
Google Map - Hill Top