It’s all in the detail at Beatrix Potter's Hill Top in 2020

Fire in the kitchen range at Hill Top house, Cumbria

Beatrix Potter more than anyone believed in living simply and close to nature. This year at Hill Top we're encouraging you to slow down and appreciate the place, just as Beatrix did. Take time and make space for nature; we all need it.

This year the National Trust is celebrating 125 years – that’s 125 years of looking after beautiful, natural and historical places for the nation. 

This really means a lot at Hill Top and the Beatrix Potter Gallery, as Beatrix Potter was united with the founders of the National Trust in their belief that this amazing landscape was worth protecting for future generations. 

A special friendship with National Trust founder

Meeting Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley on her first holiday to the Lake District at Wray Castle aged 16, led to a lasting friendship. He encouraged her to publish her stories for children and inspired her determination to help conserve the Lake District countryside with which she had fallen in love - their mission is still ours today.

Beatrix Potter with friend and mentor Hardwicke Rawnsley in the Lake District, 1912.
Beatrix Potter stands next to Hardwicke Rawnsley in front of a house in the Lake District, 1912.
Beatrix Potter with friend and mentor Hardwicke Rawnsley in the Lake District, 1912.

The spirit of Hill Top

On your visit to Hill Top this year we want to encourage you to stop and consider the small things; how nature seems to be everywhere, even trying to get in through the windows as the rose claws up the front of the house and taps on the glass.

" The flowers love the house, they try to come in! House leek grows on the window sills and ledges; wisteria climbs the wall, clematis chokes the spout casings … But nothing more sweet than the old pink cabbage rose that peeps in at the small paned windows."
- Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter saw the beauty and detail in everything – from the way the snowdrops popped up everywhere in the garden to the way the sunlight bounced off the old panes of glass in the upstairs windows.

On your visit to Hill Top this year we’re inviting you to notice these details and connect to the house and the garden.  

Mindful moments

Take your time to spot the details and appreciate this special place as Beatrix did. Giving yourself a breather, just for a moment, has been proven to help wellbeing and bring peace.

Details in the garden:

  • Follow in Beatrix’s footsteps up the uneven garden path and feel the Cumbrian slate beneath your feet
  • Connect with nature as you notice the buds coming into life in the borders and be inspired by quotes hidden around the garden
  • Hear the animals on the farm and the buzz of the tractor; Hill Top is still a working farm today
The first signs of spring in the Hill Top garden
Snowdrops in Hill Top Garden, Cumbria
The first signs of spring in the Hill Top garden

Details in the house

  • Hear the fire cracking and appreciate it’s warmth when you step in out of the Cumbrian weather

  • Listen to the clock ticking in the kitchen

  • Notice how everything in the house is slightly out of line; part of Hill Top’s charm is that the house slants and leans, you will struggle to find a flat surface

New activities to try this year

Pause and connect with the relaxing atmosphere of Hill Top when it’s closed to visitors, on this alternative tour ‘Reflect and respite’. Advance booking necessary, £20 per person.

Slow down in the orchard and experience the sights and sounds as Beatrix did on ‘The Spirit of Hill Top’ trail. Booking not needed, runs every day, free with normal admission.

Upcoming events

Timed Entry to Hill Top (5 Dec - 6 Dec)

Sat 05 Dec 2020
10:30-11:00
Book your timed entry to visit Hill Top