Explore Beatrix Potter's Lake District

Beatrix Potter loved to walk, draw and explore the landscape of the Lake District, and her passion led her to protect it from development. Retrace her steps by exploring the places that inspired her most throughout her life. The houses and castles featured open in February and March for you to enjoy from the start of spring.

A father and son read a book in the garden of Beatrix Potter's Hill Top

Hill Top  

Step into the pages of Beatrix Potter’s tales at Hill Top, her beloved Lakeland farmhouse. Inside, the rooms are filled with Beatrix’s collection of mementos, furnishings and paintings, while outside the English country garden has been restored using Beatrix’s sketches and illustrations.

A woman views Beatrix Potter artwork in the Beatrix Potter gallery

Beatrix Potter Gallery and Hawkshead 

Set in the quaint village of Hawkshead, get up close to Beatrix’s original illustrations and delicate watercolours in the surroundings that inspired them. This year, a new exhibition explores the role of flowers in Beatrix’s life and work, and as we celebrate the 120th anniversary of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, see some of the early Peter merchandise Beatrix shrewdly patented.

Visitors walk across a field with Wray Castle in the background

Wray Castle  

When the Potter family first holidayed in the Lake District, they stayed in this mock-Gothic castle beside Windermere. The wild landscape fired the imagination of young Beatrix, and it was at Wray Castle that she first met National Trust co-founder Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, who inspired her conservation work.

early morning view of Tarn Hows looking north west

Tarn Hows and Monk Coniston 

Beatrix worked with the National Trust to save the vast Monk Coniston Estate from development. Stretching from the head of Coniston Water to Little Langdale and including JG Marshall’s designed landscape at Tarn Hows, her great-grandfather once farmed here. Take in some iconic Lakeland views on this moderate walk through the estate.

A view out towards hills at Allan Bank and Grasmere, Cumbria

Allan Bank  

Allan Bank was home to Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, Beatrix’s lifelong friend and mentor. Surrounded by woodlands and home to red squirrels, the large bay windows and garden of this relaxed house offer views of Grasmere lake and the surrounding fells. This spring, watch local artist Hideyuki Sobue begin his new mural 'Letter to the Earth from Beatrix' on the walls of Allan Bank.

The view from catbells to derwent water

Borrowdale and Derwent Water  

Eleven summers spent holidaying on the shores of Derwent Water inspired Beatrix to create some of her earliest and most loved tales. The tales of Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle are all rooted in the landscape surrounding Keswick and Borrowdale.

Troutbeck Park Farm, Lake District

The Troutbeck Valley  

Beatrix Potter enjoyed walking in the secluded Troutbeck valley, writing she was often in “the company of gentle sheep, and wild flowers, and singing waters.” It is here she bought Troutbeck Park Farm and bred native Herdwick sheep with the help of shepherd Tom Storey. Discover the valley Beatrix called her favourite on a classic walk from the shores of Windermere.

Moss Eccles Tarn

Beatrix Potter's Moss Eccles Tarn 

A mile or so from the village of Near Sawrey is one of Beatrix’s favourite places, Moss Eccles Tarn. She and her husband William kept their rowing boat here, and spent many happy hours fishing and sketching. Follow the gentle track from the centre of the village and discover this peaceful hideaway.