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Beatrix Potter, the author of the famous children's stories had an intense love for the Lake District, though she grew up during her youth in London. With her family she would take the train up for weeks during the summer to what was then the northernmost part of Lancashire (now incorporated into Cumbria). It was these country holidays, and experience of the natural world among the Cumbrian rivers and lakes, that triggered her creative mind to develop the stories of Peter Rabbit and his friends.

Her family, infected by the all too common 19th century class consciousness of recently gained financial prosperity, could not value her work as an artist and author of children's stories. So, when she had earned enough money to do so, she bought Hill Top Farm in the low hills lying between two of the lakes towards the southern end of the Lake District, Windermere and Esthwaite Water. She was deeply in love with this area, later buying much more land and becoming a dedicated supporter of the conservation movement which resulted in the creation of the National Trust.  Thousands of people on Lake District holidays annually can now look at the house that was her home in her most inventive period. (Read more about her life here)

Over the years there have been many books about Beatrix Potter, including some that focus on specific facets of her life such her art. Most stress her associations with the Lake District, which is as it should be. Although she wrote a lot of books of her stories for children that number has now been exceeded by volumes about her life and work. The passion of this London-born woman for the fields and fells of Lakeland is a major topic in many of them. There is a great range of Beatrix Potter gifts here.

Within the Lake District you'll find four places with Beatrix Potter associations which will call for a visit during a holiday here. We have already mentioned Hill Top, her first Cumbrian home. In the neighbouring village of Hawkshead you will find the Beatrix Potter Gallery, which is also managed by the National Trust who in addition have now opened Wray Castle, scene of her childhood summer holidays, to visitors. There's also a commercial 'Beatrix Potter Attraction' on the other side of Windermere in Bowness. Be sure you reserve a few hours to see one or more of these.

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