Monday, June 29, 2015

Day Three, Hilltop and Giveaway





Today is a day I have dreamed about.  If I admit it, if I were only able to visit one place in England, it would be Hilltop. Visiting Hilltop, one of the homes of Beatrix Potter, has been dream of mine for a long time.  I've loved her charming books forever.  Her beautiful artwork is truly a gift from God.  Sometimes when a dream is about to be realized one can be afraid that the real thing will be disappointing.  Believe me--I was not disappointed!

Our apartment is only 27 miles from Hilltop!  This is the main reason we chose to stay in this location.... But it took us 1 1/2 hours to get there.  The M5 and A roads were just fine, but then we took a B road that was curvy, narrow and quite scary.






See the stone wall on the left--that's where I was sitting in our car, trying not to say too much to Grayden as he carefully drove us along curves and hills and more stone walls.  

Along the way carpets of bluebells made the drive beautiful and more enjoyable.  It was a drizzly, rainy, moody day.  Anticipation of what was to come made it all very mystical and magical.




After driving at very slow speeds we finally made it to Near Sawrey--the town where Beatrix Potter bought her beloved Hilltop!




Beatrix Potter bought  Hilltop in 1905 as a retreat away from London.  She purchased Hilltop with money from her first book-- The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  She loved the area around Hilltop and it's not hard to see why!  It served as inspiration for her books that followed. 

Upon arriving at the car park for Hilltop, rain was falling.  We were early (on purpose) to be able to get our tickets.  Hilltop is very popular and has a timed ticket schedule.  We were early enough to pick up our tickets for the first opening at 10:00am.  A few cars began to fill the car park.  Everyone wants to come to Hilltop!




It was time to make our way up to Hilltop.  We followed a hill up a narrow pathway made of large rocks that was lined with flowers.






We're almost there!  I can't believe it! 

There she is!!






The nice National Trust docent invited us in!  Oh my, yes I'll park my brolly at the door and yes you can wipe the rain off my jacket.  We don't want to harm anything in Beatrix Potter's home.

We made our way inside to a sitting room on the left.  It was cozy with a roaring fire to warm us.  There were low beams and the ceiling was covered in wallpaper.  I'm quite emotional at this point as I can't believe I'm standing where Beatrix Potter once stood.  Everywhere there is charm.  To the right is another room that is filled with lovely china that Beatrix collected.  She was from a wealthy family and attended many antique shows with her mother.  It was pointed out that she and her mother didn't have much in common but they both loved to go to antique sales together.

Toward the back of the sitting room was the scullery where Beatrix prepared meals.  To the left of the scullery were stairs we climbed to see four rooms.  One was a room of her collections with a lovely dollhouse.  Another sitting room with a piano and beautiful photos of her and her family. Her bedroom with her lovely tester bed and bed coverings and memorabilia all about.  She added an addition so she could have proper light for her art studio.  She never wanted electricity in her home.  This room was filled with her brother's artwork.  Bertram was an accomplished artist as well as their father.  There were very large paintings that lined the walls.  Sadly no photos are allowed inside, but you can go here to see her bedroom.

I can't begin to describe how I felt in her home!  Her love of nature was everywhere.  Beatrix Potter, I felt your spirit in your beloved Hilltop.  I'll never forget it!! 

As we left her home I turned around and gazed upon this special place. We wandered about the property.






Upon leaving the gate we spotted Castle Cottage, the home that Beatrix and William Heelis shared after their marriage. It's the white house on the right. 








When we planned this day before leaving home, I told Grayden I wanted to stay all day in Near Sawrey.  I did not want to short cut this visit.  So next to Hilltop was The Sawrey House Tearoom that we had to go visit.  We read on their menu that Beatrix Potter would often come and have afternoon tea here.




The vistas from this property were lovely!  These photos were taken from the inside the Sawrey House Tearoom.




After having a lovely soup for lunch it was time to take another look around Near Sawrey.  It's so charming and quaint in this area.  What a wonderful place to live!  I hope it never changes.  Beatrix Potter was a big proponent of the National Trust and gave over 4.000 acres of land, 16 farms and cottages, cattle and Herdwick sheep for future generations to enjoy.  Her gifts were the largest the National Trust had received and enabled them to create the Lake District National Park.  Thank you, Beatrix Potter!




Because of all the joy that I felt upon seeing bluebells and Hilltop, I wanted to have a gift drawing for one of my readers.  Thank you for coming along with me on my Grand Adventure to England and especially to Hilltop!  It is very special to be able to share it with you!




I bought this lovely mug in one of the National Trust stores to give away.  If you want to put your name in the hat, just leave a comment on this post and in a few days I'll draw one of your names and send it off to you.  Thank you for coming along! ♥










36 comments:

  1. Martha Ellen, that was so lovely--and the song was perfect! I always get emotional anyway when I hear that song, so I felt I was right there at Hilltop experiencing your emotions with you. I think this is why I've been reluctant to go---I'm afraid I won't want to come home! Thank you for the tour....does this mean you are finished? The Bluebell cup is so pretty--I'm hoping the English Bluebells I planted last Fall will give me a better show next year than they did this year. They're probably telling me they'd rather be in England.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Cathy. I can't even say Hilltop now without getting emotional! I am not finished with our tour yet. In fact, we were able to see even more on day three.
      Most bulbs do better in year two and three. Bluebells are so magical---I hope yours will bring you that magic one day. ♥

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  2. Here is the post I have been waiting for Martha!~ I shall relish every moment of this. I too, have loved Miss Potter ever since my children were wee ones and we read her stories over and over again. I think I could still recite the words by heart..with voices. I must own every book ever written about her and loved Hilltop from afar. She has been one of the main inspirations for my own art, so, I understand your emotional state in being there in person. I am glad you were not disappointed in the reality! It looks as if your had the place to yourselves, most of the videos I've watched are highly populated with tourists. It is SO beautiful! The stone walls, the village from afar, the Bluebells, just lovely. I was inspired to plant bluebells here on the farm because of some of the photos in a book called "At home with Beatrix Potter".I will get there someday soon... I am so glad that you did.

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    1. Dear Jeri, to hear that Beatrix Potter was the main inspiration for your beautiful art comes as no suprise to me! You remind me of her so much! Hilltop was very crowded when we were there--I had to sneak around and take photos when folks were inside. I wanted a photo of myself in front of Hilltop, but I was unable to get one without all the other folks around. How selfish of me to think I was the only one who wanted that! I'm so glad to hear you are going there--you really must! ♥

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  3. Oh this is such a lovely post. I smiled when you shared how in awe you were and the emotion you were feeling. You and Susan B. are two peas in a pod. The mug is so pretty. I would be thrilled to have my name tossed into the cap. Thanks so much for the opportunity!

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    1. Vee, this was an emotional post for me to write. Thank you for the reference to SB as she gave me the inspiration for how we handled this trip. It turned out to be the perfect way for us to visit England.
      Your name is in the cap! Good Luck! ♥

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  4. Martha Ellen...just have to use both names. Loving your blog, especially the traveling around England Susan-style. She's such a great inspiration to get out there and enjoy life and the world we live in.
    Rachel Georgetown, Tx.

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    1. Rachel, thank you for your kind words. Susan Branch has many kindred spirits and does a great job of bringing us together. Have a great day! ♥

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  5. Visiting Hilltop is a dream of mine also. So glad yours has been fulfilled! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful experience! The tea Mug is lovely!

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    1. Thank you, Connie. I hope your dream comes true! ♥

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  6. Oh, Martha Ellen! I read your post with tears in my eyes. Happy tears! Your lovely description of Hilltop is so heartwarming. I know that I would be in tears walking where Beatrix walked. It's such a dream for me! So glad that you and Grayden took a whole day to soak in the magic and the beautiful, green vistas. The tea mug is just lovely. I really must add bluebells to my garden! Thank you for sharing such wonderful inspiration today, dear one! ♡

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    1. Dawn, thank you for sharing my dream to visit Hilltop! I can't wait for you to visit this magical place. It would not be wasted on you!
      I would love to plant bluebells in my garden, but I'm not sure they would do well in my climate. Have a lovely day! ♥

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  7. Thank you for all the pictures of Hilltop. I don't know if my sister took ANY pictures. I don't blame Miss Potter for measuring her parcel of land. We still get talked to in matters of real-estate and home improvement today as if we women are clueless. I can't even imagine what she went through in her day!
    Tea, Freshly baked Scones w/ clotted cream and fresh strawberries!!! Yes please!!!
    That is my second favorite flower, next to Ensian (Gentian). I love woodland or mountain flowers AND blue of course.
    This trip is on my bucket list.

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    1. Margot, I love wildflowers also. I do not know all their names and had to look up Ensian--so pretty. I see it grows around marshy areas.
      I hope you get to Hilltop one day, Margot--It is wonderful! ♥

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    2. The blog gremlins ate my comment. I must correct my German. The flower is spelled~Enzian. I am sorry if I confused anyone.

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    3. OK third time is a charm on this comment.
      I must correct my German. The flower I mentioned is Enzian (spelled with a z not a s). I am sorry if I confused anyone.

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  8. I have one more question. Is there a Sawrey? Or, why is the town called NEAR Sawrey?

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    1. Margot, there are two separate hamlets in Cumbria--Far Sawrey and Near Sawrey. ♥

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  9. Me again Martha, I see the cost of the Cream Teas was 5.95 pounds.. what did that translate to in US dollars and how did you find the price of food in general? I am almost afraid to find out.

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    1. Jeri, 5.95 British Pounds Sterling today would cost $9.35. The rate fluctuates daily---Today it is around $1.57 per Pound. We did find the food to be a little higher than we pay in our area. Here is a site that will keep you up to date on conversion rates. http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?From=GBP&To=USD ♥

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  10. Well Martha Ellen I found the post in the end, it has not updated on my sidebar.
    What a beautiful post, I have tears in my eyes & love the way your right about our beloved Hilltop. We sadly have not got to Near Sawrey this year, it is just over three hours away from us so a night stay is needed & we have not yet put George in a cattery.
    We all love Hilltop here, the twins love it. Did you see the mouse holes in the hall next to the dresser. I could move straight in, the house is a similar date to ours so we would feel right at home.
    Please do not enter me in the draw, postage to England is so high.
    I am hoping you will get to visit Hilltop one more time.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Michelle, I'm so glad you found my post. I'm not sure why it's not being updated on your sidebar. I loved Hilltop so much---I hope I did it justice. How wonderful that you live in a home that shares similar dates built! You are a lucky woman!
      We did see the mouse holes---Yikes! Beatrix had to hang a lot of her food from the rafters we were told---those rascal mice.
      Oh, it would be wonderful to go back to Hilltop one day! Hope you get to go again soon! ♥
      PS--don't worry about the postage. I'll send it to you if you win!

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    2. We have mice holes here too, it has always been an issue if you live in the country around fields, they are everywhere but I think we have managed to banish them for the time being.
      Fondly Michelle

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    3. Michelle, we have noticed that they really want to come in where it's warm--particularly in the Autumn when the weather starts to get cold.
      They certainly gave Miss Potter inspiration. ♥

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  11. Oh I forgot to say we go to the hotel, I have a funny picture of little Mary with cream all around her mouth.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. That is a beautiful hotel, Michelle! What a lovely memory you have of being there. ♥

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  12. Thank you SO much for sharing your adventure to Hilltop with us! I share your dream of visiting Hilltop and hope I'm as fortunate to make my dream into reality one day! Your pictures of the area are gorgeous, and those bluebells!!! I would love to enter the draw to win this lovely bluebell mug. Thank you!

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    1. Rosinda, I'm glad to have you come along on our adventure! Hilltop was an emotional place for me to visit--that's what happens when dreams come true! I know you will love it when you go there!
      Your name is in the hat! Good Luck! ♥

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  13. Oh, I am glad that I peeked back because this post is wonderful! What a privilege to be able to visit Beatrix Potter's home! Your delight comes through in every word! Beatrix is such a fascinating person. I love her charming stories and her precious artwork...they are timeless.

    I'd love to be entered in your giveaway!!

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    1. Cheryl, your name is in the hat! I still can't believe I went to Hilltop! ♥

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  14. I am so happy that you got to Hilltop. Someday I will visit it too. I've watched every movie and documentary that feature it. Magical. I think the whole north part of England is magical. Look at those beautiful drystone walls. Love them. And sheep. And pubs. Sigh. What a wonderful time you must have had. I loved B roads the best, but it's quite a shock coming from a land where it takes 60 minutes to go 60 miles. Lol.

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    1. Judy, you are so right--The north of England is magical. The roads added to the magic--so quaint until someone comes in the opposite direction! Yikes! We even went on roads that were not even marked---now they were the scary ones! ♥

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  15. It is beautiful and loved the walk around the grounds and village. This is on my visit list as well and your lovely photos have only whetted my interest.

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    1. Hello and welcome! You must go visit the Lake District---there is so much to see and do there. Of course all of England offers so much. Hilltop has been a dream of my for a long time and believe me I was not disappointed! ♥

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  16. How did you find your apartment, which is my favorite way to travel...home rental. Absent lakes, the Lake District reminds me of where I now live, fabulously beautiful! It all looks so lush, verdant; spring is a lovely time to visit.

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    1. We have time share and were able to exchange to the areas we wanted to visit. I've had friends say they have used airbnb.com. and were very pleased. After looking at your area in VA ---gorgeous! I live in Fredericksburg VA. It's a small world! ♥

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