Thursday, July 28, 2016

One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversary of Beatrix Potter's Birth






Today is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter.  In her honor I thought I would post my visit to Hilltop from last year. So come along with me to a very special place.




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!





Beatrix Potter, you have left a imprint on my heart that will always be with me.  Thank you for saving this beautiful place and more to be enjoyed by generations and generations to follow. 


from left to right--Beatrix Potter, Beatrix Potter with bunny, Beatrix and brother Bertram, Beatrix and William Heelis, Norman Warne(Beatrix Potter's editor and fiance')














38 comments:

  1. Martha Ellen, what a lovely way to start Beatrix Potter's birthday! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your visit to Hill Top. It is quite obvious it made a deep impression on you. Thank you for sharing more about your visit last year.

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    1. Yes, Cathy, the Lake District and particularly Near Sawrey, will be in my heart forever. I will never forget the feeling I felt in the presence of Beatrix Potter's collections and her beloved Hill Top. ♥

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  2. What an amazing woman … it's so fun that you got to visit her home and check a big thing off your wish list.

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    1. Beatrix Potter was such a special talent. Her work and legacy will live forever. I felt honored to be in such a special place, Dotsie. ♥

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  3. How exciting for you to get to visit there! I enjoyed the pictures you provided. It would freak me out to be on those narrow roads driving on the wrong side no less! How wonderful that Hilltop has been kept in it's natural state. You must have been there in the spring based on seeing the flowers that were blooming at the time of your visit. I have to admit I knew nothing about her like this so it was interesting to read!

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    1. Liz, we were in England last May when the whole country was in bloom. I blogged about our adventure there, if you want to read about it. Beatrix Potter was an amazing woman that has had an impact on me that's hard to describe. Today her life is being celebrated for her amazing accomplishments. ♥

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  4. Delightful revisit! I love that you wanted to soak this place up all day long...bet you could have spent a week there. =D

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    1. Vee, I certainly would have loved to spend more time in this little bit of heaven on earth. ♥

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  5. What a delightful post!! I, too, love Miss Potter...her sweet, timeless stories and the precious illustrations that bring them to life. Miss Potter's stories have always been a part of our lives. How wonderful that you were able to visit Hilltop!!

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    1. Cheryl, it was an honor to visit Hilltop and walk where such a distinguished woman made her life. ♥

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  6. Visiting this part of England is also a dream of mine, so thank you for taking me along on the journey with you. Your photos are exquisite.

    How fun to have tea in a real English tearoom. Even more fun to know that the delightful Beatrix Potter enjoyed tea in that very establishment too.

    This is such a lovely tribute to Miss Potter, Martha Ellen. I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that her beautiful home brings so much inspiration to so many.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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    1. Thank you, Patti. I hope you are able to visit the Lake District and walk where Beatrix Potter lived and worked. She was an extraordinary woman that had the vision to leave her property and artwork for all of the world to enjoy. If you want to visit all the places we did, you can look back on our adventure on this blog. The tearooms in England are just wonderful and not to be missed. ♥

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  7. What wonderful, wonderful photos, Martha Ellen! I am SO glad you got to visit there, and I'm hoping that we will, next trip. It looks just delightful. And I know what you mean about those B roads, but still, they're my favorite, because there are so many places one never gets to see if they're only on the road more traveled. :-) Thank you for sharing your photos. You made some wonderful memories. I don't know how anyone could visit England, get out into the countryside, and not come away being in love with that land!

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    1. Judy, I know you share my love of England and I do hope you are able to go to the Lake District. The B roads are indeed the most lovely and the most scary at the same time. England has taken a piece of my heart and I sure hope to return one day! ♥

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  8. Dearest Sweet Martha!!
    What a TREAT to come over a find this wonderful post!!!
    We are on the road right now, after attending the Beatrix Potter Birthday celebration with Susan Branch and the B.P. Society in Brewster Ma. what a wonderful time! It was perfect to stop in and see your beautiful blog post of your dreamy visit to Hilltop!!! Sending love and warmth xxx ooo, Linnie

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    1. Oh dear, Linnie, I know you are basking in the wonderful day you have enjoyed being with our girlfriend Susan Branch. I know she shared her wonderful visit at Hill Top with you. How glorious, dear one. Have safe travels back home. I can't wait to hear more about your day. xoxo ♥

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  9. One of my favorite authors; I read the stories to my grands all the time! How luck you were to travel there.

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    1. It was such a meaningful visit to Hill Top, Susan. I've been a fan of Beatrix Potter for a long time and this visit was a dream come true. All children and most adults love her sweet tales. ♥

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  10. Oh! What a wonderful opportunity!! I'd love to visit Hill Top, too! Of course, there is the matter of that wide, wide ocean between here and there..... XO Nellie

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    1. Thank you, dear Nellie. Yes, that wide, wide ocean....♥

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  11. Perfect Timing Martha Ellen! Happy Beatrix Potter's Birthday! Lovely rain-filled photographs of magical place!

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    1. Oh dear Susan, It's because of A Fine Romance we had the courage to take that amazing trip and follow in your footsteps to Hill Top! I am honored that you visited today! xoxo ♥

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  12. Martha, I enjoyed your trip the first time around and I loved it even more this time. Her iconic garden and house are captured so nicely in your photos.

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    1. Thank you, dear Jeri. Hill Top and Beatrix Potter will always have a special place in my heart. ♥

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  13. Oh, how interesting to see Beatrix Potter's home. How charming it is with the stone walkway, and I would loved to have seen that dollhouse. I want to get a doll house of my own someday. How nice that there was a fire waiting to warm you up on a dreary rainy day. Thank you, Martha Ellen, for sharing this wonderful place, and I'm going to check out the link to the other room as well.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, Hill Top captured my heart. You would love the whole area as it is so magical. Beatrix Potter was such a visionary for her time. I hope you can start planning your own dollhouse. That would be so fun to do. ♥

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  14. Such beautiful photos ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  15. My heart sang when I saw your post ...
    I was fortunate to visit here a few years back, such a special place, such wonderful scenery.
    Reading your post and looking at your lovely photographs has made me feel so happy, thank you.

    Good wishes for a happy month of August

    All the best Jan

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    1. Oh dear Jan, I'm so happy you have visited Hill Top! It's really like no other place I've been. Such a magical area filled with Beatrix Potter dreams. ♥

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  16. Reading your magical memories of Hilltop Farm brought happy tears to my eyes, dear Martha Ellen! I'm so happy that you planned to spend the whole day in near Sawrey to soak up all of the history and charm. Walking (and having lunch) where Beatrix walked would be a dream-come-true!! Happy Birthday to dear Beatrix Potter! So thrilled for you that Susan visited you on this happy day!! ��

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    1. Dawn, My heart just filled with joy on the day when we visited Hill Top. I will never forget the feeling of being where Beatrix Potter lived! And to have Susan Branch visit my humble little blog...I'm still pinching myself... Because she and Beatrix Potter inspire me to live the creative life. Thank you as always for your kind words. ♥

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  17. Martha what an absolutely wonderful visit to Beatrix Potter's home and neighborhood! What a dream come true for you! Your descriptions of the inside of her home were so explicit that I could see the rooms in my minds eye. I have never traveled to England--its on my bucket list and I will have to add this to that list. I, too, adore her illustrations!

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    1. Pat, England was so beautiful and the Lake District especially captured my heart. Beatrix Potter was such a visionary to leave so many properties to posterity! Our trip to England was a dream come true for me. I hope you do visit England. Thank you for your kind words. ♥

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  18. Hello dear Martha Ellen! Ahhh, I remember well your visit to England and Hilltop last year. I know it was a dream come true for you. And as you well know, I dream of visiting there one day, too. I wanted to tell you that the zinnia seeds you sent me are blooming beautifully in my garden. The first one appeared over a week ago. And how very lovely they are!! And so very different from mine! The blooms are larger and the petals are shaped differently. When they dry I will collect the seeds to sow in the garden next year! Thank you for this wonderful gift! I hope you've been keeping well. Sending big love and hugs. XOXO

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    1. Rosinda, I know you will one day visit Hill Top and your dream will come true! It's a very magical place.
      I'm so happy the zinnias are doing well, my friend. The ones you sent me are blooming as well and are different than my old ones. The variegated blooms on some are just delightful. Sending big love and hugs to you my zinnia sister! XOXO ♥

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    2. Zinnia sisters...I like the sound of that! Thanks for the love and hugs. XOXO

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