Saturday, January 19, 2019

Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm




In all my wildest dreams would I ever think I would be able to return to Near Sawrey and visit Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm again.  Hill Top sits on land that she bought in 1905.  Her little books success allowed her to buy many properties that she left for posterity in the National Trust.  This very area gives me goosebumps.  The famed author, land owner, artist and giver of joy to us all can be felt in a very real way!  Planning our trip for our Golden Celebration, it was not hard to include this very special place in our itinerary.  I wondered how I would feel this time as compared to our visit two years before.  You may want to go HERE to read about it.  Let's hop aboard the ferry and drive over to a most special place.  It's a foggy, misty, moody morning as we quietly ride over.


The ferry ride was a short distance over Lake Windermere between the narrowest part of the lake between Bowness Nab and then to Far Sawrey.




Then off we go to follow the narrow hedge lined lanes through the misty morning fog.

"We cannot stay home all our lives, we must present ourselves to the world and we must look upon it as an adventure." 
Beatrix Potter



The mist now has turned to rain and we reach the parking lot for Hill Top in Near Sawrey.  


We now have our timed tickets to tour Hilltop at 10:40 am.  Hill Top is a very popular spot for visitors to the Lake District.  The flowers at Buckle Yeat Guest House were still in bloom on this early autumn day. 


Buckle Yeat was Beatrix Potter's inspiration for her illustrations in "Tom Kitten" and "The Pie and the Patty Pan" and "Pigling Bland"  in her famous little books. 

  
Walking past Buckle Yeat we walk further and see Tower Bank Arms.  



Tower Bank Arms was also featured in Miss Potter's "The Tales of Jemima-Puddleduck."  As you can see from the clock we need to continue up the road to the gate that leads into Hill Top.



Just across the way we catch a glimpse of Castle Cottage.



This was Beatrix Potter's home when she married William Heelis.  If you follow Susan Branch I'm sure many of you recognize the the white house and the grounds where she had a picnic for all the Girlfriends that were lucky enough to attend!  We already had our plans well in advance of her invitation.  It would have been glorious to meet up with her and the Girlfriends. 



As we enter the gate we walk up the slate lined path that Beatrix Potter included in "The Tale of Tom Kitten" as well as "The Tale of Pigling Bland."  This path leads to the excitement of the reveal of Hill Top!



Miss Potter planted flowers along this path and intermingled herbs.  I can't help but wonder if any of those plants still exist.  Surely they must!



At last we are there at the open door of Hill Top!  Such an exciting time to walk through the doorway again.  Through the door that Beatrix Potter walked through many times.  My heart is filled with emotion again as I walk into her home.


   
As we are greeted at the door, the gentleman told me I could take photos without a flash inside if I wish.  Our last visit photos were not allowed.  I must say I was surprised and started snapping away.  It's very dark inside and I must say my photos are really not that good of the inside.  I must have been shaking as my photos appear to be as well.








Miss Potter kept the original portion of the farmhouse for her own use.  She had an addition built in place of the barn next door.  Her farm manager lived in the addition.  She loved old oak furnishings and tried to buy as much as she could.  She disliked the old furnishings of farmhouses being sent off to London.  In a letter to her friend, Bertha Mahony Miller, she wrote, "The local furniture in this district was oak, rather out of fashion in the sale room now, but I collect any genuine pieces I can get hold of to put back into the farmhouses."  December 1934



Mr. Jeremy Fisher in cast iron.



There are treasures galore in this wonderful home that belonged to Beatrix. 











This ebony cabinet with the lovely Wedgewood pieces on top got my attention.  



Her small bedroom houses a large canopied bed.  As you can tell the ceilings are quite low --hardly room for such a large bed. 




Love this interesting note to Louie Warne!



This is her view from her window and her bed. 



This is a letter from Fredrick Warne who eventually published her little books. 



This is the  long case clock that was inspiration for Beatrix to draw in "The Tailor of Gloucester."

When you visit someone's home you get to know them more personally.  Visiting Hill Top Farm gives you a sense of one more layer of the brilliant Beatrix Potter.

" What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood? " 
Beatrix Potter


Stepping out the front door we walk down and see Mr. McGregor's garden. 



We did not see Peter Rabbit that day, but I'm sure he's hiding away in the shrubs. On the left side of the home you can see the addition Beatrix Potter added for her farm manager.



Or maybe Peter has found a hole in the garden wall and is back home with his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail and his mother.



Mr. McGregor I believe your garden is okay now.  We'll head out the gate and go over to have some lunch.







We stopped in Tower Bank Arms to have our meal.



They seated us at the lovely window table.  






Grayden enjoyed the Cumbrian Beef and Ale Stew with herbed dumplings.



I had the fried shrimp and fries.



With our bellies full we reflected on the joyous day in Near Sawrey.  Thinking about Beatrix Potter we totally understand that her vision was to save this area for posterity.  The quiet beauty has been preserved well in spite of many tourists like us that come to see the beautiful area that she called home.  Thank you, Beatrix Potter and The National Trust ! ♥
















Monday, January 14, 2019

Snowy Days


For those of you that live up north, I'm sure you aren't interested in the little snow we have.  I guess when you don't get something often, it seems more like a prize than when you have it all the time!  Here in the south, we don't get snow very often of course.  I happen to be a soul that loves it.  No I don't have to work in it or do I often have to even shovel it.  


Snow began falling on Saturday and continued throughout the night into Sunday.  The icing on the cake came in the form of a sleet/snow mixture.  This is kind of dangerous and I realize not everyone gets to sit by the fire and relax.


We made sure the bird feeders were full when we heard about the upcoming storm.


The snow accumulated quickly and weighted down the hollies and the conifers.



Hopefully the boxwoods will spring back after the weight of the snow melts.  Although I have been having issues with this particular one.  I'm afraid it is suffering from box blight--a dreaded problem with boxwood.



The snow created a lovely sight as the sun began to rise.


The blue skies began to peek out from the cloud cover.



The sunshine adds another beautiful element to snow.



We decided since the sun and salt melted the snow on the road we would venture out for a walk.



It felt so good to get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air.  I'm an outside gal and feel cooped in if I don't go outside!







Okay, let's go in and have something warm to drink.



Would you like to join me for my morning tea?  Or maybe you'd like to have a cup of coffee.  I'm sure Grayden would share a cup with you.  Whatever you choose I hope you keep warm and safe wherever your day takes you. ♥