Visit the Home of Peter Rabbit on a Day Trip from LondonPosted March 5, 2018 in the TAP Into Travel Blog
Visiting Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s 17th Century farmhouse and 34-acre grounds, is like stepping into Peter Rabbit and her other charming books. Here is where she was inspired to write about the trials of Jemima Puddle Duck as she strove to keep her eggs safe from the devious fox. The antics of Squirrel Nutkin. And the tales of other small creatures that came to life in her stories.
Hill Top is in Cumbria, England, and part of the National Trust that received the property after her death in 1943. The Trust maintains Hill Top as Potter left it. So visitors can imagine the author at work at her desk, preparing meals in the kitchen, and finding inspiration in the gardens.
The architecture of the house is “vernacular.” It was designed based on the availability of local construction materials and reflecting local traditions. Property owners relied on the design skills of local builders, Since the late 19th Century, many professional architects have been inspired by this style.
The entrance hall has the original stone-flagged floor. The wallpaper hung by Potter in 1906 has been reproduced as accurately as possible. Furnishings seen in her illustrations include a replica of the cook stove, a 1795 longcase clock, a 17th Century oak press cupboard, Chippendale-style chairs, and a Georgian dresser.
Potter installed the Adam-style chimneypiece in the parlor. And the furniture dates to the early 19th Century. A 1902 coronation teapot in the cupboard is illustrated in The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan. The staircase is early 18th Century, and the carpets match those in the Tale of Samuel Whiskers.
Children of all ages enjoy using The Tale of Samuel Whiskers as a guidebook. And it’s because the setting is inside Hill Top. Visitors can match Potter’s drawings with the rooms and furniture.
Hill Top Farm is open every day except holidays, and entrance is by timed tickets. And, it’s just a short day trip from London!
But beware. Mean old Mr. McGregor may lurk behind hedges still hunting those pesky bunnies. Peter Rabbit, beware!