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Friday, January 19, 2007

Beatrix Potter Lake District 

Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor were in the Lake District during 2006, filming scenes for the newly released film, Miss Potter. It describes the fascinating story of Beatrix Potter's life and career as a pioneering children's author and conservationist.

Born on 28 July 1866 in South Kensington, London, Beatrix Potter spent many summers on holiday in the English Lake District with her parents, staying at Wray Castle, Fawe Park, Holehird and Lingholm, by Derwent water, now famous for its rhododendron gardens; she loved Derwent water and made many sketches of the landscape.

In 1903 Beatrix Potter, now an established author of children's books, bought a field in Near Sawrey and in 1905 she bought Hill Top, a small farm in Sawrey, where for the next 8 years she wrote still more of her famous books. Hill Top (Near Sawrey, Ambleside, LA22 0LF) is preserved as it was when Beatrix was living there and it is said to be the most visited 'literary shrine' in the Lake District. There is a National Trust car park close by and next door is the Tower Bank Arms, also owned by the National Trust and open for bar lunches and evening meals.

Beatrix Potter married William Heelis, a solicitor in Hawkshead, in 1913 and continued to buy land and property in the Lake District. She bequeathed 4,000 acres (16 km²) of land, cottages, and 15 farms to the National Trust on her death and this has now become part of the Lake District National Park. The office of William Heelis became the Beatrix Potter Gallery where original artwork for her children’s 'tales' is displayed.

You can see many of her watercolours and drawings of fungi, mosses and fossils, which formed part of an important scientific study, at the Armitt Library in Ambleside.

At The World of Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle and their friends, from all 23 of Beatrix Potter's tales are brought to life in three dimensions.

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