Happy Anniversary Beatrix Potter
2016 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter and there are many ways to celebrate and find out more about her life and achievements.
Beatrix Potter is still one of the world’s best-selling and best-loved children’s authors. She wrote and illustrated a total of 28 books, including the 23 tales (‘little books’) that have been translated into more than 35 languages and have sold over 100 million copies.
The Lake District is the place to celebrate the life and works of this iconic author who was also a natural scientist and conservationist. Special events are taking place at various Beatrix Potter National Trust venues in the area, including numerous children’s activities. There will also be a brand new guide to tell the story of her life, storytelling events, and the National Trust will be hosting Beatrix’s Birthday Picnics in the Lake District on July 28.
National Trust Exhibitions
Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead
Romance and Realism: Beatrix Potter, A Life Inspired by Nature
March 12 – October 30, 11am to 16.30pm
Exhibition of Beatrix’s original watercolours and illustrations, which explore the inspiration she found in the natural world. From an early age, Beatrix made intricate studies of wild animals, the cycle of the seasons, or the woodland environments of her beloved mushrooms.
Main Street, Hawkshead, Ambleside www.nationaltrust.org.uk/beatrix-potter-gallery-and-hawkshead
Two Bad Mice: Mischief in Beatrix Potter's Tales
Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth
March 25 – June 30, daily except Friday, 11am to 4pm
Revisit the magic of childhood amongst Beatrix’s beautifully observed drawings of her best-loved characters. Revel in her dark humour and relive the glorious chaos that ensues when naughty mice and curious kittens break the rules.
Beatrix Potter’s Love of the Northern Lakes
July 16 – October 30, daily except Friday, 11am – 4pm
Beatrix had a lifelong love affair with the Lake District and the wild beauty of the northern lakes, in particular, had a profound influence on her creative output. Discover how Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle all owe their existence to this glorious landscape – and how her legacy ensured it remains a place of inspiration, joy and respite.
(Many other Beatrix Potter events are being staged here).
Allan Bank, Grasmere
Beyond Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter’s Inspiration
From February half-term until Christmas
Visitors will be encouraged to look beyond her work as a children’s author, exploring the inspiration she took from her enduring friendship with Canon Rawnsley.
Defenders of the Lakes: Potter and Rawnsley
Everyday from March 25, 10am to 5pm
In 1882, the young Beatrix Potter met Canon Rawnsley. Discover more about their enduring friendship and how his views inspired Potter to preserve special places in Lakes from being irreparably ruined by development.
Coniston Steam Yacht Gondola
April 7, May 12, June 9, September 8, 11am to 16.15pm
Beatrix Potter’s Landscape Cruise and Walk
Spend the day with the local Ranger discovering the legacy and impact of Beatrix Potter’s life in the Coniston area. Walk through the Monk Coniston estate to iconic Tarn Hows, returning via Monk Coniston Hall for afternoon tea before boarding the Gondola and returning to Coniston Pier. Booking is essential.
Beatrix Potter was born in South Kensington, London on July 1866. She is said to have lived a lonely life at home, as she was educated by a governess and had little contact with other people. She had many pet animals and one of her favourite pastimes was to study them closely, filling her sketchpad with drawings of them.
Beatrix and her family spent long summer holidays in Scotland, but when the house they usually stayed in became unavailable, they rented Wray Castle near Ambleside in the Lake District. Beatrix was 16 when they first stayed here. Her parents entertained many eminent guests, including Hardwicke Rawnsley vicar of Low Wray Church, who in 1895 was to become one of the founders of the National Trust.
Key Places To Visit
The Victoria and Albert Museum holds a large collection of Beatrix Potter drawings, literary manuscripts, correspondence, and photographs. The museum hosts a changing display on particular aspects of her work in The Beatrix Potter Showcase. Open daily from 10am to 17.45pm, the museum is located in South Kensington and admission is free. For more information visit www.vam.ac.uk.
#Watch The Film
Miss Potter, starring actress Renee Zellwegger, was filmed in various locations in the Lake District, including Loughrigg Terrace and Loughrigg Tarn, Grasmere and Yew Tree Farm, Coniston. For more information, visit The Beatrix Potter Society - www.thebeatrixpottersociety.org.uk.