Peter Rabbit

peterrabbit.jpgPeter Rabbit is the most famous character created by the author Beatrix Potter, who was born in London in 1866.

 

Beatrix Potter: early life

As a child, Beatrix spend whole summers on holiday in Scotland or the Lake District with her family. She spent a great deal of her spare time painting and drawing her pets, landscapes, buildings and flowers. Beatrix came to live in the Lake District in 1913, married a solicitor and went to live at Castle Farm, Near Sawrey which is very near Hill Top Farm, a house she had already bought and the place where she wrote many of her stories. A visit to Hill Top is a must when you are in the Lake District; please book in advance to avoid disappointment as the number of visitors able to enter the house at any given time is limited in order to conserve this lovely cottage.

Beatrix the writer

The tales of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Squirrel Nutkin, Jeremy Fisher, The Tailor of Gloucester and The Pie and the Patty Pan all began as illustrated letters to the children of Beatrix's former governess, Annie Carter. Annie suggested that the letters would make good little books. Beatrix could not find anyone willing to publish her books at first so she paid for 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to be made. These sold very quickly and in 1902, Frederick Warne & Co. agreed to print her books. They have been bestsellers ever since, translated into many languages. There are 23 titles in the series and many of the characters lived in the Lake District. Beatrix loved her life on the farm at Hill Top and used the money she made from writing her little books to buy 14 farms and over 4,000 acres of land.

Beatrix the farmer

During her life helping to run the farm, Beatrix became an expert on the Herdwick, a local breed of sheep with a coarse grey fleece and a famously smiling face! The Herdwick is very hardy, lives on the fells and can be seen all over the Lake District. In the early 1900s, the Herdwicks were in danger of being replaced by other breeds but Beatrix and a few local farmers ensured their survival. Total numbers of Herdwicks now stand at around 75,000, Beatrix wanted to ensure the protection of the Lake District landscape and traditions and after her death in 1943, all her farms and land were left to the National Trust.

beatrixpotter150logo.jpgCelebrating Beatrix in 2016 

2016 would have been Beatrix Potter's 150th Birthday. The Lake District is celebrating in style, finding lots of ways to say thank you to Beatrix. This successful and talented artist and author was also an ambitious businesswoman, farmer and conservationist who achieved so much during her 77 years, especially in an age when it was difficult for a woman to gain recognition. On her death, she left the National Trust one of their most important legacies: 4000 acres and 15 farms, setting the scene for the conservation movement in the Lake District.

For details of special celebrations in 2016, see our Events section here...

 

 

Beatrix Potter™ © Frederick Warne & Co. 2016.

 

The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

wobpa.jpgThe World of Beatrix Potter Attraction and home of Peter Rabbit is an award-winning visitor experience that has welcomed over 150,000 visitors from Japan to its home in Bowness-on-Windermere since it opened in 1991. Visitors can enjoy full Japanese translation as they explore the magical World of Beatrix Potter where all 23 of the enchanting tales are brought to life, recreating the beautiful Lake District countryside, complete with sights, sounds and smells. All the favourite characters from the little white books are featured, including Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-winkle and Jemima Puddle-duck. The outdoor Peter Rabbit Garden offers visitors a glimpse of the cos lettuces that Benjamin Bunny nibbled on and the gooseberry bush where Peter got caught in a net as he tried to escape from Mr McGregor! Children can enjoy a free activity sheet and adults can immerse themselves in Miss Potter's history in the new digital and interactive exhibition space. With a superb character-themed, family-friendly café serving food made with ingredients grown in the kitchen garden and a world-famous gift shop for visitors, all generations can experience a little bit of Beatrix Potter magic, whatever the weather!

Watch the film here to give you a flavour of the World of Beatrix Potter experience...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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