Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter! And a Magical Visit to Remember

Happy belated birthday to Beatrix Potter!  This week Tuesday July 28th marked the 182nd birthday of this beloved and influential storyteller. Her books are well-loved favorites in our house and the milestone of her birthday reminded me of a lovely guest post from a Jump Into a Book reader that I felt was worth revisiting. Enjoy!

Beatrix Potter

Hello Jump Into A Book Readers!

My name is Karen Meacham and my blog is called Little Acorns.

Little Acorns

I am a PreKindergarten teacher at an independent school in the United States, and a mother of three children, ages 14, 12, and 6. As a teacher and parent I am passionate about outdoor education, time for children to play, and reading to children.

In the Spring of 2008, our family had the opportunity to spend a semester in England while my husband was teaching at a local university. We had a fantastic time, and truly felt the semester was a life changing experience for our whole family. Not only did we get to immerse ourselves in a new culture, meeting many kind and helpful people, but we got to see many wonderful places as well.

One weekend in early March, my husband very kindly kept the children, and my best friend Trish and I ventured to a place I have longed for ages to visit, the Lake District. We took the train, with a day stop in Chesterfield, to Windermere Station. Our bed and breakfast was only a few blocks and a short walk away. After a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast, we headed out to one of my most anticipated destinations, Beatrix Potter’s home, Hill Top Farm!

To get to Hill Top Farm we strolled through the town of Bowness-on-Windermere and then took the ferry across Lake Windermere. Despite the fact that it was fairly chilly and raining, we decided to take the footpath the couple of miles up to Hill Top Farm. We like hiking and were not going to be deterred by a little rain. Plus we figured Beatrix Potter certainly wouldn’t have had the option to take a shuttle bus, and we wanted to see the area as much the way she did as we could.

The permitted path led us through some lovely wooded areas, along the road briefly, through some farmland, and up the hill (as the house’s name would suggest) to Hill Top Farm! Upon arrival, Trish and I headed over to purchase our tickets for the house. To keep the numbers of visitors inside the house at any given time, manageable, the National Trust sells timed tickets to Hill Top. Trish and I purchased our tickets and spent the half hour or so until our time to enter the house, strolling around the grounds and exploring a bit of Beatrix Potter’s gardens. It even stopped raining long enough for me to take my hat off for a picture!

Permitted Path

We enjoyed exploring the gardens a bit, but because of the time of year, not too much was going on above the surface of the ground. I read that visiting the gardens in the summer is wonderful (late June and early July are said to be the best times to see the garden in its full glory), and that it has a large variety of flowers and vegetables. If you are interested in seeing pictures of Beatrix Potter’s gorgeous garden, there are many available online or you may simply peruse your copy of The Tale of Tom Kitten. Miss Potter used her own garden as a model for the garden in the story!

The Tale of Tom Kitten

 

My name is Karen, and I am a PreKindergarten teacher at an independent school. In our class, we use some Montessori materials and methods, some Waldorf-inspired materials and stories, and some aspects of the Reggio Emilia approach. We also spend lots of time outside in nature, learning and playing! This blog Little Acorns is about my ideas and inspirations, my classroom, and my lovely family! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

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