I don’t know about you but at the start of every year I write a list named.... 'Things I must do this year’ (Oh how I love a list!!).
Fourth on that list this year was.... 'Go to the Lake District and visit where Beatrix Potter did her work!' It made it on to the list because I’ve been meaning to do it for agggeeessss and of course... for the very small (I mean absolutely massive!!) fact that Beatrix is one of my ALL time, favourite, illustrating superstars!! Wooohoooo!
I grew up reading all Beatrix Potter's magical stories. Peter Rabbit was predictably my all time favourite, going to see ‘Peter Rabbit On Ice’ at Alton Towers as child was definitely one of mine and my sisters favourite memories.
As an adult I still adore the works of Beatrix and now as an Illustrator it fascinates me even more so! I just love how Beatrix never gave up on her pursuit to get ‘The Tale Of Peter Rabbit’ published – against all the odds and against her ‘well-to-do’ parents wishes she thankfully got her first publishing deal in her early 30’s!! Yay!! Nice one Bea!!
I wanted to visit ‘Hill Top’ the cottage which Beatrix brought with the royalties she made from her books and which is the place where she did all her works from, gaining inspiration from the beautiful countryside it's situated in. Also for me, to be able to my job as best as I can, I figure I should always be looking for ways to learn and I reckon learning from one of the best is probably a good place to start hey!
Now... I didn’t go alone on my travels, I managed to rally my sister and a couple of friends together to come along too... I told them we were going on a nice little ‘walking holiday’ with plenty of beer gardens and time for relaxation... it was just a coincidence that we happened to be passing the National Trust owned cottage – ‘Hill Top’ too! Honest! Here’s a picture of us all in our walking entire outside the cottage...
(From the left: Emma Brooks, Lucy Bradley, Me (Amy Bradley) and Jemma Grocott)
As we all walked up to the cottage it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where Beatrix got her inspiration from for Mr.McGregor’s garden and when you take a peek inside the cottage you soon learn it has been preserved exactly the way Beatrix instructed it to be. As you delve a bit deeper it’s not long before your spotting items from her stories – just take a look at these pictures…
So... whilst on my visit to ‘Hill Top’ I learnt that Beatrix had an eye for collecting beautiful objects, for buying quint pieces of furniture and for finding beautiful surroundings that she then interpreted into her stories and illustrations. It truly had such a lovely and ‘magical’ feel at the cottage and I can completely understand how Beatrix could let her imagination loose there.
With even more admiration for Beatrix’s work – I hope, (pray) and dream that one day I might follow in her footsteps.
Until next time
For more information about ‘Hill Top’ visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hill-top