Arts & Culture

Best places to Learn about Beatrix Potter in the UK

The late author Beatrix Potter continues to drive masses of tourists to the natural vistas and museums of the Lake District. But if you want to dig deep into the life of this writer, painter, illustrator and natural scientist, you might also want to visit some Beatrix Potter attractions outside of England’s most mountainous region.

So, which museums and landmarks give you the most comprehensive insight into the life of this remarkable author? Here are our recommendations about Beatrix Potter in the UK

Wray Castle, Ambleside

Beatrix Potter stayed in the Victorian Gothic Wray Castle when she was just 16, marking the beginning of her fascination with the beautiful Lake District. Inside, very little remains from the days of Beatrix Potter, but the kids can learn about her life and stories in the Peter Rabbit adventure rooms.

Don’t forget to pack a picnic for your visit to Wray Castle; the terrace offers stunning views over Lake Windermere.

Hill Top, Near Sawrey

If you want to find out how Beatrix Potter lived, you need to visit Hill Top, the author’s former home. This beautiful cottage and its surroundings in the historic boundaries of Lancashire served as the inspiration for many of Potter’s books. Head inside to see some of her treasured possessions. The contents of the house have been – for the most part – left untouched since the days of Potter.

The Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead

The Beatrix Potter Gallery occupies a charming 17th-century building that once housed the law offices of the author’s husband. While you browse the incredible collection of original Potter artwork, the kids can enjoy a range of fun activities and interactive exhibits.

After learning about Potter’s artistic side, explore the countryside settings that surround the village of Hawkshead. These breathtaking views inspired Beatrix plus many other poets, authors and artists.

The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness-on-Windermere

The World of Beatrix Potter is adored by kids and adults alike, where you can immerse yourself in 3D scenes taken from her books. Just some of the scenes you can explore include Peter Rabbit’s garden, Jemima Puddle-Duck’s woodland glade and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s kitchen.

When you’ve enjoyed all the interactive museum exhibitions, stop by the café and gift shop to refuel and purchase a memento of your trip. Before leaving the Lake District, don’t forget to hike the trails around Tarn Hows Lake, which was part of an estate purchased by Potter for their conservation.

The House of the Tale of Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Head down the M6 to Gloucestershire, and you can find some exclusive Beatrix Potter books and memorabilia inside The House of the Tale of Gloucester, a shop and museum housed inside a charming building that Beatrix once drew. The building itself is believed to have existed since the 1500s and is only a stone’s throw away from Gloucester Cathedral.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

If you fancy learning more about Beatrix Potter while staying in London, you should pay a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of Beatrix’s manuscripts, drawings, photographs and correspondence. Here, you can browse landscape watercolours, studies for fairy tales and family archive materials. Plenty of exhibitions teach you about the late author’s inspirations.

Check out our fantastic Lake District tour for a wonderful Beatrix Potter experience on the author’s home soil.