Tuesday 29th July 2013: Hill Top Cottage, The Lake Disctrict

As The Magical Literary Tour continues, I am mindful of the fact that it may not be to the liking to all of those taking part (i.e. Rob, Bethan and James). With 50% of the Tour being under the age of 4, I thought I would strike a happy medium between books and children and that could only mean one thing in The Lake District; visiting Hill Top Cottage - House of Beatrix Potter (See sign at the left - I'm not sure why but I felt the need to take pictures of signs wherever we went).

Aside from the commercial faux-attraction that is called The World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness, we finally sought out Hill Top which is the real-deal; a National Trust Treasure. In fact, I loved the fact that Beatrix Potter was so intrinsic to the setting up of the NT because of her love of the Lakeland Fells and her desire to preserve them from development, that I decided to join! (Well, that and the fact that you got two months free if you signed up there and then).

According to the lovely Guide (who seemed to pop up everywhere on our Literary Tour) whose admiration for Beatrix was infectious, Ms Potter had left the house as if she had gone for a walk as she wanted people to get a real sense of what it is like. This excited me so much because it meant that most of what we would see wouldn't be behind ropes and we could get a real feel for what the Cottage would have felt like when she actually lived there. My excitement was a little tainted by the posh guy next to me who said to his companion in his best received pronunciation voice, "Well Serge; I think that is quite arrogant". Rob managed to stop me from calling him a tit and ushered me through the small door of the homely cottage.

Watch out Peter Rabbit! The Fun Police (aka
as the posh guy) are out to ruin the children's fun and will
probably try to eat your radishes!
When you go into the cottage another well-versed and enthusiastic tour guide handed Bethan a copy of "The Tale of Pigglin Bland" as 2013 is the centenary of its original publication. The task for the children is to find which parts of the cottage have inspired the illustrations in Beatrix's books.

Bethan was in her element and it was delightful to see.
Although we were asked not to put our bums on the intricate furniture, we could sit on the cottage's beautiful window benches. It was here that Bethan decided to sit down and read the book in her own unique way.

Unfortunately, it was also the same time that the posh guy came into the room who decided to tell Serge that the piano in the room was actually "a long piano" or something. He did it so everyone could hear his knowledge of the musical instrument and seemed to stop when he heard Bethan reading. No, it wasn't to remark on how Beatrix Potter would have loved to see a child sit down and read one of her books in her revered cottage; oh no, it was to sshh her so that he could continue to discuss the instrument before him.

All I can say is thank goodness the artifacts and furniture in the cottage are protected by the National Trust otherwise he would have ended up suffering an injury and helping to create a new Chapter in The Hill Top saga.