This fantastic Lake District tour departs from Oxenholme, Windermere, Bowness, and Ambleside every afternoon throughout the summer. Taking in many places associated with the famous children’s author, Beatrix Potter, this tour is an ideal opportunity to see the scenery which inspired her. This half day tour gives you a fantastic overview of the Southern Lake District in a short amount of time. It introduces the culture and history of The Lake District, which created the landscapes you see today. Learn the significant of farming on the Lake District and how it helped the National Park achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2017.
Leave Windermere in the early afternoon and head along the shores of Lake Windermere, learning about the history of the area and lake along the way from our knowledgeable, local driver-guides. You will catch several glimpses of the glittering lake as you drive towards the central Lake District.
If there is time, you may be treated to a stop at the National Trust site, Wray Castle. Wray Castle is a beautiful mock-Gothic castle which stands tall on the North West shore of Lake Windermere. Boasting beautiful views of the surrounding fells the castle is a popular destination for national park visitors. This castle has connections to Beatrix Potter as when she was 16 years old, her parents brought her to Wray Castle for a summer holiday. (Please note this stop is not guaranteed, it is dependent on timings and Hill Top entry times).
Onwards you’ll travel through more of the Lake District's landscapes, areas which inspired Miss Potter when writing her famous Tales of Peter Rabbit. On route you may spot some of the native Herdwick sheep grazing in the fields. Beatrix Potter was a committed and respected farmer and had her own flock of Herdwick Sheep.
Next the tour stops at Hill Top Farm located in Near Sawrey, once owned by the famous author this beautifully preserved building is as enchanting as traditional farm houses come. Beatrix Potter purchased the farm in 1905 with the royalties from her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. When Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top Farm it was a working farm and remained that way throughout her lifetime and still is today. When Beatrix Potter died in 1943, Hill Top Farm was left to the National Trust and the provision was it place that the house was left exactly as she had left it and it stays that way to date.
You may choose to enter to house and see how she lived. This is additional and can be added to your basket when booking. Please check the house opening times, Hill Top House is closed on Friday outside of UK school holidays and during the winter months. See their website for further details.
Onward to the beauty spot Tarn Hows, this man made tarn provides some of the most incredible views in the Lake District. It has been the inspiration for many artists and writers and once you visit, you will understand why. On a clear day you can see the Langdale Pikes, a favoured adventure for walkers. The 1 ¾ mile route around the tarn is level and well maintained making it accessible for wheelchairs and prams. Beatrix Potter purchased Tarn Hows as well as nearby Monk Coniston estate to help conserve and protect them and when she died left half to the National Trust at cost and the other half in her will.
Next stop, Coniston, is a beautiful village which is well known for Coniston Water and Donald Campbell CBE, who broke the world water speed record of 276mph. You might also catch a glimpse of a Steam Yacht Gondola that's a rebuilt Victorian steam powered yacht that offers cruises on Coniston Water.
Admiring the views, the tour will then take you to the final stop which is a trip to Hawkshead. Hawkshead is a charming medieval village full of narrow alleys and characterful squares. It is home to a grammar school which was established back in 1585 and where the famous English poet, William Wordsworth went to school. Overlooking the village on a hill, you can also find St Michael and All Angels Church that has been there since 16th century. Whilst we're talking about Hawkshead we also must mention the delicious Hawkshead Relish Company, which is definitely worth a visit! Hawkshead is a village where you get a real sense of history and it is a great place to explore, which is why we include it in so many of our tours. With further strong connections to Beatrix Potter, Hawkshead village was the location of her local solicitor husband, William Heelis office which today is Beatrix Potter’s Gallery. The 17th century building remains mostly unaltered and houses many original items, drawings and illustrations.
Both our summer and winter tours are an ideal afternoon out for fans of Miss Potter, taking in some great locations in a scenic afternoon. Even if you’re not a fan of the author you can sit back and enjoy some of the best scenery the Lake District has to offer.
If you wish to visit Hill Top House please add the entrance to your tour ticket. Please note: Hill Top House is closed on Thursdays & Fridays on certain days throughout the year, on these dates the Best of the Lake District tour is available.