A Guide to Hawkshead and Loweswater.
If you only have time to visit one small town in the Lake District, it has to be Hawkshead. Home of Beatrix Potter, this beautiful slice of serenity is located in Ambleside and incredibly picturesque. Not until you're actually there do you understand where Beatrix Potter sourced her creativity from, and it's here that I felt truly inspired.
PLAY: Hill Top and Beatrix Potter Gallery
We made our way to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farmhouse that has been preserved as a time capsule of her life. Most of us grew up with Beatrix Potter’s books, and it really was a magical experience to feel like you were walking through one.
Each room had original furniture in it, as well as marked spots where Beatrix drew inspiration from for her books. They were laid out across various surfaces, each bookmarked at the exact spot so you felt like you were truly living in that moment.
The rooms are very authentic, and there was something lingering in the air that gave the atmosphere a very excited feel. You could just imagine Beatrix in her sitting room, sketching and imagining her characters coming to life. The guides in the house were extremely friendly, and full of information about Beatrix’s life and everything about her books.
The gardens were absolutely divine, and I’d highly advise visiting in summer to see all of the flowers in full bloom. When you go to view Hill Top, you have to get your tickets from the ticket office that had a big line when we got there. The tickets are done via times, and you can’t book ahead so if you wanted to see it at 10am, I’d advise getting there half an hour early to beat the crowds (and hopefully get a car spot!). We missed out on a super close car spot, so had to park in the overflow carpark which was about a 10 minute walk from the actual house.
After visiting Beatrix’s farmhouse, we drove the divine town of Hawkshead where we went to the Beatrix Potter Gallery. Firstly, I’d love to highlight how incredibly friendly and knowledgeable the staff were. They were very warm, welcoming and full of funny anecdotes and useful pieces of information.
The gallery itself was small but filled with priceless artefacts and comparisons of Beatrix’s visions of Hawkshead versus the present moment. She really was a spectacularly talented woman, who knew how to write and draw like no one else. We took our time wondering through the gallery, and it was super special to see her original drawings and letters for her books that we’d grown up reading as children.
EAT: Kings Arm (cheese platter)
After we’d seen just about everything there was to see in the Beatrix Potter Gallery, we decided to walk down the streets of Hawkshead and explore the tiny but beautiful town. Most structures have been left since they were first built, and seeing the comparison photos in the gallery really did highlight how little the town has changed since it’s inception.
By this time, we were absolutely starving and we were dying to try something local. That’s when we passed the King’s Arm, and it had the perfect location. Outdoor chairs in the warm sun, heaps of friendly dogs (and humans) and a menu to make you squeal with glee. We settled on the Dairyman’s Platter, that had local Cumbrian cheeses and relishes. Needless to say,it was DELICIOUS and really hit the spot.
ON YOUR WAY: Tarn Hows
On our way to our final stop, we decided to stop by Tarn Hows (as recommended by a few friends) and walk by the lake. I don’t think you’d ever get used to the views, even as a local, as they’re just so stunning. We more stopped/started on this walk than anything else and took about a million photos. The views really took your breath away and were something to see.
My hint would be to bring a raincoat, wear your hiking boots and bring a big water bottle. Oh, and don’t be dummies like us where both your phones had no battery and we thought we were going to have a semi Bear Grylls-esque moment!
STAY: Kirkstile Inn
If you’re after an authentic stay, there is nowhere more tranquil than the Kirkstile Inn. Nestled in the fells of the North West Lake District, the original building is more than 400 years old and one of the most special places we stayed at.
You can read the full review HERE.