Celebrate Beatrix Potter’s 150th anniversary

On July 28 the country will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, one of Britain’s most beloved children’s writers. We find out how you can celebrate.

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View across the kitchen garden in July to the back of Wordsworth House, Cockermouth, Cumbria Credit: National Trust Images/Val Corbett

Beatrix Potter and a Love of the northern Lakes, Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth, from 16 July to 30 October

The exhibition explores how Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggy-winkle owe their existence to the inspiring landscape of the northern lakes. It includes many original photographs of the area taken by Beatrix’s father, Rupert Potter, who was a very skilled photographer (he often worked with the Pre-Raphaelite artist Millais, photographing his sitters) as well as original illustrations by the writer from the tales of Nutkin, Benjamin and Mrs Tiggy.

Wordsworth House and Garden is the birthplace and childhood home of Beatrix’s fellow Lakeland literary legend, poet William Wordsworth. Running alongside the exhibition, on Wednesdays and Saturdays in term time at 11.30am, our costumed servants give a special ten-minute talk entitled Two Wild Children about how the natural world shaped both Beatrix and William. 

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William Heelis’ solicitors office, now the Beatrix Potter Gallery, Hawkshead Credit: National Trust Images/Alex Black

Realism and Romance: Beatrix Potter’s life inspired by nature, Beatrix Potter Gallery and Hawkshead, 13 February to 30 October

This exhibition at the Beatrix Potter Gallery explores the writer’s love of nature and the inspiration she took from the natural world, with highlights including original illustrations from classics such as ‘The Tale of Jemina Puddleduck’, some of Beatrix’s sketchbooks and excerpts from her coded journal.

The gallery run by the National Trust and situated in a 17th-century stone-built house in Hawkshead, Cumbria, which was previously the office of Beatrix Potter’s husband William Heelis.

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A view of Hill Top, Cumbria, home of Beatrix Potter Credit: National Trust Images/James Dobson

Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday party, Hill Top, Hawkshead, Cumbria, 28 July, 10am to 5pm

Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the royalties from her first few books and cemented her love of the Lake District. Now managed by the National Trust, Hill Top is a time capsule of Beatrix Potter’s life. Full of her favourite things, the house appears as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk. Join the party at Beatrix’s beloved Hill Top on what would have been her birthday.

Hill Top showcase tours, Hill Top, Cumbria, 1 September and 6 October, 5pm to 6.30pm

As part of its 150th anniversary celebrations, this unique after-hours tour is perfect for fans: it’s a chance to have exclusive access to the house and get up close to items from the collection.

This new opportunity to peep behind the scenes gives you a detailed tour of Hill Top and a chance to see how a little 21st-century magic protects the house and collection. Lead by one of our experienced house team, there will be the opportunity to ask questions, browse the shop and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine.

Beyond Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter’s inspiration, Allan Bank and Grasmere, Cumbria, until Christmas

Explore the inspiration Beatrix took from her enduring friendship with Canon Rawnsley at Allan Bank, one of the founders of the National Trust. You’ll discover how Rawnsley’s views inspired her to preserve special places in the Lakes from being irreparably ruined by development.

Beatrix Potter: Play and Childhood, Mottisfont, Hampshire, 6 July to 18 September

Play and Childhood features a delightful collection of 30 original watercolours and drawings, along with a small selection of rare vintage Potter dolls and figurines, all of which are rarely exhibited outside of their home in the Lake District. The exhibition at Mottisfont showcases some of her most famous characters including Peter Rabbit and the Two Bad Mice, while taking you on a journey into the world of play and childhood.

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