Beatrix Potter leads the way

Published on: 19 Jun 2014

A leading Lake District attraction is highlighting close links with the world famous creator of Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin.

Brockhole, on the shores of Windermere, has launched a Beatrix Potter trail based on heritage left by the renowned children's author.

Wealthy Manchester silk and yarn merchants, the Gaddum family created the lavish lakeside home, where Edith and her first cousin Beatrix Potter continued close lifelong ties.

The writer sent letters to Gaddum children Jim and Molly at Brockhole, including one based on Jeremy Fisher, complete with illustrations.

Brockhole learning co-ordinator, Ruth Suddaby, said Beatrix Potter and her animal characters were universally famed and the centre was keen to introduce families to the wildlife that had inspired her.

She explained: "Our amazing grounds play host to a wealth of the creatures which appear in the beautiful tales. We even share our name with Mr Brock the badger.

"Our Beatrix Potter trail features a series of information boards where children can learn more about the national park's fantastic fauna and have fun doing rubbings on them. Who knows, they may even see a real rabbit, frog, fox, mouse or hedgehog!"

According to Gaddum family letters, Beatrix Potter and her husband William Heelis attended William and Edith's golden wedding anniversary celebrations at Brockhole in 1936.

It was the last time she wore inherited family jewels and a dress with many buttons down the back, which she was apparently unable to remove after the drive home to Sawrey.

Sitting up all night in a chair, she was finally helped out of the garment when her housekeeper arrived the following morning.

Ruth added: "Given the history, heritage and our unique setting, we are hoping the new trail proves a hit with visitors of all ages. It might help inspire others to follow Beatrix Potter's lead and become writers, painters and naturalists!"

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