I have read all the Beatrix Potter stories to the children at bedtime. Some more often than others. Certain tales were as delightful and easy to read as well paced poems (Jeremy Fisher); others were a vicious, verbal obstacle course for a very tired reader to stumble over and I used to hide them behind other books (The Pie and the Patty Pan, anyone?) So the boys and I absolutely charmed when we visited Potter’s Hill Top Farm run by the National Trust for, instead of a worthy guide book, we were given copies of “The Tale of Samuel Whiskers”. (This was the boys’ favourite though I found Tom Kitten’s close shave quite unnerving.) We were instructed to search the house for the exact places Potter had drawn for the book. Well done the National Trust for thinking of such a thing! The boys were entranced to find the VERY skirting board, the stairs etc from her watercolours and trace the story of the enormous, old, thieving rat, and the ever resourceful Maria, around the house.
Be warned Hill Top Farm is extremely popular and entry is by timed ticket only. Allow plenty of time of park – because there’s not much of it and it’s a walk from the site. Click here for the official site.