The Tale of Peter Rabbit was Beatrix Potter’s first children’s book, published in 1902. After experiencing difficulty finding a publisher, having sent the manuscript to 6 different publishers, and receiving 6 rejections, the book was eventually accepted by the London firm of Frederick Warne & Co. It was an instant success and Beatrix went on to produce a total of 23 children’s books, all published by Warne.
Growing up being read the stories myself and watching the productions made for television, Beatrix Potter has never lost her popularity. Today more than two million Beatrix Potter books are sold every year worldwide.
In Bowness-on-Windermere, a scenic little town on the edge of Lake Windermere, there is the home to The World of Beatrix Potter attraction. I visited here in October 2015 and highly recommend the attraction to visitors of all ages. It gives you a great insight to the life and loves of Beatrix Potter and you are able to see where her inspiration for her tales started.
The attraction starts with a short film introduction to Beatrix and her stories. You learn briefly about her childhood in London and how she grew to love the Lake District. When the film finished the room opened into the main attraction, where the characters of her books where brought to life.
It starts with Jamima Puddle Duck’s woodland and Mr Tod’s underground borrow. The attraction has cleverly planned atmospheric lighting and smells to make you step into the pages of her books and into her world.
Following on from the first part of the attraction is the Peter Rabbit Garden, even on a damp old day this looked gorgeous. The garden where Peter got caught by Mr. Mcgregor is brought to life with freshly grown lettuces and plants to reflect the essence of Beatrix Potter’s vision shown within her illustrations. The pavements have hidden names and the bronze sculpture to symbolise the inspiration her books have given.
Back inside and the tour continues with the story of Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tittlemouse and Mrs Tiggy-Winkles Kitchen where you can smell fresh laundry. This was one of my favourite tales when growing up. This leads into a 360 degree viewing room of the Cumbrian countryside that Beatrix Potter loved, you can take a virtual journey to the places that inspired her stories.
The final part of the attraction of course is Mr. McGregor’s greenhouse and the tale of Peter. As you walk through you can smell the tomatoes and see the adventures of Peter and his cousin Benjamin before entering the gift shop! Where I did purchase some goodies!
If you are feeling peckish too, there is a beautiful tea room at the attraction where you can enjoy afternoon tea.
I loved the attraction and enjoyed learning more about Beatrix Potter and her life, unfortunately I didn’t make it to Hill Top Cottage, but I will be certain to on my next visit to the lakes.