Wednesday 5 October 2011

Beatrix Potter Part 2 Hawkshead

Now we fast forward to July 2008 and this time my Mum and Dad were on holiday near Lancaster too. This was really special for us to be there together and visit places from my childhood, 40years previously. Dad was very busy re-painting Auntie Jessie's house so he stayed behind this day and Unka Tom took Mum, Joe and I to the Lake District to see Beatrix's home at Hill Top, Near Sawrey.

We stopped for some sandwiches and drinks at the big Tesco supermarket near Hest Bank and Mum thought she'd have a little ride in Captain Pugwash's ship...that got the day off to a really great start!

I find this street sign fascinating
We drove up to the village of Hawkshead and went for a walk around, it was cool and drizzly but still a wonderful experience...these house look so tiny, I know people were shorter when they were built but these looked like dolls' houses at times.

I hadn't remembered that Hawkshead was where William Heelis, Beatrix's husband, and his cousin worked as solicitors so as I walked past the buildings below I suddenly recognised them from my book, "At Home With Beatrix Potter" and got very excited....the cream building on the left was their office and the cottage in the middle is "Bend or Bump Cottage" as the doorway is rather low and if you don't bend you will bump your head. The projecting wing of the cottage has a slate hung wall supported by massive stone flagstones. Unfortunately some-one saw fit to white-wash the slate which is very beautiful raw and mined to the north of here. Many of the Lake District buildings are made from slate mined at Honister, you can see the roofs here are tiled with it and the bigger house on the right has it's walls built from "bricks" of slate.

This friendly butcher and his van were very popular with the local shoppers, I'm sure his meat was from nearby farms.
Mum sheltering outside the former offices of W.H. Heelis and Son. This building dates back to the 17th century but was re-fronted in the early 19th century when that unusual Venetian window above Mum's head was added.
A very tempting Hawkshead shop with a wonderful array of local produce...

An old public house sign, Queen Elizabeth the First. The other pub in Hawkshead is called The King's Arms which makes me smile.

A peek down the back-streets...notice the cobble-stone pathway?

If you'd like to see more of Hawkshead click on this link, the photographs are very good and there are aerial shots of the town too.

Mam tucks into her well-earned lunch...there was hot vegie soup too, all home-made.
After walking around the village and buying a few souvenirs we went into this larger shop that was selling all manner of hiking equipment and clothing....hiking and fell-walking are very popular activities in the Lake District in all kinds of weather. There are Youth Hostels dotted around where you can stay overnight for a very reasonable fee and use the bathing and cooking facilities as well as a much needed bed!

Lunch over and much-enjoyed we went back to the car to drive to Hill Top to wait for the afternoon visiting hours to begin. I'll show you those photos and some from my book of the inside of the house tomorrow.

Hope you have a wonderful day, a little sewing is on my cards I think.

Love from Sue

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