Tag Archives: Keswick

Why Squirrel Nutkin owes his life to the North Lakes

14 Jul
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin1903 SN14 7.7.14

Nutkin and friends fishing on Derwentwater. © Frederick Warne & Co. 1903, 2002

Our new exhibition at Wordsworth House and Garden, in Cockermouth, reveals how some of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved characters own their existence to the northern Lake District.

Beatrix, who was born 150 years ago this month, is more usually associated with the area around Hill Top Farm, Near Sawrey, close to Windermere, where she wrote several of her children’s books and devoted her later life farming and breeding Herdwick sheep.

But, without the early family holidays she spent in the north Lakes, around Keswick and Derwentwater, she might never have written the world-famous tales of Squirrel Nutkin, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggy-winkle, the hedgehog.

The stories behind their creation are told in Beatrix Potter and a Love of the Northern Lakes, which opens here, at poet William Wordsworth’s childhood home, on Saturday. The exhibition includes several of her original illustrations together with a selection of photographs taken in the area by her father, Rupert.

Beatrix sketching on Derwentwater 1903 by Rupert Potter. © The Cotsen Collection

Beatrix sketching on Derwentwater 1903 by Rupert Potter. © The Cotsen Collection

Zoe Gilbert, our Visitor Experience Manager, said: “Although Beatrix was born almost 100 years after William and wrote children’s stories rather than poetry, they had more in common, as writers and early conservationists, than many people realise.

“Like William, Beatrix was profoundly influenced by the time she spent in this beautiful part of the Lake District, so we’re delighted to be marking her anniversary with this very special exhibition. The local places she visited, the views she admired and the wildlife she observed inspired some of her most popular books.”

Admission to the exhibition, which runs until the end of October, is free with entry to the house and garden.

We’re also holding Beatrix-themed talks, art classes, storytelling sessions and family events throughout the summer.

On Thursday 28 July – the 150th anniversary of the day she was born – we’re hosting a birthday picnic for families, from 11.30am to 3.30pm. There will be storytelling, activities and free birthday cake, and children bringing a picnic lunch or tea plus a favourite toy will get the whole family in free.

For more information on our full programme of Beatrix Potter events and activities for adults and children, visit our website.


Bring us your money, your picnics – and your skills

20 Mar

View from the Stepping Stone in KeswickIf you’re in the Keswick area, come and see our lovely new National Trust shop and information centre, which opens this weekend on the foreshore, just beyond the Theatre by the Lake.

It’s twice the size of our old shop, packed with a wide range of goodies and practical outdoor kit, and is the perfect stepping stone to all the North Lakes area has to offer.

If you’ve got time to spare, it has a fabulous new raised picnic area, where you can relax and admire the view (above).

The Stepping Stone, in Keswick, takes shape

If you have even more time on your hands and fancy joining our friendly staff team, Kirsty, who runs our café at Wordsworth House, here in Cockermouth (below), is looking for a casual staff member.

Wordsworth House cafe

They need to be great with people, fully flexible about when they work – and good at multi-tasking in a bustling environment.

If you think that might be you, check out our advert in Friday’s edition of the Times & Star newspaper – and send us your CV by April 7.

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