Half a mile from Hill Top, which is the home of Beatrix Potter, is the south­ern­most shore line of Esthwaite Water. Fringed with lily pads and reed beds, Esthwaite Water is a nat­ural home to all things aquatic — indeed, the home of Jeremy Fisher!

Jeremy Fisher

Often she would walk down to the lake and along the shoreline to the his­toric boat­house, now a cafe and a centre for the work she did on Esthwaite Water.

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The nature walk is half a mile long, fin­ish­ing or start­ing at the cafe. Along the trail are story­boards of the anim­als Beatrix immor­tal­ised in the char­ac­ters of Jeremy Fisher, Jemima Puddleduck, Squirrel Nutkin and more. The story­boards, writ­ten in English, inform the vis­itor about the anim­als in real life, and help the vis­itor engage with the young Beatrix’s rela­tion­ships with the anim­als she used for her books.

Nature Walk: Bluebells

The nature walk is spe­cial in that it takes the vis­itor through dif­fer­ent hab­it­ats. It is only half a mile long, and provides a unique oppor­tun­ity to enjoy the con­scious­ness of a walk­ing med­it­a­tion, through the blue­bells under the beech tree to the wood anemones under the cop­pice, over fungi on the dead wood and sur­roun­ded by the abund­ance of dif­fer­ent mosses.

Nature Walk: Wood Anemones

The yel­low flower­ing lilies are clearly home to Jeremy! At the board-walk there is an oppor­tun­ity to see behind a reed bed and the slow form­a­tion of terra firma with the encroach­ment of Alder Carr and birch, home to the res­id­ent otters.

Nature Walk: Signboard

Through the car park — a use­ful over­flow to Hill Top — and along the park­land is the Boathouse and the Cafe on the Lake. Here, images of the osprey and the otters are on a video screen, along with cased examples of the under­wa­ter fish.

The gal­lery and Nature Lodge is an example of the sort of stu­dio in which a young Victorian girl would have spent her time draw­ing and paint­ing botan­ical sub­jects. This was very much a dis­cip­line, and it was for Beatrix Potter the begin­ning of her jour­ney that cul­min­ated in her world-famous stories.

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Botanical art­work cour­tesy of the Armitt Museum, Ambleside

Such a stu­dio would be full of fungi, stuffed anim­als, pressed flowers and the fruits of trees.

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