Lake District Day 3: Hill Top

On day 3 of our L.D. holiday, we decided to go to the far side of the lake and visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s country home in the village of Sawrey.

First, a bus ride down to Bowness.

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Next, a beautiful walk through the woods and along the lake down to Ferry Nab, where we would catch a ferry across the lake.

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This little ferry runs every 2o minutes through most of the day, and only costs 50p for a passenger!

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It was a lovely (and short) ride.

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At the other side, we had a bit of a wait for the Mountain Goat shuttle bus to arrive. A very friendly driver paused at a photogenic spot at the top of the hill so that we could take a nice shot of the parish church in the countryside.  What beautiful country!

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Then on to the village of Near Sawrey (as opposed to Far Sawrey, which we drove through on the way).

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We ate our lunch at the Tower Bank Arms, right next door to Beatrix Potter’s house.  This traditional inn is actually featured as an illustration in The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck.  We had Ham and Chicken sandwiches, chips, and lovely local beers.

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Then we had to walk through the village to the National Trust ticket office, collect our tickets (which were free, as we’re members), walk back through the village, and up into the gardens and finally the house at Hill Top.  This was all on a beautiful sunny day, of course.  What fun!

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There was a stuffed “Mr. MacGregor” in front of this building that you could pose with for a photo op.

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We had to wait a few minutes before entering as the tickets were timed.  This poor old house gets a LOT of traffic, so they try to keep it from getting too crowded at any time.

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Unfortunately, they do not allow photography inside the house.  We enjoyed seeing it, and had fun finding some of the spots in the house that appear as illustrations in The Tale of Samuel Whiskers.  It was very cozy, if a bit dark, with slightly lowish ceilings.  And there were lovely views from most windows….of country lanes and hillside pastures.  It was definitely clear that the place was an inspiration to Beatrix Potter.

After our tour of the house, we wandered through the gardens and watched the bunnies playing in the grass.

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How very appropriate that there should be a healthy rabbit population in the garden of the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

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After we saw all there was to see at Hill Top (and after purchasing the complete tales of Beatrix Potter on audio CD), we started our journey back to the ferry:  this time on foot!  We had discovered some lovely pathways that led back across the hill and down the other side toward the ferry landing, so we set off.  We didn’t have the stroller, but I had the ergo carrier and Brad has broad shoulders.  We’d made this work in Yorkshire once on a 3-mile hike, so we thought the kids would be okay.

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We followed the road for a while, on a nice broad footpath.

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We saw LOTS of sheep that day.

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Charlie did great for a long time.  Flora wore out a bit quicker, so Mama got her exercise!

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Soon the path turned away from the road and into sheep pastures.  There were so many lambs!

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And we got to walk right past that gorgeous country church that the bus driver pointed out on our drive up earlier in the day.

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Through a very tiny hamlet…

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…and up the hill on the other side….while Charlie navigated from our little pencil-drawn map.  He was very helpful.

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Through a little grove of trees and a kissing gate…

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…and on to the road for a stretch.

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…another footpath…

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Getting close!

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Through the woods…

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And we made it back to the ferry landing!

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This time, we decided to take a different boat back to Bowness, which would save us a pretty long walk on the other side.  We only had to wait about 20 minutes.

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It was a gorgeous day on the water.  The breezes were most welcome after our tiring walk in the hot sun.

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Back to Bowness.  What a great day.

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