After a lovely first day our second real day in the lakes also happened to be Easter Sunday. As expected it was raining which did scupper our plans slightly as we would have loved to have attempted to climb Scafell Pike (highest mountain in England.) It just wasn’t meant to be this time round, still, it’s a great reason to head northwards again in the future.
After a leisurely breakfast we hopped in the car for the short drive to Hilltop Farm – home to the one and only Beatrix Potter. Along with writing children’s books, most famously Peter Rabbit, she was also a firm believer in the countryside and brought up a lot of the Lake District area. When she died this was handed over to the National Trust.
Hilltop Farm was her home and her inspiration behind many of her books. As it’s owned by the National Trust we got to use our recently acquired membership. Top tip – if you’re under 26 sign up for a youth membership with the Scottish National Trust, same benefits and can be used throughout the UK but is half the price!
Without a membership tickets cost £11.50 per adult including gift aid. On balance this is quite expensive, even for an iconic place such as Hilltop Farm. I can understand why as they have to preserve so much within the house and gardens but there isn’t a huge amount to see.
The parking is also a short walk down a road (no pavement) from the actual house so worth bearing in mind if you have small children, or husbands who wander to take photo’s. Once you enter the grounds you take a short stroll up the garden path to the house. Spring still hadn’t quite sprung so there weren’t a huge amount of flowers, I can imagine in the summer it’s beautiful.
The house itself is a cute country cottage, not very big but very atmospheric. All the rooms were kitted out in belongings of Beatrix Potter and the main room also had a roaring fire. As you walk round there are trinkets and quotes to look at along with enjoying the views out the window. I can see why she loved living here.
There is no time limit or particular route to follow round the house but you are given a time that you’re allowed to enter at. I guess this helps keep the rooms fairly clear and stops people knocking things over.
Outside you could wander through the vegetable patch and along to a paddock home to some sheep.I would absolutely love to live in that house!!
The rest of our day, unfortunately, was a bit of a wash out. It had started raining and neither of us could really be bothered to wander around in the rain. We did make a pit stop at Ash Landing and walked to a ruined castle on top of a hill with a good view over Windermere.
What we thought would be a good idea for the rest of the day turned out to not be a very good idea at all. To get from Ash Landing to Windermere town you can either drive all the way around the lake or you can take the car ferry. We opted for the car ferry.
At £4.40 per car it isn’t cheap and only takes about 10 minutes to go across. If it had been a dry day it would have given a great perspective on the lake. Once we had crossed we were then in a huge queue which went all through Bowness-on-water, Windermere and on to Ambleside. Probably due to it being rainy and Easter Sunday but it meant we could not find anywhere to park, despite driving round several car parks.
Hungry by this point we decided to just go back to Coniston. Luckily we knew of a rather good pub that would have just the right remedy. An hour or so later we had dropped the car at the cottage, wandered into town and were ordering sausage and mash with beer.
The food was wonderful, the beer was wonderful and we had brought our pub game “Hive” to play as well. We willed the afternoon away with beer and games before walking back to the cottage. Bliss. Just goes to show that even on rainy days where you get all stressed in the car that actually quality time with your best friend is what it’s all about.
Like it? Pin it using an image below!