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Countrystride #86: BEATRIX POTTER which we take a warm-weather wander from Far to Near Sawrey in the footsteps of author, illustrator, farmer and countrywoman Beatrix Potter. In the company of long-time Hilltop volunteer and Beatrix Potter Society member Janet Edwards, we trace Wilfin Beck to Moss Eccles Tarn – one of Mrs Heelis' favourite spots – and then on into Near Sawrey, her Hilltop and Castle Cottage home for 38 years. Taking the long view of a remarkable life, we discuss the childhood holidays that gifted shy, talented and independent-minded young Beatrix a lifelong love of Lakeland; we learn about the genesis of her seven-times rejected 'little books for little hands'; we hear about her tragic first love – and the 'spring' that 'came to her late in life' that unfolded with Hawkshead solicitor William Heelis; before considering her extraordinary legacy, not only to children's literature and hill farming, but also the National Trust.

Moss Eccles Tarn

Our guest for the day: Janet Edwards.

Wilfin Beck.

Approaching Moss Eccles Tarn - a favourite spot of Beatrix Potter's.

Waterlilies at Moss Eccles Tarn - as planted by Beatrix.

The tarn from the outflow dam.

Over the brow, first view of Esthwaite Water,

Bowfell from Near Sawrey.

Castle Cottage Farm - home to the Heelis' during their married life.

Our route for the day.


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