The Beatrix Potter Gallery

Main Street, Hawkshead, LA22 0NS
Beatrix Potter Gallery

Beatrix Potter Gallery (Donnylad / geograph.org.uk)

The cobbled streets of the ancient town of Hawkshead are brimming with quaint cottages and curious points of interest.

Amongst them is the Beatrix Potter Gallery, a National Trust property that may not draw the same crowds as Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s former home, but is still brimming with interesting displays and artefacts.

The gallery is an ideal place to visit if you are a Beatrix Potter enthusiast on your way through to Hill Top, or if you find yourself with a couple of hours to spare in Hawkshead.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539 436 355 / Website
Cost:
Adult £7.50, Child 3.75, NT Members Free
Seasonal Opening:
Mid Feb to Nov
 

History

The property in which the gallery is housed dates back to the seventeenth century, but it is best known for being the offices for W. H. Heelis & Son, a firm of solicitors for whom William Heelis worked. Heelis first met Beatrix Potter in 1908, after she sought advice from the firm about purchasing property in the area.

Miss Potter returned to Heelis for legal advice on several more occasions, and slowly the couple fell in love and were married in 1913. Beatrix Potter died in 1943, and William Heelis passed away just 18 months later, after which all of the couple’s estates and properties, including the offices at Hawkshead, were passed to the National Trust.

Things To See

The gallery is home to the largest collection of illustrations by Beatrix Potter, and the displays are rotated throughout the year. The collection includes original illustrations for twenty of her published children’s tales, along with many first editions, original manuscripts, and illustrated letters that Miss Potter sent to various friends and family.

The house itself has remained unaltered since its days as the home to W.H. Heelis & Son, so you can view it as it would have been during Potter’s time. There are interactive touch screen displays about the life and works of Beatrix Potter, as well as headsets providing audio commentary. There is an activity and reading corner for children, as well as children’s quizzes to complete.

Useful Information

There is no café on site, but there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat in the surrounding village. There is a small collection of souvenirs available to buy in the gallery with a large selection available around the corner in the National Trust shop.

Due to the historic nature of the building wheelchair users may find it difficult to gain entrance into the property which is via a stepped narrow door.

Map

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