25 July 2014

Exploring the Lake District by foot, bus, bike and boat with Peter rabbit

The Lake District is full of options for people wishing to leave their cars behind.  You really don't need to be an athlete to explore the countryside without a car.  Buses, bikes and boats allow everyone to enjoy the view and avoid congestion on the narrow roads.
 We have explored one of these possibilities with a very famous character; Peter Rabbit.  Peter wanted to follow in the steps of the woman who created him and learn more about her life, talents and legacy as well as seeing her home and many of his friends.

Peter was staying on the Eastern side of Lake Windermere near Bowness and so he decided to set out on his journey by boat.  First decision - whether to get the passenger ferry from Bowness or the car ferry from Ferry Nab.  Owing to Beatrix Potter's connection with Cockshott Point he decided to lollop a few steps south and get the car ferry.  It runs every 20 minutes and takes cars, bikes and pedestrians (and horses).

The next step can be done on foot or by bike or bus.  Peter tried bike but couldn't quite reach the pedals!

He wanted to see where Beatrix Potter first met the Lake District so he set out on the beautiful 4 mile walk along the lake shore to Wray Castle.

Beatrix Potter discovered the Lake District almost by mistake when her parents' regular holiday home in Scotland was unavailable.  She celebrated her 16th birthday at Wray Castle and fell in love with the area ....Maybe you will too!

Peter decided to explore the Castle.  The tour told him all about the castle and the link between Beatrix and one of the founders of the National Trust.  Then he had a play with some friends, built his own castle and polished off his picnic with some hot chocolate.

Then a quick scamper round the outdoor play area   ....

....Then on to discover more about Beatrix's passion and skills in sketching, drawing and painting at the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead - but this time on the bus from Wray Castle.

The bus only takes 10 minutes and the service also runs to and from the ferry if you don't fancy the 4 mile walk Peter did. 

From the bus stop it's only a couple of minutes walk through the village to the Gallery.  Peter couldn't resist a visit to the National Trust shop.

Back to the bus stop and another 10 minute bus ride to Beatrix Potter's house, Hill Top.

The village of Near Sawrey is where Beatrix Potter settled and took refuge from the London life.  It is where she found inspiration for many of her little books.  It was as wonderful as Peter hoped and he managed to catch up with some old friends hopping around the orchard!

Peter had intended to finish his journey by following the footpath through the fields and down to the ferry but he fancied a cup of tea at the Tower Bank Arms which he remembered from reading the story of Jemima Puddleduck  ....

..so, after some refreshment, he caught the bus back to the ferry.

Why don't you follow in the steps of Beatrix Potter like Peter did?  If you're staying in Ambleside you can get a boat directly to Wray Castle.  Maybe Peter will try that on his next visit ...

Bye for now.

Enjoy your holidays  using your feet, bikes, boats and bus to explore!