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Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail

I’m sure I bore people when I keep telling them how beautiful Beer village is. I’m always saying there is no place more beautiful in the whole world, however…….stop press……I’ve now been to the Lake District. OMG! How stunning are the Lakes? Really you can’t compare them to Beer, but if you’ve never been, put them on your bucket list.

We were up there for my cousin’s wedding and stayed in the village of Askham near Ullswater Lake. We did Airbnb and had a lovely cottage. Of course we were blessed with the most amazing weather and I’m told that we saw the Lakes at their best as it can often be misty.

For Christmas last year Mum gave Barry and I National Trust membership and we’ve been making great use of it. Our first visit was to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home. Now there was a woman before her time. After being rejected by many publishers she actually published The Tale of Peter Rabbit herself before Warne and Co agreed to take it on. Her financial success led her to purchase thousands of acres in the Lake District in order that the land did not get sold to developers.

I grew up on her stories, as well as Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven (another blog to follow on this subject). I once tried seven times to make a small plaster cast model of Jemima Puddleduck as her neck kept breaking off as I pushed the mould out. Try, try, try again! I was determined to get it out whole and paint it. I must admit though I can’t like Peter Rabbit now as I have so many wild rabbits in the garden at Garlands and they are quickly munching their way through all our plants. They are so tame now that even my claps and running at them at great speed isn’t frightening them away.

We also visited the gallery of her work in a very pretty village called Hawkeshead and had tea at Wray Castle where she once spent a holiday. A trip on the steam boat from Ambleside to Bowness on Windermere and several long drives over craggy passes (one actually called The Struggles) ensured for an amazing staycation.

So, if you’re not coming to Beer this year (and why not – we only have one week left – 18th August in The Beach House), and you’re still thinking of a holiday destination, I can thoroughly recommend a trip to the Lakes. AND just after junction 38 of the M6 there is the best service station ever – a model of how every UK service station should be. There’s also a sister site on the M5 in Gloucestershire. Google Tebay services!

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