After visiting England’s historic potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, we travel north by train to seek inspiration in England’s famous Lake District National Park. We arrive on a dark and stormy evening, in the middle of a chilly drenching rain. But when we awaken at our lovely B&B the next morning, the skies are clear, and we head off to explore. Pure, poetic beauty greets us around every curve in the road — ancient oak forests, lush fern-covered glens, clear blue lakes, and country pastures which are a carpet of the most amazing emerald green. No wonder the Lake District has been home to so many of England’s most famous writers and poets. Inspiration is absolutely everywhere!

As we enter the outskirts of a tiny village, we find ourselves at Hill Top — the simple country cottage where Beatrix Potter wrote and illustrated her beautiful children’s books. Visiting the inside of her charming home helps me appreciate her life and art even more. Cosy, peaceful, charming nooks are filled with her personal treasures, paintings and teapots from a bygone era. And her own well-worn pair garden clogs still stand near the cottage door. Its as though Beatrix has just stepped out the door to cut some roses from her cottage garden. I follow the winding paths from one informal garden bed  to the next. Lovely old pear trees bear ripe fruit, and a few late-season blooms remain. No wonder she was so at peace here. Several bunnies are munching away under the boughs in her small orchard. No doubt she spent many happy afternoons beneath these trees sketching these bunnies’ ancestors.