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back to Book Reviews

Walking with Beatrix Potter
15 Walks in Beatrix Potter Country by Norman and Jean Buckley
Published by Frances Lincoln
ISBN 978-0-7112-2723-1

Walking with Beatrix PotterFor many visitors to the Lake District, especially youngsters, Beatrix Potter is probably the most interesting of the Lake District writers, with her tales of Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Jeremy Fisher, Mrs Tiggy Winkle etc. Many of Beatrix Potter’s tales have clear Lake District locations, particularly around the hamlets of Near Sawrey, Far Sawrey and the nearby village of Hawkshead.

Windermere residents Norman and Jean Buckley have devised a series of fifteen short walks, visiting many of the locations used in Beatrix Potter’s books. In addition to Sawrey and Hawkshead, other areas visited in the book include Coniston and the Yewdale valley, Tarn Howes, Wray, Bowness, Troutbeck, Langdale, Derwentwater, the Newlands valley and Eskdale, all areas where Beatrix Potter had either farms, owned land or stayed at properties when she was a girl.

While we were staying in Sawrey in July, my wife and I tried out a number of these walks and found them ideal for an early evening stroll (followed by a pint at the Sawrey Arms or Sun Inn at Hawkshead). The route descriptions are very accurate, as are the coloured sketch maps, and there are anecdotes about properties and features visited that have connections with the books. Some of the routes can be combined to make half-day walks and they make ideal low-level walks for those with children and the elderly. For the more committed walker, when bad weather puts the higher fells out of reach, these would be perfect walks to try instead.

The walks range in distance from 1¼ to 6 miles, with very little strenuous climbing on any of the walks. Measuring 5” x 3½” and with a total of 176 pages, the book is an ideal size to fit in a pocket.

reviewed by John Burland - Member No. 2