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UK for everyone: Lake District cottage

17:00 AEST Thu Jul 26 2007

The Lake District is about 55 kilometres across. Its features are from periods of glaciations, the most recent of which ended some 15,000 years ago.

There are ice-carved U-shaped valleys, many filled with water, giving the area its name. Its upper regions have a number of glacial cirques which are typically filled with tarns or small mountain lakes. The higher fells are rocky and the lower fells open moorland, noted for bracken and heather coverage.

Below the treeline, native oak woodlands grow beside 19th-century pine plantations. Much of the land is often boggy because of the area's high rainfall.

The central part, and most-visited, lies entirely within Cumbria and is one of England's few mountainous regions. Any land in England higher than 900 metres above sea level lies within the Lake District National Park. The park attracts 14 million visitors every year and they make the most of its 2898km of walking paths, woodlands and 16 lakes.

The District is said to be home to the best walking and climbing routes England has to offer. It is also known for some special local produce such as Cumberland sausage, Kendal mint cake and Grasmere gingerbread.

Early 19th-century poets William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats and Alfred Lord Tennyson were inspired by the beauty found in the Lake District and became known as the Lake Poets.

During the 20th century, children's author Beatrix Potter lived at Hill Top Farm in Sawrey. She too was inspired by the stunning Lake District and it became the setting for many of her famous Peter Rabbit books. Six of her 13 books were set at Hill Top Farm, which she bought in 1905. Even though she was based in London, she often escaped to the farm and that's when ideas came to her.

She bequeathed 1600 hectares of farmland to the National Trust so it could remain undeveloped and unspoilt forever. She used to walk her Herdwick sheep around Tarn Hows, an artificial lake on the property.

Beatrix Potter's small and delightful 17th-century farmhouse has many of her treasures on display.

On her estate, Yew Tree Farm, which offers accommodation, was named after a yew tree that was 700 years old when it was felled in 1896. The house is a 17th-century cruck-frame farmhouse, added to in the 18th century. It is one of the most photographed farms in the Lake District. It has 200 hectares of meadow, pasture and fell and supports beef cattle and sheep.

The historic tea room was furnished by Beatrix Potter in 1930 and their seasonal menu is prepared from scratch. Enjoy going back in time amongst oak and mahogany tables, a grandfather clock, Jacobean table, Cumberland dresser and wonderful paintings and curios, provided by Beatrix, or Mrs Heelis as she was referred to locally.


Hill Top Farmhouse costs around $13 for adults, $6.50 for children and $32 for a family of four.

Yew Tree Farm bed and breakfast rooms start at around $105 a night per person twin-share. Breakfast is included.

Prices quoted correct at July 26, 2007.


The northwest of England.

For further information

Hill Top
Near Sawrey,
Cumbria LA22 0LF
United Kingdom
Ph: +44 (0)15394 36269

Yew Tree Farm
Cumbria LA21 8DP
Ph: 44 15394 41433

Ph: 1300 303 777

Visit Britain
Ph: 1300 858 589

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