Finding Beatrix Potter

Trying so hard to update the blog today!  You are all being so patient, we want to know who won that cup, and PS By the way, where is Beatrix Potter???

But here I am, just before entering the door at Hill Top.  I’d been to the gift shop, have my guide book ready, walked through her garden, and so ready to get inside!

 But, we moved yesterday, all 12 bags into the car, and drove, hill and dale through some of the prettiest countryside I’ve ever seen, the Yorkshire Dales, which I can’t wait to show you … but I promise, as soon as we get settled, it’s Beatrix Potter first. We stayed here in the walled city of York overnight, and we have another long trip today, all the way down to Bibury in the Cotswolds; the internet connection here in our hotel is slow as molasses.  I tried to do it, but it’s just not working  So I have to wait until I get to the Cotswolds, but I just wanted you to know, I’m thinking about you!!! xoxo  Have a wonderful day!

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230 Responses to Finding Beatrix Potter

  1. Heidi Rose (Issaquah, WA) says:

    Oh Susan, THANK YOU! Today is my birthday and I’ve been so eager to hear about your (our) visit to Hilltop Farm! I can’t think of a nicer b’day gift. 🙂 I’ve been there before, but it’s been 26 years and I’ve missed it. I’ve been to the Dales and to York too. It’s all so wonderful there, isn’t it! !!

  2. Susan M says:

    Now that is what I would call a cliffhanger!

  3. Diana - Highland, IL says:

    Oh!! Something to look forward to is soooo nice!!! Safe travels and sweet dreams!! Can’t wait to read of “our” adventures!!

  4. Pamela Jewett says:

    I haven’t seen a hill or dale since I left California. How lovely!
    Love your scarf. We hope you had a fine time at the Potter household.
    Looking forward to your next blog.
    xoxo Pam

  5. beebarbs says:

    We can’t wait until you get to the Cotswolds either! We hope your long trip went well —

    • Judy Young says:

      I can’t wait till you get to The Cotswolds either! My parents live there and I’m dying to visit! Just to get a general view of the area will be so exciting!!!! Have fun!

  6. Pat says:

    We are all waiting patiently for our next post. Enjoy your trip.

  7. pat addison says:

    hello susan, thats okay, take your time, we’re all having fun just looking at all the beautiful pictures you have sent. talk to you soon, have to check on tom tom’s new girlfriend, she came back!!! hugs….. 🙂

  8. Kathryn says:

    Looking forward to it! Can’t wait for the next installment!

  9. Kathryn says:

    By the way, I have a similar ring. Does it flip?

    • TerrieInAtlanta says:

      I’ve been admiring your beautiful ring too, Sue ~ is it a family piece? My Grandmother Gert, from Iowa (Hi, Gert from Iowa!) owned a similar onyx ring. She was born in 1900; her ring appears to be from the Art Deco period. Iowa women have lasting taste! Xoxo

  10. Nicky says:

    Yes, I was wondering about you. Haha! Now we know! Thanks for the vicarious travels 🙂

  11. Gumbo Lily says:

    Can’t wait to hear (and see) more about BP. Have you seen any Abbey ruins?

  12. Ann says:

    Thinking about you too Susan in this miserable weather! So much for flaming June! Hope the sun was out at Hilltop – but maybe your excitement warmed everyone up! ;o)

    • sbranch says:

      The only day the sun was really out while we were in the Lake District was the day we went to Beatrix Potter’s!

      • Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

        She knew you were coming and put in a special request for a perfect day! 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        That was so perfect, a sunny day at Beatrix’s!!!! Thank you for the darling picture of you dear girlfriend! Cute kitty scarf too!!!!! Such fun……to be continued……….xoxoxo

  13. Kathy from Brevard, NC says:

    Darling Susan,

    I was just online buying Willard and your new calendar when I thought of my email Willards. I reread my April Willard and saw that your secret name for your trip is “Finding Beatrix Potter” and Joe’s is “Pub Food: Where to Find It, How Much of It Can We Eat”. You also mention “sharing” teapots and desserts and recipes from the pubs.

    I could be wrong and maybe the Girlfriends can help me out here but I believe you said somewhere on the blog that you would be posting some photos of plates of food before they actually got eaten. I don’t believe we have seen any “before” pictures since the “Parmesan” whatever. I’m sure you have an excellent excuse for these omissions, if you care to share them with us!!! LOL!!!



  14. Mary S. says:

    Soooo happy to hear from you and excited to hear more!!!
    I am trying to mark on a map where you go, but it’s very difficult to find any of the cities you mention!! lol I don’t think I have a very good map! I love this pic of you!! You are so adorable!!
    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  15. Ruth Thomas says:

    Oh Susan, you look so content! I can’t wait to see Hilltop. The movie was so wonderful, I wanted to go back in time. Thank you for taking us with you..again! It is a true adventure.

  16. Ever since I read the wonderful books of James Herriot, I’ve wanted to see the Yorkshire Dales of which he wrote and loved! Love your posts–I can almost imagine myself right along with you!

  17. Candice from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan,
    Say hello to my cousins in the Cotswolds for me!! They live in Dursley. I don’t know if you received my email about Stroud and the organic market on Saturdays, and the Abbey Gardens in Malmesbury, the home of the naked gardeners. These are two places my cousins took me to last year. Both are very worth the visit! Hope the weather is behaving for you, but the rain doesn’t stop the Brits from having a good time does it!! Looking forward to seeing Beatrice Potters home and garden.

    • sbranch says:

      I thought I wrote you Candice, sorry, yes! We went to the Naked Gardeners 8 years ago, the last time we were over; they weren’t really naked we were happy to see. Have to check out Stroud!

  18. P.S. Forgot to ask if you did visit Thirsk, North Yorkshire where Herriot lived and practices veterinary medicine. I saw where they had events there a few days ago.

  19. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    You are the best!! Travel and take in all the great countryside and buildings. Settle into your new environment. Don’t worry about us. This trip you and Joe are taking has been filled with wonderful information and fun things. I look every day and just know you couldn”t possibly write all the time – but then looking is half the fun. Right now the life you are leading is a huge gift to me! Thanks and hugs XXXXOOOO

  20. Pam G says:

    waiting patiently…..and excitedly!

  21. I do hope that you and Joe are resting in between each move I’m fearing fatigue might hit you sooner or later (probably when you return home). I do realize that you have to have a schedule because you want to see everything that you can; but, just pace yourselves and stay healthy!! I must say that you look radiant so maybe I am worrying for no good reason….enjoy your upcoming week ahead.

  22. Arlinda says:

    Bless you Susan. I am looking forward to you next post. Thank you SO much.
    You and Joe are a treasure.

  23. Arlinda says:


  24. Pamela Riordan says:

    Susan, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am when I get your e-mail announcement of a new blog. It is like permitting myself something luscious and peace-giving…it’s like a 3 minute “out of body” experience where I float to a special place where you write to me and send me pictures and share your wonderful stories. I am so refreshed when I have to “go back ” to the workload, laundry, etc., etc. I am SO blessed that you have taken me on this journey …and all of your local jaunts, too!

    After reading about you and your best pals getting “your colors done”, my special group of pals did the same here in Newton, MA as we then went to Rockport, MA for the Memorial Day weekend. Marlene flew in from CA, Maggie from FL and my best pal from the Cape came and Margy and I (both from Franklin) had such a wonderful time together. Having our colors done was wonderful – particularly since we each took notes for the other. Definitely a change for the better!

    Sorry I’ve run on – just wanted to give you some news from my desk to yours!

    p.s. I love your scarf! pp.s. Just love you! Safe travels and blessings to you and your groom! xo pam

    • sbranch says:

      I still can’t get over how wonderful the doing of the colors has been. I no longer even bother to pick up anything that isn’t in my colors, not even to look! Fun to do with girlfriends too, more bonding!

      • Janet says:

        Wow – your face just “pops” in that purple! That was one of the things I like most about knowing my season too. Best is feeling validated [all the colors I always liked the best are in my Summer palette]. Second is how much easier it is to shop. I can steer entirely-clear of whole racks of things now. What a time-saver! And lastly, almost without effort, things just Go Together. Also thank you for the little sneak preview of your writing and sketching and painting. If your journal looks THAT nice now – in its earliest rough draft, I can’t even IMAGINE how glorious the finished book will be. Can Not Wait!!! Take care – Janet :>)

        • sbranch says:

          I could not have said it better myself. For me its fun because I’m getting a whole new respect for colors I thought I didn’t like, that actually look good on me! So I would spend all that time on white things and black things and never never go near turquoise or beige. All so very wrong!!!

  25. Jennifer Boyd (of Windermere, Florida) says:

    You are CUTE, as a button!! 🙂 Thanks for the quick update! I KNOW you are trying, but that darn internet is not cooperating for you! Don’t worry…we are patient!! Your blog will be SO worth waiting for!!
    Cheerio, Susan & Joe!! ~love, love, Jennifer Boyd

  26. Nellie says:

    Thank you, Susan, for this update. Hoping (y)our relocation goes smoothly.:-)
    I am really eager to see Beatrix Potter’s place! Time is passing quickly!

    Sending along the best for continued pleasures!


  27. Mary McCatherine says:

    Hi Susan,
    You look so cute today! I feel so very lucky to be coming along with you to Beatrix Potter’s house….my favorite author. I loved the movie that told her story…Miss Potter with Renee Z. Love, Mary

  28. Mary Ann says:

    Oh York! I so love the Minster and the wonderful narrow streets of shops and pubs. It is one of my favorite places in England.

  29. Madelyn Rutherford says:

    Check out Burford. It has a wonderful tea room called Huffkins and a charming little knitting shop and oh, a Garden shop to die for–We loved it so much that we named our dog–Sir William Charlie Chan of Burford. Oh, I am so very envious–the Cotswolds are the best.b

  30. Thanks for the memories!! This is really fun! Looking forward to all the photos u have stored up in your camera! Catch any of Peter Rabbit?

  31. jeanne hedin says:

    Don’t worry . . . we’ll enjoy hearing about it when it works for you! Just continue to enjoy every minute. 🙂

  32. Joan B says:

    Hi Susan, So happy that you are keeping in touch whenever you can! Loving our tour of the English countryside! Enjoy each moment, don’t worry about us too much, we know you will catch up when you can!
    Joan B.

  33. And we’re thinking of you and Joe having SO much fun!

  34. Joann says:

    And yes….you look Maaaahvalous Dahling……. You’re a Brit at heart!!



  35. Jackie P says:

    Just returned from three days on the Cape with my girlfriends and couldn’t wait to check in with you. The weather was heavenly in Sippiwisset– sunny, with a pleasant breeze off the ocean — perfect Cape Cod weather. So nice after what seems like weeks of rain in New Hampshire! All girlfriends received their copies of A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids (we all have Girlfriends Forever, too!) and it was a hit. Can’t wait to hear about your visit to Hill Top!

  36. Susie says:

    Hi Susan! I’m having such a wonderful time!! No more TWIST! – such a naughty kitty. Speaking of naughty kitties – did you get your Jack pillow? Hugs, Susie

  37. Teresa Hjeresen says:

    You “so cute”! I am enjoying your trip – a trip of a lifetime! I see kindness in your eyes! Enjoy! Teresa from Bend, Oregon

  38. To tide me over, I watched MISS POTTER again and hugged myself in anticipation.

    Aren’t the Yorkshire Dales amazing? And I suppose you walked the wall in York and the Shambles and saw the lovely stained glass in York Minster? Oh, be still my heart. It’s been over 30 years since I was there and it feels like yesterday.

    Can’t wait to see more!

  39. Wendy Louise says:

    Hey, No worries, we are thinking of you too and we absolutely know where your heart is and so are ours!!!!!! We know it will be worth waiting for and that it will be super spectacular and wonderfully tremendous ! So we love you, have wonderful adventures and we will be here with bells on. By the way the weather here in New England is just so beautiful the gardens are growing so lush and green. I’m eating things out of my new kitchen garden, inspired by our one and only lovely, beautiful ………… YOU ! OOXXOOXX 🙂 😉

  40. Julie (Omaha) says:

    No worries, just enjoy! It’s well worth the wait on our end!!!!

  41. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Happy to hear you safely arrived to Beattrix Potter country! Your beautiful blue kitty scarf is adorable….Jack and Girl Kitty are no doubt close to your heart, even though you are so very far apart! Take care and keep having fun!!!!!!!

  42. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Can’t wait to see the pictures!! Enjoy every wonderful minute.
    Did you see any little mice in her home?
    Take Care.

  43. susan says:

    ohhhhh love your scarf! Is that Tom Kitten? Have a wonderful time….so jealous!!

  44. maybaby says:

    As much as we eagerly await each snippet of your journey, we know that when we don’t hear from you that you are busy collecting more wonderful memories to share with us! I am just loving my first trip to England.

  45. Georgie says:

    Internet connections and the lack thereof definitely add Magic or frustration to the journey of sharing our worlds with others!!! I’m in Florida with just an iPhone and am finding what was once effortless is now… Not! How easy it is to forget just how far we’ve come with this wonderful technology. How I’ve taken it for granted!

    Susan thank you for squeezing us in with your 12 bags. We have your car filled to the brim with happy memories. Enjoy your day. We are off to do an African Trek in Disney World.

    Georgie from NJ

  46. Carla says:

    It seems a bit cool there, have you had a chance to wear your new orange shoes yet?

  47. Susan, I happened across one of those ridiculous reality shows last night and was just mortified…Called “Rednecks on Vacation” and of all places they sent them to ENGLAND!!! They are staying in a 900 yr. old mansion I think they called the owner “Tempt”?? not for sure and they are going to just tear up the lawn with ATV’s and they are in a place looking for Bud Light Beer and the locals look at them with such surprise…it’s shows like this that will make the poor Brits think we are all like these people. I hope you don’t run into them; but, they could of been there earlier one can only hope. I have nothing against “rednecks” but when in Rome….and they are not following that code of conduct!!! I don’t know if any of the other girlfriends have ever watched this show I won’t be again…UGH.

    • sbranch says:

      Hope no one watches it!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Hmmmm–now you know where the term “The Ugly American” came from??? 🙂 Makes one embarrassed to be called one…

        • sbranch says:

          I think they like Americans here; whenever we talk, people smile at our “accents.” And we do our best to represent our country well; we are nice, we smile, we say thank you, we are not rude, we don’t throw cigarettes out of the car windows, we are SOOOO appreciative, which all comes naturally, since we don’t smoke, everything is so wonderful, and the people here are SO nice to us!

          • If you can just imagine all the rude things a person can do with their bodies….they do that in front of the butler and staff and it was just so embarrassing for me (who is not a prude) to even try and watch. I hope you and Joe came after they were in the area so you could represent us in a positive way. I’m sure there was a pre media blitz ahead of their visit to this area to warn the locals….they actually threw the mattresses out of the windows to tie to an ATV and were riding their kids across those lovely lawns!!! UGH It’s a very crude reality nightmare.

          • sbranch says:

            I bet anything they aren’t even showing it here! (That’s my prayer!) We haven’t seen it.

  48. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    Your eyes tell it all . . . you didn’t have to say a word!

  49. Rhonda Reed says:

    I keep thinking how nice it is of you to take the time to blog!!! Thank you, thank you!! I have been to Ambleside a long time ago and I LOVE following you along – feel like I am there again!! I hope they still have the other little museum of Beatrix’s paintings – more of her botany –
    Also Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage is so wonderful!!! (in Grasmere) His sister, Dorothy, kept a journal of what it was like to live in the Lake District in the early 1800’s when hardly any people were there – they have a paperback book of it at the gift shop at Dove Cottage and it is one of my favorite books of all time.

  50. I’ve been reading Vita’s grandson’s book “Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History” and you may be glad to know that your 12 bags are hardly a extravagance. In 1573 Queen Elizabeth I “on progress in Kent for a week or two” and arrived for her visit at Sissinghurst with her baggage that filled between three and five HUNDRED carts!

  51. Bethie says:

    I love it that you are so down-to-earth real. Oh how I would love to have you for my neighbor. Soak in every English minute.

  52. Linda Pennington says:

    Oh Susan and Joe, didn’t we have the sweetest time at Hilltop. What an amazing adventure. Those little lambs, are they not the sweetest things, but of course, then there’s little Jack waiting for you at home. He’s pretty sweet himself. hmmmm. Linda. P.S. Get the book. This isn’t a dress rehersal for life, this is the real deal, go for it!

  53. Susan says:

    You look so great in that purple sweater.

  54. Cindy Richards says:

    Dear Susan, I always enjoy your blog entries…….but these English ones are beyond anything I could imagine. I FEEL as if I truly am right behind you and Joe.
    Your photos are outsiding, your videos (especially the car ride on the curvy road–WOW) are fantastic. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your dream with all of us. I love Beatrix Potter and this last blog entry brings tears to my eyes. Tears of HAPPINESS. It’s so wonderful that you are sharing this with all of us. THANK YOU!!!!!

  55. How I loved this post (and I always love your posts!) But this one was just so special. I love, love BP. Thank you.

  56. linda g says:

    I am so enjoying your visit to Hilltop farm I am a huge Beatrix Potter fan also, and after reading some of your comments I am not sure if you are aware of a wonderful little series of mysteries, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter written by Susan Wittig Albert.(She obviously is a huge fan too) They are fiction but she does mix in some historical facts and at the end of each book are recipes and other sources about Beatrix…Some chapters are of the animals who talk (and only they can understand but Beatrix does have a way of knowing what they are saying) The animals help solve the mystery. I am having a blast reading them highly highly recommend them to any Beatrix Potter fan! Maybe you can pick up a few for the trip back….the first one is called the Tale of Hilltop Farm…if you haven’t read them already enjoy! Safe travels!

  57. Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

    Oh Susan, You have made one of my dreams come true…Seeing and hearing all about Beatrix Potter and her home. I love the new news about Hilltop being her studio…
    You look sooooooo happy and content in your pictures…and I am so happy for you and Joe, that you could make this lifetime dream come true….I can’t wait to get home from work, so I can check and see what you have been up to that day….Thank you! thank you!..and Cheerio……

  58. April Anderson says:

    Oh my, Susan – your scarf with the kitties is just darling!

  59. Gail Buss says:

    Well Susan, you look more English every time I see another picture of you. How about that getting to go to Hill Top when you didn’t think you were – what a surprise! Aren’t surprises the best! Absolutely delightful……….loved every minute of it. Actually I love Jemima Puddle Duck the best! I’ll be tuning in daily for the rest of the trip. Cherrio! Gail & Joe XX

  60. Sara Holiday, FL soon to be Georgia!! says:

    How DELIGHTFUL!!!!!!!! This all sooooo exciting!!!!!!!! I don’t know if I could have left! And I do just adore the Miss Potter movie 🙂 Enjoy every moment, as I am sure you are!!

    I also ordered your new calender last week and can not wait for it to arrive!

  61. Heather says:

    I love watching the BBC production of the Beatrix Potter tales with my grandchildren. Niamh Cusack plays Beatrix and the theme music is a wonderful song called “A Perfect Day.” I used to think it was filmed in the interior of her house, but most likely not.

  62. Lynne Neal says:

    Hope you managed a peice of Grasmere gingerbread for me . do go and visit Howarth Bronte country and se the parsonage and have a stuffed yorkshire pudding in the pub on the hill , or proper fish and chips form the chippy on the hill, Skipton Castle is also lovely go on Market day .

    • sbranch says:

      Yes I did! I did it for you, otherwise, of course I would not have done it!!! As delicious and special as everyone says, I sent some to my dad for Father’s Day …

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        oHoH Jack ……if you read this……act SUrpRIsed on Father’s
        Day! You Lucky duck You!!!!

  63. Starr miller says:

    Magical! Thank you for sharing.

  64. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Seen any crop circles????

    • sbranch says:

      No, LOL, but I’ve been looking for them. Given that this is fairyland, crop circles make sense!

  65. Cindy Ward says:

    Dear Susan … Thank you, thank you so very much for sharing your life with all of us strangers. I have always wanted to visit England but must wait until a bridge across the ocean is built! Everything you write and draw and photograph is so beautiful. It makes me feel like I am right there with you. How special a person you are. I hope your dear, sweet little cats are doing okay at home without you. We have a sweet black-and-white boy named Lane who looks just like your cat Jack. Anyway, I wish you a wonderful rest of the trip and a wonderful life. Thank you.
    Cindy Ward

  66. Linda says:

    What an awesome experience for you! Thank you for sharing!

  67. Ellinora says:

    Oh I absolutley want to go and see Beatrix Potters house. I love her and her illustrations. She inspired me to get two little puddleducks. And I named one Jemima.

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