First sneak peek at new £1million tourist attraction

Work is well underway on a major new project to create a café, shop and Victorian walled garden on the Lingholm Estate which sits on the western shore of Derwentwater near Keswick – all due to open this summer.

Central to the estate is a grand Victorian mansion where Beatrix Potter spent ten summer holidays between 1885 and 1907. Not only did she write Squirrel Nutkin there but she also credited the Lingholm Kitchen Gardens as being the original inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The new attraction’s opening has been timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the renowned author’s birth and will officially open to the public on Saturday 2 July 2016.

The new Lingholm Kitchen and walled garden will create 16 jobs and comes with indoor and outdoor seating for up to 180 people.

Alongside stunning views up to Skiddaw, the café’s massive sliding glass doors overlook a striking new octagonal walled garden, built mainly from reclaimed materials in a Victorian style. The garden is built on the exact spot of the old kitchen gardens which Beatrix Potter credited as the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden. In a letter to her publisher in 1942, her exact words were: “If the vegetable garden and wicket gate were anywhere it was at Lingholm near Keswick

The new café will serve a range of locally sourced foods, artisan breads, home baked cakes, real barista coffee and an extensive range of teas. The shop will offer a range of gifts, art, books, toys and cards.

There will be also be a dedicated Art Wall initially featuring the work of resident artist Rob Miller, who has created a unique collection of inspiring paintings around Derwentwater and the surrounding fells.

Meanwhile walkers can enjoy a new footpath through the Estate from the Catbells path leading up to the new café and gardens, although there is also free onsite parking for visitors arriving by road.

Estate Director Jenny Seymour says, “This is a very exciting project to work on and we are looking forward to creating a new visitor experience for the Lake District.

“As well offering a range of artisan food, drink and gifts, the literary connection is obviously an important focus for us. As we’re off the traditional Beatrix Potter tourist trial, we’re hoping the setting of Lingholm Kitchen and our new walled garden will offer a unique historical insight into the writer’s life and inspiration for local residents and visitors alike.


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