The Lake District guesthouse that motivated Beatrix Potter to become one of the UK’s greatest children’s authors and illustrators is up for sale. The Georgian manor-house, Ees Wyke, where a young Potter spent her childhood holidays is up for sale with a price tag of £1.25 million.
Biographers say Ees Wyke and its gardens were the inspiration behind Peter Rabbit, Cotton-Tail, Flopsy and Mopsy. Potter’s parents rented the 12-bedroom mansion near the Lake District town of Ambleside for summer sojourns when she was a teenager in the 1890s.
The house provided Potter and her brother with a base for exploring the pristine natural attractions of the district during their holidays from London. At the tender age of 24, and within 10 years of the series of Lake District holidays, Potter published the first of her perennially popular illustrated publications, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
Ees Wyke dates from the 1740s and since the mid-1970s has served as a guesthouse for visiting tourists. Sotheby’s International Realty says the house’s lofty elevation provides sweeping vistas over Esthwaite Water, one of the area’s smaller and lesser known lakes.
Sotheby’s listing says Ees Wyke is recommended by all the key hotel and accommodation guides. The décor and furnishings reflect the manor-house’s historic heritage.
Ees Wyke is also said to have made Bearrix Potter fall in love with what eventually became her adopted home. In 1905, she purchased Hill Top Farm. The two locations are barely five minutes’ walk from each other.