A family-friendly exhibition dedicated to children's writer and illustrator Beatrix Potter opens at the V&A Museum in February.
The show — curated in collaboration with the National Trust — focuses on the lesser-known side of Potter's life; her work as a conservationist and scientist. This knowledge inspired her beloved animal tales, featuring favourites such as Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck.
You'll have the chance to see some of Potter's artworks of landscapes in the Lake District and North Wales, including a sketch of a garden in Denbighshire which later became the fictional home of the Flopsy bunnies. Early sketches of Potter's characters, such as hedgehog Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, are also on show, alongside Potter's more scientific sketches of creatures such as ground beetles.
Photos of Potter show her lifelong interest in animals — she can be seen aged 15 cradling her dog Spot, in a photo taken by her father Rupert. Another photo shows a 66-year old Beatrix Heelis (as she later became), alongside Tom Storey, who managed her Lake District farm, and a one of their prize-winning ewes at a country show in 1930.
Though the renowned author and illustrator is more commonly associated with the Lake District, she does have ties to London; she was born in Kensington, a 20-minute walk from the V&A, and some of her character names were inspired by Brompton Cemetery.
If your kids are Peter Rabbit fans, treat them to a day at this Peter Rabbit-themed farm near London. There's also a Peter Rabbit afternoon tea at The Dilly hotel (which we reviewed in April 2019, before the hotel was rebranded).