Whilst Beatrix Potter is most often associated with the Lake Districts you may not be aware of her long and fruitful relationship with Dunkeld & Birnam and the surrounding area. Born into a wealthy London family in 1866, Beatrix had privileged yet lonely upbringing. As a child she became interested in the natural world and spent much of her time drawing and sketching. It was her family's long summer breaks in nearby Dalguise, usually from May to the end of the salmon season in October, that were to be one of the most enduring influences on Beatrix's development both as an artist and scientist. Here she was free to explore the countryside around her, indulging her interest in the natural world. Meanwhile, Charles Macintosh, born in 1839 in Inver was a postman for the Dalguise Postal District, the ideal occupation for such a budding natural historian, his long daily walks delivering the mail allowing him to study the local flora and fauna.Gradually Beatrix's interest turned to mycology, the study of fungi, and it was this shared interest which brought Beatrix Potter and Charles Macintosh together for the first time. It was this meeting which led to a long correspondence which gave great pleasure to both. It was also whilst in Scotland that Beatrix wrote a 'picture letter' which provided the basis for her first book 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'. Similarly, a later book 'The Tale of Jeremy Fisher' also started life as a picture letter with characters clearly based on her study and exploration on the banks of the River Tay. 'The tale of Mrs Tiggy Winkle' was published in 1905 and is almost certainly based on the Potters' old washer woman at Dalguise, Kitty MacDonald.
The exhibition which is in Birnam Arts Centre is open all year round and for more information on opening times and entrance fees visit the Birnham Arts website at
If you are having an autumn break here in central Scotland the Beatrix Potter exhibition would make an excellent family day out.