Every Woman Cafe at Birnam Arts
Fri 2 Aug
Every Woman Cafe | Studios
18:00 - 19:30
Doors Open 18:00

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July 2024

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Beatrix Potter Exhibition


10:30 - 15:30


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Beatrix Potter

While it is true that Beatrix Potter is most often associated with the Lakes District in England, you may not be aware that many of her childhood summers were spent in Scotland. The family had a long and heart-felt connection with Dunkeld & Birnam and the surrounding area.

Find out how Beatrix Potter spent many of her childhood summers in Perthshire. Wee ones will enjoy spending time playing traditional games, dressing up as their favourite character & stepping back in time to visit our Victorian School Room! And for enthusiasts of the world she created, discover the story of where she sought inspiration for these much loved characters, as well as our collections of original memorabilia. Fun for all the family!





For Children

Peg the laundry on the washing line at Birnam Arts

Peg the laundry

Peg the laundry on the washing line

Can you do the laundry the way Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle does so carefully with her chores?

A firm favourite with everyone at Birnam Arts

Grocer's Shop

A firm favourite with everyone

Have fun roleplaying in your very own fruit & veg shop! 

Budding Florist's can also enjoy selling flowers from the Flower Cart.

Step back in time and visit our Victorian School room at Birnam Arts

Victorian School Room

Step back in time and visit our Victorian School room

Learn what it was like to go to School in the Victroian era and do your classswork on a chalk slate or sit at the teacher's desk! There are no calculators here so you'll need to do your counting on an abacus.

Spend a little time with Beatrix Potter and your favourite characters at Birnam Arts

Toy Corner

Spend a little time with Beatrix Potter and your favourite characters

Discover Beatrix Potters' stories in our range of library books, enjoy playing with traditional toys or dress up as your favourite character & get a selfie with Peter Rabbit himself!


Dalguise Pillar


Dalguise Pillar

The beautifully carved stone column which use to stand on the lawn at Dalguise House, summer home for Beatrix Potter during her childhood, is elaborately carved, dating from the 18th century. The Corinthian details, spiral fluting and unicorn carving became the subject of drawings by Beatrix during her summer holidays. 

Following its sad demise over time, the badly deteriorated column was dismantled in the 1980s. During the conservation efforts, each stone received attention, with the removal of previous repair efforts and consolidation of vulnerable sections, using threaded stainless-steel rods and lime fills, where needed.

The pillar now lives inside Birnam Arts, where it is protected, and supported by a stainless-steel stand, designed by Henry Boyd of Edinburgh. 

Importantly, the illustrations young Beatrix completed in her holiday garden were invaluable for identifying the pieces during the different restoration projects.

We remain very grateful to the Beatrix Potter Society and PGL Adventures Limited for their support for the project.

Beatrix Potter Garden

Open All Hours

Rabbit Family, Beatrix Potter Gardens Birnam
Mr Fox in his shed
Beatrix Potter garden  entrance gate
Mr Fox in his shed Beatrix Potter garden

Rabbit Family, Beatrix Potter Gardens Birnam

The garden offers a chance to explore the world of Beatrix Potter's imagination in Beatrix Potter Garden, beside Birnam Arts. 

Young Beatrix spent a lot of her childhood in a garden enjoying the company of her many pets, including her rabbits, Benjamin and Peter. During her summers in Perthshire, her world expanded with the new area to explore – those eleven seasons were highly influential on her later life and career.

See if you can find the sculptures inspired by the wonderful stories by Beatrix Potter.

The Garden is owned and managed by Perth & Kinross Council.


About Beatrix Potter



Born into a wealthy London family in 1866, Beatrix had a privileged yet lonely upbringing. As a child she became interested in the natural world and spent much of her time drawing and sketching, which was enhanced during her childhood summers in Perthshire.

The family's long summer breaks in nearby Dalguise – usually from May to the end of the salmon season in October ­– started when Beatrix was quite young, and continued for a decade, into her mid-teens. It was during this time that she was free to explore the countryside around her, indulging her interest in the natural world. It was this time that was to be one of the most enduring influences on Beatrix's development, both as an artist and scientist.

Even when the family summered in the Lake District, Beatrix visited Dalguise in 1884 for time with friends.

It was in 1892, while the family was at Heath Park in Birnam, that Beatrix first met Charles Macintosh, postman for the Dalguise postal district.

Gradually Beatrix's interest had 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.

They had both been aware of the other’s interest in fungi, each approaching the topic from a different perspective: Charles, in his 50s, more scientific, and Beatrix, in her mid 20s, more aesthetic. It was this meeting which led to a long correspondence which gave great pleasure to both.

Charles’ occupation was an ideal one for a budding natural historian, his daily walks delivering mail allowing him to study the local flora and fauna.

It was also during that 1892 time in Scotland that Beatrix wrote a 'picture letter' to the young son of her former governess. The letter became 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.



Star Star Star Star Star

Great exhibition and performance spaces. Lovely terrace and indoor seating with lots of light. Great food and drinks and even a garden next-door for a stroll afterwards. Like

John Kirkwood   |   Google Reviews

Star Star Star Star Star

Beautiful space, lovely people, Beatrix Potter Gardens and a wonderful exhibition "Earthly Walks" by Grigorios Karastamatis until the 18th of July (2021)!

Stella Valvi   |   Google Reviews



There are two dedicated accessible car park spaces directly in front of the venue. There is a gentle slope from street level up to the accessible entrance.


Using the touch pad, enter via the large glass doors to the right of the main entrance.



There are two Accessible Toilets within the venue, one on each level.


There are ramps situated throughout the building to enable easy access from the Café to the Box Office and Shop, as well as on the first floor to go from the Gallery to the Meeting Room.



There is a lift between the ground level and first floor.

Floor Plan

View our floorplan for more
detailed information.

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Beatrix Potter Shop Showcase

Beatrix Potter at Birnam Arts
Peter Rabbit plate set at Birnam Arts
Peter Rabbit tins at Birnam Arts
Peter Rabbit toys at Birnam Arts
Peter Rabbit bags at Birnam Arts
Beatrix Potter mugs at Birnam Arts
Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life at Birnam Arts
Shop Images at Birnam Arts
Gift Shop at Birnam Arts

Beatrix Potter

Shop one of the largest selections of Beatrix Potter merchandise in the country! You'll find everything from books and figurines to soft toys and kitchenware. 

Map showing Birnam Arts and conference centre in Scotland

Opening Times

Box Office
Open periodically throughout the week | Book online 24/7

Daily | 10 - 4

Birnam Arts
Station Road
Birnam Dunkeld
Tel: 01350 727 674


Welcome to Birnam Arts, a boutique multi-purpose arts, conferencing and entertainment venue.


Pop in to the Foyer Cafe for breakfast, grab a delicious coffee with a selection of our homemade baking or enjoy a light lunch whilst browsing on the free WiFi. Wander upstairs to view the latest of our monthly art exhibitions before visiting the world of Beatrix Potter, or the Gift Shop to purchase a special gift for your loved ones or yourself!

Star Star Star Star Star

One of the most wonderful weekends of my life. Thanks to all at the Birnam Book Festival, Guest of Honour, author and musician.

Peggy Seeger   |   Birnam Book Festival 2018

  • Entrance

  • Kinnaird

  • Cafe

  • Beatrix Potter

  • Shop

  • Gallery

  • Studio