With its 17th century, white-washed properties, narrow, cobbled streets, alleys and archways, four historic pubs, a 500 year old church, an historic Methodist chapel and an ancient grammar school, Hawkshead lives up to every pre-conceived notion of a traditional Lakeland village. 

Located between Windermere and Coniston Water, Hawkshead is easily accessed from Ambleside - via the A593 to Clappersgate and then the B5286 - or from Bowness via the Windermere ferry (passing Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top on the way). 

To the south of the village lies Esthwaite Water and to the south west is Grizedale Forest. Stroll up the hillock to Hawkshead Church and you get a pretty good idea of its enviable location. 

As in other parts of the Lake District, wool was the driver of wealth in this area for centuries. In the 17th century the locals were even told to bury their loved ones in woollen shrouds, to help boost the trade. Today Hawkshead’s main business is tourism, and the playing field-sized car park on the outskirts of the village rather bears that out.

Attractions

Information

Hawkshead Tourist Information Centre, Main Street, LA22 0NS: 015394 36946, www.hawksheadtouristinfo.org.uk 

Rusland Valley community website: www.rusland.org.uk

The Carthouse. Just north of Colton in the Rusland Valley is Oxen Park where, thanks to ten years of fundraising and the conversion of an old, pitched-roof barn, there’s a community cinema. 30-40 people can watch films in comfort here without having to travel to Ambleside, Bowness or Ulverston. www.oxenparkcinemaclub.org.uk

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