Hawkshead Village is just a 10-minute drive from Skelwith Fold Caravan Park and a must visit during your holiday in The Lakes. The pretty market village has much to offer visitors, including cosy pubs, quaint tearooms and a selection of gift shops and independent boutiques.
The village is steeped in history and remains largely untouched by commercialism. Cars are not permitted through the centre, which allows you to explore the charming streets with ease. Be sure to spend some time during your visit wandering along the narrow lanes and admiring the quaint white washed cottages adorned with floral displays. You’ll stumble across some delightful buildings and interesting nods to the village’s past.
Things to do in Hawkshead
Hawkshead played a pivotal role in the lives of acclaimed authors, William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. The surrounding scenery inspired much of their work, which has been commemorated in two museums within the town. The Beatrix Potter Museum is housed within her husband’s office and remains largely untouched to this day. The collection changes annually and showcases some of her magnificent illustrations, which are based on local characters she knew.
The old grammar school is home to the William Wordsworth Museum. Visitors can see where the poet attended school and the original desk in which he sat and inscribed his name.
Photo credit: David Willis
The Old Courthouse
The Courthouse is all that remains from Furness Abbey which dates back to 12th century. It once formed part of Hawskhead Hall and a number of medieval cases were trialled here. Records show that the historic building has served many purposes over the years and has been used as a stables, chapel and artist’s studio. It is now open to the public, though a key must be collected from the National Trust shop in the village to gain entry.
Beatrix Potter’s home, Hilltop can be found a couple of miles outside of Hawkshead in the small hamlet of Sawrey. It was here she wrote many of her famous children stories, drawing inspiration from the garden and landscape around her. The property is now owned by the National Trust and visitors are permitted to tour the property with care. It’s been kept exactly as she left it, almost as if she’s just popped out for a walk!
If you’d like to pick up some souvenirs to take home, take a look at the independent shops in the village square. There’s a variety of stores stocking local produce and a fantastic selection of home crafts and quality gifts. Some of our favourites include, Hawkshead Relish Company, the Honey Pot and Haddows of Hawkshead, where you’ll find some beautiful Beatrix Potter books and children’s toys.
Hawkshead is an excellent starting point for a number of scenic walks, making it a firm favourite among outdoor enthusiasts. From the village, you can hike to plenty of picturesque fells and enjoy panoramic vistas over The lakes.
One of the most popular walks is the two-mile trail from the village to Tarn Hows beauty spot. The walk takes under an hour and encompasses a stunning section through thick and abundant forest, before opening up to some of the best views in the Lake District. Avid hikers can try more challenging walks to Latterbarrow and Claife Heights.
Other outdoor activities that can be enjoyed nearby include, fishing, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking on Windermere. Grizedale forest is also less than 3 miles away, where younger members of the family can take on the Go Ape high ropes course and Treetop nets.
Food and drink
There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat during your day trip to Hawkshead. There are a number of tearooms serving a range of tasty treats as well country pubs, where you can savour a hearty meal.
In the summer, some of the venues offer outside dining so you can soak up the sun and people watch as visitors peruse. In the winter, many of the restaurants have roaring open fires, providing you a warm and cosy base to rest and refuel.
Getting to Hawkshead
Hawkshead is situated in the Vale of Esthwaite, close to Coniston Water and Windermere. The drive from our park is short and scenic and there’s a large pay and display car park on the outskirt of the village.
Header image credit: Jorge Franganillo, Flickr
How to find Hawkshead Village
Opening times: Always open
Distance from park
3.8 miles (approx. 11 mins)