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Things to do in Hawkshead

Things to do in Hawkshead

It’s charming cluster of whitewashed houses exude the quintessential spirit of Lakeland. Hawkshead enjoys an enviable position in prime Beatrix Potter country. Her home of Hilltop, owned by the National Trust, is close by at Sawrey, and must be visited. You will doubtless be content to wander round the little cobbled streets and squares in the the pedestrianised centre. Soak in the flavour of Lakeland, and ramble in the green countryside immediately around the village. There are also beautiful Hawkshead walks.

In Hawkshead

William Wordsworth went to school in Hawkshead, and is reputed to have liked to sit at the top of the elevated churchyard. It is easy to see why, with fine views all round to Esthwaite Water, Claife Heights and the Langdales. The church offers an informational booklet about its history, and is said to date from the early 1500’s. There are footpaths by the church that make for an interesting ramble in the countryside round about.

Beatrix Potter Gallery

Located near the King Arms Hotel in the centre of Hawkshead, the Beatrix Potter Gallery showcases a selection of her drawings and watercolours. No itinerary of what to do in Hawkshead would be complete without a visit here, and an insight on the area’s connection with Peter Rabbit and friends. –

Esthwaite Water Trout Fishery

Boat and shore fishing are available on one of the most serene of the Lake District waters. A guiding service and fly-casting tuition are also to be had here. The fishery is on the south-west shore of Esthwaite Water, very near to Hawkshead. You can also go on a boat ride around the lake, the Osprey Safari. –


Beatrix Potter’s home at Sawrey was given to the National Trust on her death on the proviso that it should no longer be lived in and be kept just as she left it. This has been done beautifully, and the house offers a wonderful window on her life and her tales. Only a short drive from Hawkshead village towards Lake Windermere, we strongly urge a visit here. So many of her most famous were dreamt up here, and Hilltop is a treasure for all who love her tales. –

River Deep, Mountain High

River Deep, Mountain High have been operating for many years from the area near Hawkshead. Things to do include half-day, full-day, and even multi-day activity sessions in gorge-walking, scrambling, canoeing, climbing and mountain-biking. –

Tourist Information

The information centre is situated next to the main car park. You can get plenty of inspiration for things to do in Hawkshead, as well as acting as a gift shop and newsagents.


There is a Co-operative store on Main Street in Hawkshead for your essential shopping needs.

Petrol Stations

There are filling stations in Coniston, and in Ambleside.

Health Centre

Hawkshead Medical Practice is based in Red Lion Yard (015394 36246), and there are other health centres in Coniston and Ambleside.


The nearest veterinarian practices are in Ambleside on Church Street and Windermere on Lake Road. –


The village centre is pedestrianised, but there is a large pay-and-display car park on the edge of the town centre.

Exploring Hawkshead


Hawkshead is associated with Beatrix Potter country. The little hamlets of Near and Far Sawrey and Potter’s home at Hilltop, owned by the National Trust, can be be found by heading towards Windermere lake. You can even cross the lake itself by continuing this way to the car ferry which takes you to Bowness-on-Windermere. Heading in the opposite direction takes you to pretty Coniston village. There you can cruise Coniston Water on the Gondola or tackle Coniston Old Man. Beyond Coniston you can head further west to the Cumbrian coast.

Going south brings you to Newby Bridge and the lower-lying wooded hills at the bottom end of Lake Windermere. We recommend a visit to the Langdale valleys, too. They can be accessed from the A593 between Coniston and Ambleside. Great and Little Langdale attract climbers and walkers from around the world. Unsurprising, as they contain some of the most stunning scenery in the Lakes. You will also want to visit Ambleside at the north tip of Lake Windermere. The town a bustling jewel amongst the Lakeland villages. Also stop by Grasmere a few miles to the North, chosen home and inspiration of the great poet, William Wordsworth.

There are many tour companies around the Lake District if you want to let someone else do your driving for you and Bluebird Tours are based in nearby Coniston. –

Getting to Hawkshead

Leave the M6 motorway at Junction 36. Drive past Kendal, and take A591 to Ambleside, then the A593 towards Coniston, and shortly afterwards the B5286 to Hawkshead. Windermere rail station can be reached on a branch line from Oxenholme station, on the west coast mainline by Kendal, and the 505 bus will get you to Hawkshead. Information on buses in the Lake District can be found here: