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Hawkshead: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 54°22′27″N 2°59′49″W / 54.374058454°N 2.99686431885°W / 54.374058454; -2.99686431885

Hawkshead is located in Cumbria

 Hawkshead shown within Cumbria
Population 1,703 [1]
OS grid reference SD352982
District South Lakeland
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district LA22
Dialling code 015394
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
List of places: UK • England • Cumbria

Hawkshead is a village in the Lake District, England. It is one of the main tourist honeypots in the South Lakeland area, and is dependent on the local tourist trade. The parish includes the hamlets of Hawkshead Hill (2km north west) and Outgate (1.5km north).



Hawkshead is situated just north of Esthwaite Water, in a valley to the west of Windermere and east of Coniston Water. It is part of Furness, making it a part of the ancient county of Lancashire but in the administrative county of Cumbria.

It is one of the prettiest villages in the Lake District with many buildings dating from the 1600s. It has a lively community and a high pub to population ratio.


The township of Hawkshead was originally owned by the monks of Furness Abbey; nearby Colthouse derives its name from the stables owned by the Abbey. Hawkshead grew to be an important wool market in medieval times and later as a market town after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1532. It was granted its first market charter by King James I in 1608. In 1585 Hawkshead Grammar School was established by Archbishop Edwin Sandys of York after he successfully petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for a charter to establish a governing body.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Hawkshead became a village (or town at the time) of important local stature. Poet William Wordsworth was educated in its grammar school, whilst Beatrix Potter lived nearby, marrying William Heelis, a local solicitor in the early 20th century.

Upon the opening of the National Park in 1951, tourism grew in importance, though traditional farming still goes on around the village. Hawkshead has a timeless atmosphere and consists of a characterful warren of alleys, overhanging gables and a series of medieval squares. It is eloquently described in William Wordsworth's poem, 'The Prelude'.

Much of the land in and around the village is now owned by the National Trust. The National Trust property is called Hawkshead and Claife.


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Hawkshead is a picturesque village in Lake District National Park, technically the smallest true town in Britain.

View of Hawkshead
View of Hawkshead

Get in

By car

Take the A590 to Ambleside, then follow the signs for Hawkshead. A pleasant alternative is via the Windermere Ferry which takes about 10 minutes to cross Widermere Lake from Bowness to Far Sawrey.

By train

To Windermere Station then by bus or taxi to Hawkshead.

By bus

From Ambleside.

Get around

The village itself is compact, and can be walked around in about 5 minutes.


The little town is a warren of centuries-old alleyways, cobbled streets and pretty houses.


Hawkshead has a range of outdoor clothing shops, and is the home of the Hawkshead brand of outdoor casualwear. Serious walkers are also well served by Stewardsons, Summitreks and Great Outdoors. There is a variety of gift shops, a good book shop, a pharmacy, post office/newsagents and a Co-op for basic food needs. The Honeypot sells a selection of quality local foods, and the Hawkshead Relish Company produces and sells an award-winning range of preserves, chutneys and sauces.

  • Self-catering

A fine example is Oak Apple Barn [1], a beautifully converted 17th century barn (sleeps 2-4), in a wonderfully quiet location just 15 minutes walk from the village.

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