A guide to holidays in Hawkshead
Located between two of the region’s most popular lakes, Lake Windermere and Coniston Water, and set in the magnificent valley of Esthwaite, Hawkshead is one of the prettiest villages you will find in the Lake District and is the perfect base to explore the National Park from.
Visitors will simply love wandering the streets of this quintessentially English village, adorned with medieval squares and alleyways lined with 17th century buildings; 38 of these have been declared to be of architectural and historical interest. As you wander through the traffic-free streets you’ll be enchanted by the clusters of whitewashed houses, courtyards and buildings teeming with character.
Established in the medieval period as a wool town, in later years the area inspired two of the country’s best-loved writers, William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, with two of the village’s top attractions paying homage to the latter. Hill Top is a 17th century farmhouse in nearby Near and Far Sawrey and Potter’s former home, and is a fascinating time capsule of her life; from here it is easy to picture the characters from her books. Meanwhile, at the National Trust Beatrix Potter Gallery, you can learn more about her life through original drawings, watercolours and exhibitions.
If it’s waterside views you’re after, pay a visit to the nearby Esthwaite Water, one of the District’s lesser-known lakes. The views here are unspoilt, and there is also a circular route taking you around the entire circumference of the lake. Esthwaite Water is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as a Ramsar site, meaning that it is home to many unusual wildlife and plant species. It’s also popular with anglers, as it acts as a trout fishery and is the largest stocked fishing lake in the whole of the north-west of England.
Other popular outdoor pursuits enjoyed by many in and around Hawkshead are mountain biking and horse riding, thanks to the abundance of green lanes, bridleways and challenging terrains that surround the village. Nearby Grizedale Forest is also excellent for mountain biking, as well as a whole host of other activities for all ages – find out more here.
Within the village itself are all the amenities and facilities you will need during a stay at our Hawkshead cottages: a shop, a pharmacy, a Post Office and a selection of pubs and cafes. There are four welcoming pubs to choose from for relaxing with a pint and enjoying a menu of pub classics, while there are also a couple of cafes and tearooms perfect for a snack or light lunch in between your adventures in Hawkshead and across the Lake District.
Browse our full range of Hawkshead holiday cottages to inspire your next visit to the Lake District and find the perfect self-catering accommodation for you.