windermere panoramic
Cumbria LA22 0NS
Hawkshead in north-west England’s Lake District is not only a typical old Lakeland village but the heart of Beatrix Potter country.  It is also where a young William Wordsworth attended grammar school for nine years.
It is a tiny village of higgledy-piggledy houses, archways, and squares that has changed little since the 12th century.  Cars are banned from entering the village centre – parking is available in a large car park on the outskirts, leaving tourists free to wander safely through the picturesque laneways.
On a mound overlooking the village is is St Michael's Church, Hawkshead.  This ancient parish church is built on the site of a Norse chapel.  In the Middle Ages Hawkshead was an important centre for the rich wool trade.  Wealthy patrons such as the Sandys family generously endowed the church and the village.
Archbishop Edwin Sandys of York who was born in 1519 at Esthwaite Hall, just a mile (1.6 km) from the village was a most generous benefactor.  His aim was to banish ignorance and ensure that the Protestant religion and education would forever flourish throughout the land.  To this end he established a free grammar school in Hawkshead.  The Old Grammar School Museum is housed in the original school building and well worth visiting.
Beatrix Potter Gallery
Another interesting visitor attraction is the Beatrix Potter Gallery.  Local solicitor, William Heelis had his offices in the 17th century house that is now the gallery.  He assisted Beatrix Potter with the purchase of her first Lakeland property, ‘Hill Top’.  Their friendship grew, ultimately ending in their marriage.  The gallery is a treasure trove of original Potter drawings and paintings, some of which were used as illustrations for her popular children’s books.
Hawkshead is conveniently located near to many beauty spots such as Esthwaite Water, Coniston Water, Tarn Hows and the district centre of Windermere.  About half a mile (805 metres) out of the village  is the hamlet of Colthouse.  Built in 1688, Colthouse Friends Meeting House and graveyard is one of the oldest Quaker sites in Cumbria.
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Tea shops, restaurants, pubs and gift shops
This picturesque medieval village is a tourist hub peppered with accommodation, tea shops, restaurants, pubs and gift shops, and quite crowded in summer.  Most of the village and surrounding countryside is under the care of the National Trust and is known as ‘Hawkshead and Claife’.
Contact & Further Information
Getting There & Getting Around
The Village website has excellent map and assistance. Go to Web:  Hawkshead Village Location Map
Google Maps - Hawkshead


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