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Centrally located in the Lake District, Hawkshead is at the northern end of Esthwaite Water (to the west of Windermere).
Hawkshead is one of the most attractive - and popular - villages in the Lake District, in a lovely setting with fine views across the surrounding countryside. The village is firmly on the tourist trail for visitors to the Lake District.
It is also very well placed for exploring and walking in the whole southern half of the Lake District.
The village dates from 1000 years ago, but most of what we see now is from the 17th century. Historically Hawkshead played an important role in the Lancashire wool industry, which is how it originally generated its wealth.
It is a lovely place of narrow cobbled streets and winding alleys, whitewashed cottages and tubs overflowing with flowers, emerging into little open squares. It gives the impression of being much the same now as it would have been when Wordsworth was a young lad in the village, and even earlier.
Especially pleasant to explore because cars are not permitted into the village, you can spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the village, and the many pubs, cafes and gift shops that are found here.
The highlight of Hawkshead is perhaps the St Michael and All Angels Church - an attractive traditional building dating from the 16th century with an impressive array of painted columns, stained-glass and leaded windows, a pretty graveyard - and lovely views.
Hawkshead, Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter
Wordsworth enthusiasts will want to visit the Old Grammar School Museum to see the desk once used by (and carved by) the man himself when he went to school in the village.
Beatrix Potter also lived near to the village and is represented by a small gallery of paintings and sketches.