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

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 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.

  • 1 Hawkshead Grammar School Museum. English schoolroom of 200 years ago in old school founded in 1585 (updated Dec 2016)
  • 2 St Michael and All Angels Church. Built in 1300 and rebuilt in the 16th century. (updated Dec 2016)



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.




  • 1 Ees Wyke Country House, Near SawreyAmbleside LA22 0JZ (on B5285), ☏ +44 15394 36393. Charming small hotel in Georgian villa above Esthwaite Water. No children under 12 or dogs. B&B double from £100. (updated Jun 2020)
  • Oak Apple Barn. A beautifully converted 17th-century barn for self-catering, sleeps 2-4. 
  • 2 Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey LA22 0LQ (on B5285), ☏ +44 1539 443425. Dog-friendly hilltop hotel in 18th C inn. B&B double £130. (updated Aug 2020)

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