After pounding the fells or escaping to nature the Lake District of Cumbria is packed with places of all sizes to relax and enjoy. Hawkshead, between the lakes of Windermere and Coniston is very much high on the pretty and scenic list in villages to acquaint yourself with. History, quirky tales, pretty buildings and beautiful panoramas fill the place and entice tourists from far and wide. No cars are allowed in the village either enabling a leisurely wander through the buildings. Strong ties with William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter are evident in abundance.
Hawkshead was actually an ancient ‘town’ owned by monks until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1500s. Wool then became an important trade for the area creating a flourishing market town. Many of the buildings there today date back to the 17th Century.
From anywhere within or around the village there is one landmark you cannot miss. St Michael and All Angels Church overlooks the whole area. Literally only a minute from the village centre but grants access to views way over to peaks like Helvellyn, The Langdale Pikes and much more.
Built in about the 13th Century and enlarged in 1500 it is very well worth the walk around to take in the detail and past of a stunning little building. This is where you get the skylines and panoramas of the area too, in amongst the well kept gardens and graveyard. Sit on a bench in peace up this tiny hill and soak in the Cumbrian landscape.
William Wordsworth went to grammar school here. The school has been kept locked in time. Desks remain in a large room downstairs with carvings by Wordsworth and many other children of the time. Those of you that know the life story of Beatrix Potter will of course be aware that Hawkshead is close to Sawrey where she lived. The solicitor she married (William Heelis) had his office within Hawkshead and today this building is the Beatrix Potter Gallery, housing many of her original illustrations and drawings.
All in all when passing through the middle of the lakeland countryside or want a small pretty place to rest and relax – Step back in time and enjoy the delights of Hawkshead. Be it a short visit or relaxing for the day. Learn, enjoy and take comfort in a little history.