Showcasing Hawkshead

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Written by David Rippin, University lecturer and landscape photographer, Hawkshead

The Church of St Michael and All Angels, on an early winter’s evening. The hills of the Fairfield horseshoe are visible in the distance. (Credit: Photo Rippin)

Just a few miles south of busy and bustling Ambleside lies the village of Hawkshead – an oasis of calm, steeped in history and stunning Lakeland beauty, with so much to recommend it. Despite its small size, there is plenty to see and do, with something for everyone.

Spectacular night skies are visible from within and around Hawkshead. (Credit: Photo Rippin)

Hawkshead began as a medieval market town and is famous for its cobbled streets and classic whitewashed Lake District cottages. In the village centre on a small hill, stands the striking 17th Century Church of St Michael and All Angels. This is a wonderful spot to survey the village and the wider area. Hawkshead is also famous for its association with both William Wordsworth, who attended the Grammar School, and Beatrix Potter, who lived at nearby Hill Top.

The village is richly served by coffee shops, cafes, bars and bistros, as well as numerous shops, including the famous Hawkshead Relish, the only Grasmere Gingerbread shop outside of Grasmere, a delicatessen and our very own chocolate factory.

The village sits beside the beautiful and adventure-filled Grizedale Forest, while to the south lies the serene Esthwaite Water, a prime fishing spot and home to ospreys.

One of the many patches of glorious woodland to be found around Hawkshead. (Credit: Photo Rippin)

A myriad of footpaths begin in Hawkshead. The spectacular Tarn Hows is just a 45 minute walk, or a short drive away, and a fantastic bridleway leads cyclists and walkers alike to the glorious Wray Castle on the shores of Windermere. To the east of the village lies the summit of Latterbarrow, and the undulating terrain of Claife Heights.

With its 360-degree views, the Coniston Range, the Fairfield Horseshoe and the Langdale Pikes are all visible. The views from here are magical and varying throughout the year, and being just a stone’s throw from the village, are another reason why Hawkshead is truly the place to be, all year round.

The village of Hawkshead from the south. (Credit: Photo Rippin)

Check out David Rippin Photography website PhotoRippin

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