Hawkshead Village lies in the heart of a conservation area and has remained largely untouched for the past 300 years. In medieval times it was the centre of the prosperous North Lancashire woolen industry, so unsurprising to find many beautiful and interesting buildings of architectural importance in the village, many of which are now Grade II listed by English Heritage. The centre of the village is closed to through traffic, so exploring the cobbled streets and the eclectic mix of small independent shops, teashops and Inns is a real pleasure. Shop, relax, refuel and watch the world go by.
Hawkshead Parish Church
Hawkshead Parish Church dates from the early 12th Century chapel, later replaced by St Michael’s & All Angels during 15th Century. Of note are its oak timbered roof, flamboyant biblical texts painted on the walls and the external slate bench known as ‘Church End’. The church was one of this year’s venues for the annual Lake District Summer Music Festival
Hill Top, Near Sawrey is Beatrix Potter’s former Home, now a museum run by the National Trust. 2016 saw the National Trust celebrating Beatrix Potter’s 150th Anniversary. The Beatrix Potter Gallery Situated in the centre of the village in the old offices of Beatrix’s husband, William Heelis. The Gallery houses an exhibition of the author’s work. The Beatrix Potter Exhibition in Windermere is perfect to visit with small children.
The stunning scenery and famously friendly people of Lake District create a magnate for lovers of the great outdoors. Adrenaline rush or relaxing with nature, it doesn’t matter how young or old you are, there really is something for everyone!
Tarn Hows is a fabulous walk starting from the garden gate of Roger Ground House. It is set in the hills between the villages of Hawkshead and Coniston and is suitable for the whole family. Pack a picnic and stroll along the 2 mile trail, taking in the Fell views, the countryside and the magnificent grazing Herdwick sheep. Don’t forget your camera or paints & easel!
Coniston Steam Yacht Gondola
Take a cruise around Coniston Water on the Steam Yacht Gondola (Open end of March – end of October). Spot the harbour on ‘Wild Cat Island’ and other places which inspired Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. Listen to the crew’s cheery commentary on the local history and enjoy the beautiful views of the Coniston Fells. You can disembark at Brantwood to visit the former home of John Ruskin.
Old Man of Coniston
The Old Man of Coniston is a Fell 2,634 feet (803 m) high. It lies west of the village of Coniston and Coniston Water. The mountain is a favourite of local Fell walkers and has many well-marked paths to the summit. The mountain was used for mining slate for 800 years and the remains of abandoned mines are a key feature of the north-east slopes. There are several flocks of sheep grazing on this beautiful mountain; but hide your sandwiches, they are partial to a picnic!
Lake Windermere, at 10.5 miles long and 1 mile wide, is the largest natural lake in England. Bowness-on-Windermere is an excellent centre for boating activities and Steamers and launches operate from Bowness Bay to Waterhead at Ambleside, and Lakeside at the southern end of the lake.
Claife Viewing Station on Windermere’s West Shore and Wray Castle
Take the ferry from Bowness to Windermere’s beautiful west shore and discover Claife Viewing Station. The Station was originally constructed in the 1790s as a public viewing station. The Station courtyard is great spot for a picnic before setting off for a stroll up the slope to the Station where stunning views of Windermere await you. You can take the path from the Courtyard and continue north to Wray Castle via a gentle 4 mile lakeshore track. This walk is ideal for exploring on bikes or on foot and is perfect for children and the dog! You can return by boat to Bowness and Ambleside from Wray Castle.
(These are suggestions from previous visitors. Please see TripAdvisor.co.uk for latest reviews).
Coniston’s Ruskin Museum tells the story of Coniston, Arthur Ransome, Donald Campbell and John Ruskin.
Brantwood former home of John Ruskin (1819-1900) art critic, water-colourist and philanthropist.
The house is now a museum and the extensive gardens are not to be missed!
Brockhole on Windermere. Tree top walks and adventure centre, perfect to kids…of all ages.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop ‘The best gingerbread on the planet’.
Melvin Nicholson Photography Lakeland photography workshops: 1:1 Tuition, 1 day or weekend courses.
Holehird Gardens Home of the Lakeland Horticulture Society.
Mountain Goat Tours Minibus tour. See more of the Lakes with a witty commentary from local guide/driver.
Lakeland Pony Treks Horse ride across the Fells. All levels accommodated.
The Fun Factory Bowness Soft play centre for younger children. Perfect for a rainy day. Café on site.
The Cocoa Bean Company Based in Hawkshead; chocolate making workshops for kids. Café on site.
Lakeland Motor Museum Full size replicas of Campbell’s ‘Blue Bird’ car, boat and jet hydroplane are is exhibited here.
Coniston Launch Lake cruises and group charters on Coniston Water.
Bowness Bay Marina Hire a self-drive motor boat and see more of Lake Windermere. Perfect day out for family & friends.
River Deep Mountain High Gorge Walking, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, Ghyll Scrambling, Kayaking, Sailing. A really fun day out for all!
Esthwaite Water Trout Fishery Trout, Pike, Coarse and Roach fishing; boat or bank fishing on 280 acres of water.
Michael Coates Clay Shooting Clay pigeon shooting. Suitable for 12 years and over.