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Hawkshead has flourished from its beginnings as a Medieval market town. Today Hawkshead, with its car-free village centre, is the perfect place for the visitor to experience the 'real' Lake District. The cobbled streets, squares and courtyards of Hawkshead and the beautiful whitewashed cottages, topped with local Lakeland slate, give this little place a magical feel.

Book Your Stay

High Wray Farm B&B

High Wray Farm B&B

Farmhouse with 3 rooms, £43-£45 pppnb

Yewfield Vegetarian Guest House

Yewfield Vegetarian Guest House

Guest Accommodation with 15 rooms, £90-£140 prpnb

Summer Hill Country House

Summer Hill Country House

Guest Accommodation with 5 rooms, £96-£124 prpnb

Walker Ground Manor 5* B&B

Walker Ground Manor

Bed & Breakfast with 3 rooms, £95-£140 prpnb

The Croft

The Croft

Individual Caravan with 5 units, £285-£645 pupw sleeps 1-6

Tower Bank Arms

Tower Bank Arms

Inn with 4 rooms, £72-£125 prpnb

Kings Arms

Kings Arms

Inn with 7 rooms, £94-£153 prpnb

Swallows Nest

Mulberry, Swallows Nest & Yewtrees

Self-catering with 3 units, £350-£550 pupw sleeps 1-4

Howe Farm Bed & Breakfast

Howe Farm Bed & Breakfast

Farmhouse with 2 rooms, £25-£43 pppnb

Things to do

What's on

Trust10 Run

Sun 26 Feb 2017


Wedding Fayre

Sun 26 Feb 2017


Antique & Collectors Fair

Sat 11 - Sun 12 Mar 2017



Surrounding Area

Grizedale Forest
Claife heights

Culture and Heritage

Wray Castle
In the 12th century, Hawkshead and most of the surrounding land was a monastic grange run by the monks of Furness Abbey as a sheep ‘walk', with much of the surrounding woodland cleared to make way for pasture fields. The dominant breed was the Herdwick, a sturdy sheep, well suited to the cooler and wetter climate of the Lake District.

It was the coarse grey fleece of this sheep that provided the abbey with a great deal of its wealth. Local weavers would produce cloth from the spun wool, which was washed and hung on tenterframes to be stretched back into shape; local place names such as Tenter Hill (SD 338 997) are indicative of this former activity. The cloths were taken to Kendal to be finished and turned into hardwearing garments for the working classes.

Hawkshead Hall was the administrative centre for this northern outpost of the Abbey's estate. Here the monks would receive tithes, collect wool and despatch it for spinning and weaving and sell on the woven pieces of cloth. The trade in woollen goods was highly profitable for the monks, providing over a quarter of the Abbey's entire income.

In earlier times it was the custom to call for a rowing boat when one was required. One stormy night a call was answered by a ferryman who rowed across the lake to Bowness only to return in a state of shock. The next morning he developed a rapid fever and died.

Thereafter, on stormy nights whenever there were strange calls for a boat from Ferry Nab, no-one would dare go. Eventually a priest exorcised the Crier of Claife to a quarry on Claife Heights, but occasionally the ghostly calls for a boat can still be heard.

High Wray was the scene of a series of murders in 1672, all carried out by one man; Thomas Lancaster. Thomas wanted to marry a local girl from High Wray who was already betrothed to someone else so he bribed her father to allow him to marry her instead; an event which took place on 1 Jan 1672.
Hawkshead Village

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