HAWKSHEAD, midway between Coniston and Ambleside, wears its beauty well, its patchwork of cottages and cobbles backed by woods and fells and barely affected by modern intrusions. Huge car parks at the village edge take the strain, and when the crowds of day-trippers leave, Hawkshead regains its natural tranquillity. It’s a major stop on both the Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth trails (Potter’s house, Hill Top, is nearby, while William and his brother went to school here), and makes a handy base for days out in Grizedale Forest.
The best local walk is to lovely Tarn Hows, a body of water surrounded by spruce and pine and circled by paths and picnic spots. It’s two miles from Hawkshead on country lanes and paths; it takes about an hour to walk around the tarn.Read More
Grizedale ForestGrizedale Forest extends over the fells separating Coniston Water and Hawkshead from Windermere, and the picnic spots, open-air sculptures, children’s activities, cycle trails and tree-top adventure course make for a great day out away from the main lakes. The best starting point is the Grizedale Forest Centre, where there’s a café and information point.
Go Ape, a high-ropes adventure course in the thick of Grizedale Forest, has you frolicking in the tree canopy for a couple of hours. You get a quick safety briefing and then make your own way around the fixed-ropes course – fantastic fun involving zip-wires, Tarzan-swings and aerial walkways.