HAWKSHEAD 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. The crowds are drawn chiefly by Hawkshead's association with two famous writers: William Wordsworth studied at the Grammar School, and Beatrix Potter lived at Hill Top farm, just outside the village.
The best local walk from Hawkshead is to 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, and once there it takes about an hour to walk around the tarn, or you can always make the half-mile diversion to the tearoom at nearby Yew Tree Farm.