Take a new path from Hill Top to Hawkshead

Users on the off road footpath from Hawkshead to Hill Top
Published : 16 Oct 2017 Last update : 11 May 2018

A new path has opened between Hawkshead and Near Sawrey, giving visitors and locals the opportunity to explore the area on foot or bike, just as Beatrix Potter would have done.

Take a new path

A new section of bridleway has been built to provide an alternative route through Near Sawrey to Hawkshead, where walkers and cyclists have the chance to experience beautiful views across Esthwaite Water and over to the Coniston Fells.

Partnership project

The Claife Community Bridleway has been six years in the making, and was called for by residents on safety grounds in their community led plan.The project has been funded collectively by the National Trust, South Lakeland District Council, Claife Parish Council and the Lake District National Park Authority. The track is the last link in a network of paths which connects Wray Castle with Hawkshead.

" We’re really happy that the new path is now fully complete and gets people off most of the road. We hope it will encourage walkers and cyclists to enjoy this scenic route between the village of Hawkshead and Hill Top in Near Sawrey; a landscape which inspired Beatrix Potter herself. A massive thanks to our team, the contractors and everyone who helped make it happen."
- John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust in the South Lakes
Users enjoying the new section of bridleway between Hawkshead and Near Sawrey

Leave the car at home

The path supports sustainable transport as it allows for safe travel whilst leaving the car at home. Until recently it was difficult to walk or cycle this route; now the villages of Far Sawrey, Near Sawrey and Hawkshead are connected through an extensive network, which is accessible all year round.

" We are delighted to see this new bridlepath open for use. It has been a fantastic project working with Claife Parish Council and the National Trust to help them deliver a new safe off-road route. "
- Sara Spicer, Lake District National Park Area Ranger

Claife Parish Council has hailed the opening of the path and has appealed to landowners who chose not to let it cross their land, to think again, so that it can be fully completed.

Claife Parish Councillor, Anne Brodie, said: “70% of residents, who answered the CLP questionnaire, said a path to Hawkshead was a priority for safety reasons. We hope that now they can see how the path benefits everyone, reluctant landowners will change their minds and let us finish the job.”

Users enjoying the new off road path between Near Sawrey and Hawkshead
" The fenced path makes the road along Esthwaite Water safer for everyone – motorists included. And it opens up some lovely views of Esthwaite Water and the fells."
- Anne Brodie, Claife Parish Councillor

Connecting special places

This route is the final link in a chain that connects a number of National Trust places in the south Lakes. This means visitors can now walk for miles mostly off-road starting from Wray Castle, Ambleside, then heading south towards Claife Viewing Station on Windermere’s west shore; along to Hill Top in Near Sawrey; finishing in Hawkshead village with the Beatrix Potter Gallery.