Hawkshead is a village and civil parish in Cumbria, England, which attracts tourists to the South Lakeland area. The parish includes the hamlets of Hawkshead Hill, 1.2 miles (1.9 km) to the north west, and Outgate, a similar distance north. Hawkshead contains one primary school but no secondary school and four public houses.
Hawkshead is just north of Esthwaite Water, in a valley to the west of Windermere and east of Coniston Water. It is part of Furness, making it a part of the ancient county of Lancashire.
The township of Hawkshead was originally owned by the monks of Furness Abbey; nearby Colthouse derives its name from the stables owned by the Abbey. Hawkshead grew to be an important wool market in medieval times and later as a market town after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1532. It was granted its first market charter by King James I in 1608. In 1585, Hawkshead Grammar School was established by Archbishop Edwin Sandys of York after he successfully petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for a charter to establish a governing body.
St Michael and All Angels Parish Church, Hawkshead.jpg|left|thumb|Hawkshead Parish Church, built in 1300 and rebuilt in the 16th century
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Hawkshead became a village of important local stature. Poet William Wordsworth was educated at Hawkshead Grammar School, whilst Beatrix Potter lived nearby, marrying William Heelis, a local solicitor, in the early 20th century.
With the formation of the Lake District National Park in 1951, tourism grew in importance, though traditional farming still goes on around the village. Hawkshead has a timeless atmosphere and consists of a characterful warren of alleys, overhanging gables and a series of mediaeval squares. It is eloquently described in William Wordsworth's poem The Prelude.
Much of the land in and around the village is now owned by the National Trust. The National Trust property is called Hawkshead and Claife.
The electoral ward of the same name stretches south to Colton with a total population of 1,704.
Hawkshead is part of the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency and is represented in parliament by MP Tim Farron.