Situated in the heart of the Lake District National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) , the village of Near Sawrey is very picturesque and Lakefield is situated in a peaceful location on the northern fringe of the village. At night, standing outside Lakefield, you can hear sound of the geese on the lake and the sheep in the fields. The village is a conservation area.
Near Sawrey's main attraction is undoubtedly Beatrix Potter's home, Hill Top Farm. Hill Top is owned by The National Trust and is open to the public (check times). Admission is on a timed basis.
The attractive village pub, the Tower Bank Arms (3 mins walk), is also owned by The National Trust and serves very good food. The Tower Bank Arms features in Beatrix Potter's books, as does Buckle Yeat Guest House, on your right before the pub. Also try Ees Wyke (book day before) for outstanding cuisine and the Sawrey House Hotel is recommended too. There is another pub in the next village (2-3 mins drive), Far Sawrey, called the Cuckoo Brow Inn, which also serves good food.
There is a playground for small children a short distance up the road from Lakefield.
Tesco Direct can deliver food/groceries to Near Sawrey, if required. Booth's supermarket in Windermere can be used for a large "shop" - see also Hawkshead below. Hutchinsons in Coniston are the nearest full service butcher.
Why not treat yourself to a delicious meal at Lakefield prepared and delivered by the Lakes Catering Company Ltd? See: www.thelakescateringcompany.co.uk
Hilltop National Trust
Tower Bank Arms
The Cuckoo Brow
Hawkshead is an attractive village five minutes by car from Near Sawrey. It is very picturesque and is characterised by clusters of whitewashed houses, alleyways and small courtyards and squares. It has strong connections with both Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. The Beatrix Potter Gallery (National Trust) is well worth a visit, as is the Old School House, where William Wordsworth attended school. There are many good pubs and restaurants. Hawkshead also has a small but well stocked Co-op, a chemist and a post office, as well as numerous shops.
The Hawkshead Relish Shop in the main square sells delicious jams and relishes.
Hawkshead Clothing Shop
Esthwaite Water and Coniston Water Fishing boats and tackle can be hired at the fishery on Esthwaite Water (near the small car park on the SW side of the lake). Pleasure boats can be hired on Coniston Water (about 15 minutes' drive from Lakefield).
John Ruskin's house Brantwood is well worth a visit. It occupies a beautiful position overlooking Coniston Water.
Grizedale: there are numerous walks and cycle trails at the Forestry Commission's Centre at Grizedale Forest (the valley between Esthwaite Water and Coniston Water.
Walks: there are many walks from the Lakefield's front door but a favourite walk is the one to Moss Eccles Tarn. Turn right out of Lakefield, walk thirty yards up the hill to the phone box on the left and follow the path up the lane between the phone box and the children's playground. The lane climbs gradually giving super views of Esthwaite. Moss Eccles Tarn is about 20-25 minutes walk up the lane and then on the right across the fields at the top of the lane. Beatrix Potter owned a rowing boat on the tarn and, on a summer's evening, used to row the boat while her husband fished. Fishing permits can be obtained from the Tower Bank Arms. You can follow the footpath round the tarn and on up to Wise Een Tarn further on - super views over the Langdale valley to the north west. If you go a bit further on you come to Latterbarrow which has extensive views over Ambleside, Fairfield Horseshoe, the Langdales, Wetherlam and Coniston Old Man.
Alternatively, you can walk down the small lane to Esthwaite Water. On the way, you pass a small cross-roads featured in the frontispiece to Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Pigling Bland" (see if you can spot it). You cross over the bridge over the outflow from Esthwaite, turnthrough a gate immediatley on your right onto a path by the lake which eventually leads to a small rustic car park which gives good views over the lake. The lanes are generally quiet but narrow, so please exercise care with children.
There are plenty of other walks, so why not invent a few of your own?