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The local area guide to living in Hawes

Hawes, in North Yorkshire, is a small town which includes, within its boundaries, the tiny hamlet of Gayle. During the industrial revolution, Hawes was a major centre for mining and the ruined lead mines, quarries and limekilns can still be explored today.

The name Hawes has Viking origins, meaning ‘pass between mountains’ in old Norse, but the town as we know it today was first given its market charter back in 1699. The current, lively Tuesday market attracts a great many shoppers from the surrounding area – if you happen to stop by, a visit is certainly necessary!

Hawes is set within the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding landscape provides ample opportunity for exploration by foot, bicycle, or even by horseback. Just north of the town is the River Ure, which provides much of the natural beauty in the area. It’s, therefore, easy to see why many are seduced into the area!

Information about the local residents

Hawes is very small, with a population of less than 1,200. In this sense, the community is a close-knit one; if you do decide to live here, you’ll find that they are friendly, welcoming and lively!

More than half of the population are economically active. The main sectors of employment tend be construction, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade. There is also a significant number of families within Hawes – 69% to be precise. This figure illustrates that the town is an ideal place to either start or raise a family.

As a rural area with a historic church within its bounds, the locals are slightly more religious than much of England. 70.8% identify as Christian, while under 19% say they are atheist or agnostic.

Nearby schools

Hawes is very popular with families thanks to its safety, community spirit and the quality of its schools.

Although, only one primary school exists in the immediate area (Hawes Community Primary School), several others can be found nearby, such as Askrigg Voluntary Controlled Primary School and Bainbridge Church of England Primary and Nursery School. However, Hawes Primary does not boast attractive Ofsted ratings. Askrigg and Bainbridge, on the other hand, were both rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and are excellent options for your children.

There are also some secondary schools and sixth form colleges within relatively easy reach of Hawes. Richmond School, Risedale Sports and Community College and St Francis Xavier School are all a short drive or bus ride away.

Getting around

Hawes, as a small town, has convenient transport links, but no railway station of its own. Regular buses connect the town to surrounding places of interest, including the Wensleydale Cheese factory. Buses run through the town frequently and make it easy for non-drivers to get about.

Those with cars will find that the most important artery roads are the A684 and B6255, which enable fast and easy travel around the region. The nearest railway stations are in Garsdale, Dent and Ribblehead – all between 6 and 12 miles. From these, transport to the rest of the county and, indeed, the wider UK, is an easy affair.

Local shops

The size of the town dictates that it was never destined to be a destination for high-fashion hunters, but it is served by a wonderful selection of pubs, restaurants, and small independent shops. The regular market also offers a lovely selection of local produce to peruse. And for guilty pleasures, there are takeaways within the town.

In addition, one of the biggest draws to Hawes is its proximity to the Wensleydale Creamery Centre, which produces Wensleydale cheese – made famous by Wallace and Gromit. If you’re a cheese lover, a visit to this esteemed venue is a must!

If, however, you’re on the hunt for the latest designer garments, a trip to one of the bigger hubs is required. Leeds or York can both be frequented and boast excellent shopping centres and entertainment complexes.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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