Top 9 Views in the Lake District
The Lake District is world-famous for its enviable landscapes and stunning scenery, so it's no wonder it's just been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site! But when you've just a few days to explore everything the area has to offer, it can be easy to miss out on an amazing view hidden just around the corner. Here are a few of our favourites you should be looking out for!
Note: If reaching a view involves walking in the Lakes, do make sure before you set out that you have sturdy footwear suited to the terrain, and always remember some warm clothing, food and water, and to get hold of a map and full route description before you go!
Back in 2007, ITV ran a TV series in search of the UK's favourite view, with the scenery from the Lake District's Wastwater coming out top - so we thought we'd start with this view, too! The deepest lake in the Lake District, Wastwater is situated in the Wasdale Valley, which is also home to England's tallest mountain, and one of England's smallest churches! The Screes on the southeast side of Wastwater rise dramatically from the lake's floor to produce a stunning backdrop. Wastwater is popular with walkers, cyclists and canoeists, and there are car parks as well as roadside lay-bys from which to enjoy the scenery.
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2. Friar's Crag, Keswick
Friar's Crag is an iconic Lakeland viewpoint and the bench there, which looks down Derwentwater towards the 'Jaws of Borrowdale', has to be one of the most popular seats in the Lake District! Friar's Crag can be reached on an easy and accessible 15-minute walk from the Theatre by the Lake on the Derwentwater foreshore in Keswick. After leaving the tarmac surface at the beginning of the walk, continue on a good and mostly level, wide stone path south, and you can extend the walk further to take in a stroll around neighbouring Strandshag Bay.
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3. Ashness Bridge and Surprise View, Derwentwater
Further out of the way, but really worthwhile seeking out, Ashness Bridge and Surprise View are two more well-known viewpoints to add to your tick list if you're spending time around Derwentwater. Ashness Bridge is a small packhorse bridge best viewed from above, and just a short distance away, Surprise View really does live up to its name, with breathtaking views across the lake and surrounding fells! The best way to visit is on foot, but if you're not into day-long hikes, take a trip on Derwentwater on board the Keswick Launch, and stop off at the Ashness Gate landing stage. A walk to Surprise View and back, passing over Ashness Bridge on the way, takes around an hour. Alternatively, there are small car parks at both locations but, with access being via a single-track road with small passing places, it's advisable to pick a quiet part of the season to drive there!
We've a wonderful selection of cottages nearby, both in and around Keswick.
A photographer's paradise, the tranquil four-and-a-half mile walk around Buttermere provides a series of stunning vistas. Starting at the north-western lakeshore near the village of Buttermere itself, you will enjoy views across the water to Fleetwith Pike and Warnscale Bottom, and along the northern shore you'll discover the distinctive 'Buttermere tree' - great for a shot with an interesting foreground, and a classic Lakeland image. Moving south, you'll discover further views of the Buttermere pines from the shore near Crag Wood. In fact, there are picture-perfect views wherever you look!
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5. Latrigg, Keswick
One of the lowest fells in the Lake District, Latrigg has views that provide a fantastic reward for your efforts. There's a steep but accessible footpath from the car park below at the head of Gale Road, and at the top you'll enjoy magnificent views down to the town of Keswick, Derwentwater and the Borrowdale valley, showing that you really don't need to take on the big fells to witness incredible sights from above!
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6. Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace
With fine views across Grasmere, Loughrigg Terrace is a path that runs along the side of Loughrigg Fell, and offers a good viewpoint to head to as part of a walk around Grasmere or Rydal Water. There are several benches along the path, making it a great rest stop from which to really appreciate the surrounding scenery. If you're lucky enough to visit during the bluebell season, you'll see beautiful carpets of these gorgeous flowers flowing down the fellside towards the water!
Browse our range of cottages in Grasmere and Rydal.
7. Gummer's How, south of Windermere
One of the most satisfying short walks in the Windermere area for great views is Gummer's How at the southern end of the lake. A road to Bowland Bridge rises steeply from Fell Foot, and after a short distance on your right-hand side you'll come to a car park in the shelter of woodland. After crossing the road, the route to the summit and back is only around 1.5 miles in total in the form of a short, sharp climb. The views across Windermere extend to Finsthwaite and as far south as Ulverston and Black Combe. In the northerly direction you can see over Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead and Claife Heights towards Wetherlam, the Langdales, Dunmail Raise, Wansfell, Fairfield and Red Screes - another wonderful panorama for relatively little effort!
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8. Silver Point, Ullswater
The view from Silver Point requires a bit more work for your reward, but is another Lakeland classic! Looking over the southern half of Ullswater to the north, this viewpoint is reached by a four-mile walk (including your return) from the nearby village of Patterdale, just below Ullswater, where you will find public parking and could even drop by for a spot of lunch at the White Lion Inn! The walk passes through a working farm and later consists of rugged and fairly demanding terrain with a number of steep paths and climbs. You can then return on a parallel path past the workings of the disused quarries here.
Take a look at our properties around Ullswater.
9. St Bees Head
Although just outside the Lake District, St Bees on the west coast is the perfect place for a stunning coastal walk, and forms the start of Alfred Wainwright's 'Coast to Coast' route. The village of St Bees is situated to the south of St Bees Head where, on a clear day, the tall red sandstone cliffs enjoy superb views across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. St Bees Head is the most westerly point in Cumbria, and you'll see the lighthouse on a walk here, which was built in 1718! It's also the site of an RSPB reserve, with three viewpoints from which to see the largest colony of seabirds in northwest England. If you're really lucky you may even spot dolphins or porpoises offshore!
View our cottages nearby in the South West Lake District.
There are so many incredible views to go in search of in the Lake District that it can be hard to decide where to start! If you haven't yet booked your break in the area, why not find the perfect cottage from which to begin your getaway, using our online search facility?
Other posts you may find helpful in planning your time in the Lakes: