Cumbria CA12 5UN
Visitors to the Lake District looking for easily accessible spectacular views and photogenic locations should explore the dales and fells around Keswick on Derwentwater.
Three beautiful locations can be accessed by travelling south along the B5289 from Keswick to Borrowdale. About 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Keswick turn left on to the single track unmarked road to Watendlath, named Watendlath Lane.
This little road is steep and narrow with passing places and not suitable for large vehicles such as caravans and motor-homes. A few hundred yards up this road is the first photographic gem, Ashness Bridge (OS grid reference NY 270-196). There is a free National Trust car park about 100 yards (92 metres) past the bridge on the right.
A boulder-strewn beck tumbles under the little stone bridge and there are fine views back to Derwentwater and Skiddaw. A lovely spot at any time of year, it is particularly good for autumn colours.
The next stop is Surprise View (OS grid reference NY 258 -189). This is a stunning view taking in the whole of Derwentwater, Borrowdale to the south, the surrounding mountains and Bassingthwaite Lake to the north. The viewpoint is on the edge of an unguarded cliff edge and so high it feels as if you are in an aeroplane looking down.
The viewpoint is about half a mile (800 metres) further along the Watendlath Lane road from Ashness Bridge. Just around a sharp left hand bend, there is a free NT car park on the left just past the entrance to Ashness Farm. Alternatively you might like to leave your car at the Ashness Bridge car park and walk up the hill to Surprise View but bear in mind it is a steep uphill walk.
The tiny hamlet of Watendlath (OS grid reference NY 276 -163) and the Watendlath Tarn await the visitor at the end of the road. The road is quite good but narrow. Watendlath consists of a scattering of National Trust protected traditional old farm houses, an old stone packhorse bridge and a small tarn beside the road. In summer the tarn is dotted with water-lilies and stocked with brown and rainbow trout. Fishermen hire out boats and waders to fly fish here. The footpath climbs further up the fells to Rosthwaite and looks down upon the hamlet and tarn.
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Travel south along the minor B5289 lakeside road from Keswick to Borrowdale. About 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Keswick, turn left on to the single track unmarked road to Watendlath, named Watendlath Lane. The views at the end of this journey are certainly worthwhile.
Google Maps - Surprise View