If there’s one thing you’ll find as a frequent visitor in the Lake District, it’s that no matter how often you see a place, you don’t truly sese it until you take the time to plan a visit to each viewpoint. The Lake District has some of the finest viewpoints in the country, and while you can get a guidebook to help you to get where you want to be, you can also find a range of viewpoints just by using your car.
Some of these viewpoints are unexpected, and others you can get to on foot. So, you may not even need to bring the car with you to go and see them. These aren’t all of the best ones in the Lake District – we don’t have the writing space of all of them! – but this is a handful of those you must go to at least once in life! Pack a picnic, bring the kids and make a weekend of it. Searching for the best viewpoints is going to ensure that you and the family have an adventure!
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Queen Adelaide’s Hill
Whether you arrive in the summer or the winter, Queen Adelaide’s Hill in Windermere is spectacular. You don’t have to put in too much effort for a beautiful view, and there is parking at the bottom of the hill so that you can walk up to see the view.
You can visit this one on the same day as Queen Adelaide’s Hill, as Millerground is just below it. There are views encompassing the jetties and the bay, and it’s accessed by foot if you don’t want to bring the car. You will find the footpath at the entrance of the Miller Howe Hotel.
What do you need but a walk to the beach? Right next to Monk Coniston car park is a quiet bay that is simply stunning in the Autumn. Right at the tip of Coniston Water is Monk Coniston and the reason for making this an Autumnal visit is because of the colours you’ll see through the season. The panoramic views are fantastic whether you stand on the jetty just a five minute walk through the trees, or a still bay of water that can be seen from the car park.
Claife Viewing Station
On the west shore of Lake Windermere, you’ll find Claife Viewing Station. You can use the Windermere Car Ferry as a treat for the family – it only costs 50p each way for foot passengers! The original viewing station still stands and has done since the 18th century. You can use the coloured window glass to create some amazing effects that the children will love!
Opposite Noble Knott car park is a layby is Bassenthwait, Whinlatter Pass. Summer time is the best time to visit this viewpoint as there is always an ice cream van in the car park! You’ll be able to find the Novel Knott car park on the Whinlatter pass and it’s just outside Keswick to the Whinlatter Forest. It’s the only true mountain forest in England, which means that it’s camera out, everyone! The layby is an excellent place to pause for a photo, so make sure you come prepared!
Ullswater is a stretch of water perfect for the keen walkers out there! There is a beach here and you can access some of the best views of the water from a boat for hire. There’s a National Trust car park directly opposite so you can get your passes sorted before you arrive. A couple of days spent building castles on the beach and meandering through the National Trust park makes for some wonderful family times.
The views along the Derwentwater here are stunning. Crow Park may not look like more than a plain hill. But it’s accessed through a gate opposite the theatre in Keswick and the children will love rolling around on this one. It’s a five minute walk to the top and it’s a beautiful place to spend an afternoon picnic.
The scene from the very top of the Lakeland pass is beautiful and you can see the road snaking away into the distance here. Once you get over the Kirkstone Pass from Ambleside, you’ll find a car park and you can stop here for a photo-op! There is plenty to see here and you can go for a walk with the whole family and take exciting photos as you go.
The most popular place to sit in Keswick is here, in Friar’s Crag. Most people don’t know that it’s a wonderful place to see some of the best views. It’s a popular one for the locals but the visitors to the area often are unaware that Friar’s Crag is here. It’s easily reached by foot from the Derwentwater Foreshore and it only takes ten minutes to arrive. The bench is a wonderful place to sit and soak up the views, and it’s a lovely place to bring the kids.
Lastly, Surprise View truly does live up to its name! Right in the vicinity of the Derwentwater is Surprise View, and it’s well-known – but not as much as Ashness Bridge. That’s the best thing about it – it’s lack of popularity means that there aren’t as many visitors that flood the area. While you cannot see the view from Ashness Bridge, that’s what Surprise View is for. It’ll take your breath away and you have to remember that you should bring the camera with you!
This one we’ve saved until last as it’s been voted several times as the best view in the UK. The deepest lake in the whole of the Lake District is Wastwater, and it’s sitting right in the Wasdale Valley. It’s also home to England’s tallest mountain and one of the smallest churches in the country. The backdrop is stunning for a photograph and it’s a popular place for those who love to cycle and walk – and even canoe! The car park is near and you can enjoy the scenery there as much as anywhere.