The Lake District is widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world…
And for nearly three centuries, ever since people started to appreciate these things, writers and artists from Wordsworth to Wainwright have praised the beauty of their own favourite fells, lakes and waterfalls.
But the truth is that almost everywhere in the Lake District is beautiful. Every twist in every road, and every crest of every hill reveals yet another stunning view.
So even if you just wander at random, you’re guaranteed to see some of the most wonderful scenery in the world. But to start you off, we’ve listed just a few of our favourite places that are both spectacularly beautiful, and easily accessible from Fellside Studios.
More a viewing gallery than a viewpoint, this is an exquisite 20 minute walk alongside the River Rothay, through Rydal Wood, upwards over moorland, then finally offering perfect panoramic views across Grasmere lake and village.
Just ten minutes (uphill) walk out of the busy centre of Ambleside, set in a peaceful shady wood. Follow the signposted path alongside a deep mossy ravine, cross a small wooden bridge above the falls, and you can then return back down the path on the other side.
Alongside one of our favourite walks from Troutbeck to Ambleside, but also quickly accessible with a short climb from Waterhead. This was one of the very first ever tourist 'viewing stations', selected in 1778 by Thomas West in his classic 'Guide to the English Lakes'. West's visitors used a convex mirror called a Claude Glass to better appreciate their artistic qualities, but Lake Windermere, Coniston Old Man, Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes still look stunning without one. Allow about 3/4 hour for your walk, plus as long as you like to gaze in awe.
The path between Skelwith Bridge and Elterwater village has been drained and resurfaced, so it makes a perfect half-hour easy (and flat) stroll, past Skelwith Force waterfalls and alongside the reed-edged Elterwater Tarn, with magnificent views of the Langdale Pikes towering beyond.
Really this is just the first few yards of a classic (and very steep) walk to Stickle Tarn and Pavey Ark. We suggest you turn round after ten minutes or so, when you get to this wooden bridge – but you'll still see wonderful views across Great Langdale, and one of the most beautiful rocky ghylls in the Lake District.
This is our favourite high level stroll. Beautifully situated in the hanging valley between Great Langdale and Little Langdale, with superb mountain views in every direction. There's a handy car park less than 5 minutes walk from the tarn, and you can walk right round it in about 20 minutes. The last mile of the road up to the car park is single tracked with steep exposed bends, so absolutely don't try it in bad weather, or if you're unsure.
You don't have to take your car! A single pedestrian ticket costs just 50p (cars single fare is £4.40) for a 10 minute atmospheric trip, including excellent views of the Lake, Belle Isle and the fells beyond. There are wonderful woodland and lakeside walks below Claiffe Heights on the opposite shore.
This stunning 360 degree panorama appears quite suddenly the end of an easy 20 minute climb through the woods above Windermere Railway Station. You can see almost the full length of Lake Windermere, plus most of the major peaks in the Southern Lakes. Alfred Wainwright first fell in love with the Lakeland Fells from this spot, and you may too!
We've visited Tarn Hows many times, but we never fail to gasp at its perfection. This beautiful little lake is cradled in woods, with the Coniston Fells and more distant Langdale Pikes providing a perfect backdrop. You can walk right round the lake in about 45 minutes, or picnic on the slopes below the car park overlooking this perfect jewel of the Lake Distict.
Our first visit to this part of England, and we were amazed at the beautiful scenery.
Glen and Rose
Guests from South Africa, in June 2013
The National Trust viewpoint at the summit of Orrest Head
Monica & Brian Liddell
Fellside House, Troutbeck, near Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1NN, England
Tel: 015394 34000