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Notice: Access to Claife Viewing Station is limited at the moment as building work is carried out to partly restore this Victorian ruin. You can still enjoy the footpaths in the Claife area but work on the Viewing Station will continue until Spring 2015.

Classic south Lakeland countryside with views of the fells and lakes

The western shore of Windermere is perfect for a car-free adventure for all the family. Why not travel over on the ferry from Bowness? In less than 15 minutes you’ll leave the busy eastern shore behind you and arrive at the naturally beautiful west shore.  

From here you can discover the mystical heights of Claife Viewing Station and learn about its colourful history.

The Station courtyard is perfect for picnics followed by a gentle wander up the slope where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Windermere, at the top.

Claife Viewing Station is also the best place to set out on the 4-mile lake shore track, that leads you north towards Wray Castle. This gentle, linear route is great for exploring on bikes or foot. You could make the journey into a loop by returning to Bowness and Ambleside on the boat from Wray Castle or Bark Barn, or, refuel at the café at Wray Castle and re-trace your steps back to the Ferry.


Moving a mountain

This really shows you how many hands, and some power barrows, can make light work! One of our regular volunteer groups, Littledale Hall, took on the task of moving 20 tonnes of stone from its delivery location, up the hill, to Claife Viewing Station, as part of the restoration work taking place there.

Things to see...

inside or outside, it's your choice

If it's your first time visiting this area, you might want some help deciding what to do, so we've put together a guide to our places to visit for you.

We think we've got something for everyone in this part of the Lakes...from sailing and cycling to castles and culture - enjoy!

See our guide (external link)

Let's go outside

Why not use the west shore of Windermere to fulfil your New Year's resolution? It's the perfect place for a gentle stroll, or bike ride, with the lake on one side and the woods of Claife on the other, this hidden part of the lakes is a must visit.

Claife Viewing Station

We're working hard to re-open this 19th-century, popular tourist attraction. Back in the 1800s Claife Viewing Station was 'the' place to go in the Lake District. It's our aim to recreate part of the experience at this fascinating site and be re-open this spring.

Ranger Tales