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Notice: Work on the Viewing Station building is very nearly complete and is due to be open in mid-October. The cafe in the courtyard at Claife is already open everyday for hot and cold refreshments.

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.


Join us for the 2015 Great British Walk

This autumn, why not join us in a Great British Walk in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor? We're running guided walks around Claife Viewing Station. Visit our events page to find a guided walk or download one to go at your own pace: 

Windermere west shore walk (Moderate)

Claife Heights walk (Hard)

Fresh cakes at Claife

Freshly made cakes on offer every day at Claife

After you have explored the Viewing Station or walked along the west shore, why not treat yourself to fresh tea, coffee and cake at our café.

The café has a rural feel, with a slate floor and a log burning stove. With fresh baking, soup, hot and cold drinks and ferryman's lunches on the menu, you won't be able to resist.

You can sit outside in the courtyard but wet dogs and muddy boots are more than welcome inside! 

The Viewing Station

Visitors have been coming to view Windermere for hundreds of years

Visitors have been coming to view Windermere for hundreds of years

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 fully re-open for visitors to explore, this autumn.

Ranger Tales