Surprise View National Trust car park Borrowdale
This is a small pay-and-display car park with a huge view across Derwent Water to Skiddaw and even Scotland on a clear day. For your convenience, you can pay-by-phone to park here.
How to get here
Postcode: CA12 5UU (please note that in rural locations post codes often cover a wide area - so don't believe the SatNav, look for the signs!)
Grid ref: Grid ref: NY268189
Find us on Google Maps
Surprise View is 3.5 miles from Keswick on route to the hamlet of Watendlath. The car park has around 15 spaces in total split across two areas; the upper car park being more suitable for those with mobility problems as it is nearer to the viewpoint (approx.10m) and work has been done in recent years to improve the surface of the viewing point for wheelchair access.
How much does it cost to park?
National Trust members can scan to park for free, but if you’re not a member don't forget some change as due to our rural location there is very limited mobile signal which means we can't take card or phone payment at all our car parks. Every penny directly funds our work in the valley to care for wildlife, walls, paths, cottages and farms.
A glimpse of the Ice Age
Surprise View is the point where the hanging valley of Watendlath was cut off by the main glacier carving out Borrowdale in the last ice age. The result is a sheer drop with expansive views across Derwent Water and north over Keswick and the Skiddaw massif.
Looking south you can see the swathes of atlantic oak woodlands, designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and such a special feature of the Borrowdale valley
What other surprises are in store?
Surprise View is one of our recommended spots for seeing a cloud inversion in winter:
Park up and boost conservation work in Borrowdale
Whether you are a member who scans your card (we get £1 from central funds every time you do) or a non-member who pays for a ticket, every penny you generate in this car park goes to help us take care of this special place, so thank you.