Things to do at Claife Viewing Station

Claife Viewing Station in the west shore woods of Windermere, Cumbria

Claife Viewing Station is surrounded by wonderful lake side walks, woodland wanders and fantastic wildlife. Make a day of your visit by starting your trip on the ferry from Bowness; there’s no need to bring your car to this part of the Lakes, it’s best explored on foot and by bike.

Claife Viewing Station

The very first tourists to explore the Lake District came to Claife Viewing Station to admire the views of Lake Windermere. Follow in their footsteps today and explore the semi restored Station. No one ever lived here; it was built purposefully for people to appreciate the landscape. Parties and dances where often held here, with lanterns lighting the route up to the platform. Coloured glass and mirrors where used to enhance the view. When the National Trust restored the Station, we added glass panels and an Aeolian wind harp that you can see and hear today.

Ash Landing nature reserve

Walk from the Viewing Station to Ash Landing Nature Reserve. With a mosaic of different habitats, there is always something exciting to find. In summer, spot slow worms basking in the sun and butterflies in the wildflower meadow. Leaves turn into a kaleidoscope of colour in autumn and carpets of daffodils and bluebells can be found here in spring. 

Bring your bikes over in the summer on the handy bike boat
People using the bike boat on Windermere's west shore
Bring your bikes over in the summer on the handy bike boat

Car free adventure

Bring your bikes across from Bowness and cycle along the west shore path. Hugging the shore of Windermere, this path is gentle and suitable for all the family.  As you explore this side of the lake, you will start to uncover layers of hidden history and glimpses of the old woodland industries. The woodlands were once an important resource for the local iron, leather and bobbin–making industries, as well as providing timber and firewood.

As you walk, look out for the remains of charcoal burning platforms. These produced charcoal fuel for use in the iron industry.