Easy lake views and hairy ants!

Duration:2 hours or less
Activity:Best Views

You can walk or drive to Ashness Woods and enjoy this incredible scenery. On a clear day the views to the North West are spectacular, out to the Solway Estuary and mountains of Scotland. Below you is Derwentwater, one of England’s cleanest lakes, lying in the valley carved by glaciers thousands of years ago. The woodlands around you are Atlantic Oak woods, from here you may see peregrine falcon, pied flycatcher, buzzard and host of woodland bird species. The woodland slows the passage of water maintaining a humid climate, which in turn supports an extremely rich community of mosses and liverworts. Also found in the nearby woodland are the huge nests of the northern hairy wood ant, Britain’s largest ant!

If you've got your binoculars handy - and if you're very lucky - then you can combine your trip here with a journey to the lakeside for a spot of otter watching.

Further Information

There are no visitor facilities at Surprise View. In Watendlath (5km south of Surprise View): you will find tea rooms and public toilets. In Keswick: you will find a range of places to eat; shops; Tourist Information Centre; public toilets and petrol stations.

How to get here:

By car: take the road (B5289) along the Borrowdale Valley after approx 3km take the small single track road to Watendlath, pass over Ashness bridge and up past Ashness Farm, the road enters the woodland and some 150 metres further on there are two small car parks opposite the view point (parking is free for National Trust members).

By Maurice Pankhurst

Forest Ranger

Maurice Pankhurst's Profile Picture

How to get here

Surprise View Car park

CA12 5

Ordnance Survey OL4
The English Lakes
North Western area

NY 267 189

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