High on the hill, standing proud with a backdrop of impressive woodlands stands Claife Viewing Station.
Built in 1790s, this visitor viewpoint invites you to soak up the spectacular breath of Lake Windermere. It was at the height of popularity in the 1830s for fashionistas travelling to the Lake District to spend their days in the impressive drawing room which houses a multiple of stained glass windows capturing the seasons lights of the Lake landscape.
Stand in the middle of the room and visualise spring, summer, autumn and winter all in one day. There are even two windows that show the beautiful moonshine, and moody thunderstorms reflecting across the lake. Rumour has it you can even hear a Aeolian wind harp on a blustery day.
Claife Heights with the viewing station is now restored and looked after by The National Trust. With a cafe (opens daily 11-3pm) and picnic area for you to enjoy.
This is a perfect car-free day trip from Ambleside, with ferries docking at the Viewing Station and a gentle 4 minute walk from the ferry landing. Stroll through the courtyard and up to the viewing platform to adire these panoramic views.
Learn about the building’s colourful history and relax in the quaint café in the courtyard. Explore Ash Landing Nature Reserve just down the road, wandering through the woodland and stumble across pockets of wildflower meadows.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, set out on the 4-mile lakeshore path which leads to Wray Castle. Whether you are on foot or bike, this gentle, linear route is great for the whole family. You can return to Ambleside on the boat from Wray Castle or Bark Barn, or refuel in the castle's café and retrace your steps back to the ferry.