Lazy Photographer's Guide 01 - The Lake District
by Chris Maddock
article is intended to be the first of a series of articles covering
much of the UK. It is basically a list of locations I have programmed
into my GPS Satellite Navigator - most of which I have visited,
the rest being places I intend to get to some day. It is not a comprehensive
guide to the Lakes, only the parts I have been to and photographed
- or intend to.
It will not contain any photographs, the intention being simply
to provide information about location, access and likely subjects.
I have photographs of many of the locations in my Lake District
gallery at www.f22.org.uk
if you want to see what you could see before setting out. Michael
Sayles website, lakelandlandscape.co.uk
is also well worth a look.
called it The Lazy Photographer's Guide since most of the locations
are less than half a mile from road access.
GR NY 270 196
Possibly the most photographed bridge in Britain, outside London,
Ashness Bridge is an old packhorse bridge on the fells above Derwent
Water. Anyone who has a copy of the Ordnance Survey 1:50000 map
of the Lake District will recognise it immediately as it is the
- From the B5289 Keswick-Borrowdale road turn up the Watendlath
road, when you cross the river that is Ashness Bridge. There is
a small National Trust car park 100 yards further on on the right.
to see - the bridge itself, the river both above and below the bridge,
views out over Derwent Water, spring & autumn foliage. For more
Derwent Water views, take the footpath just down the road from the
bridge and head out across the fell towards Falcon Crag. It can
sometimes be difficult to get a clear view of the bridge as it does
tend to attract large numbers of photographers and grockles.
GR NY 399 205
One of the popular waterfalls in the Lakes, this is also one of
the more difficult to photograph because it lies in a deep cleft
which receives little direct light other than at mid-day. Best visited
on an overcast day to reduce contrast. There is an old packhorse
bridge crossing the top of the fall.
-there is a large car park signposted off the A592 Pooley Bridge-Glenridding
road and a smaller one off the A5091 Dockray road (GR NY 397 205).
The fall itself is only a couple of hundred yards downhill from
this latter car park, ¼ mile uphill from the former. Guess
which one I prefer?
to see - the waterfall itself, obviously, spring & autumn foliage.
The more adventurous can locate the footpath that crosses the bridge
and head out across the fell towards Yew Crag for views over and
The northernmost of the main Lakes and the only one that is a lake
- all the rest are waters, meres or tarns - there are two main locations
I have used;
NY 221 272 -a layby at the side of the A66(T) with access to the
lake shore on Blackstock Point. Gives good views up the lake and
across Keswick to Helvellyn, across the lake towards Skiddaw and
down the lake towards the low ground and the sea. During the summer
it may be possible to see the ospreys which have successfully nested
in the woods to the west for the last few years.
NY 201 319 - laybys off the B5291 Kilnhill road with a footpath
that skirts the lake shore. Although the trees line the shore very
closely there are some good views up the lake and Skiddaw from between
from the lake there is an excellent viewpoint from a layby on the
B5292 Whinlatter Pass road at GR NY 223 244. this gives a wide vista
down the lake and across to Skiddaw with the lakehead marshlands
lining the bottom of the valley.
you're in need of sustenance, the Royal Oak at Braithwaite does
GR NY 295 043 - one of several Blea Tarns in the Lakes, this is
the one between the Great and Little Langdale valleys.
- Best accessed from Little Langdale, especially if the roads may
be icy making the Great Langdale direction a very interesting drive.
If coming from the Wrynose Pass direction, be warned that the turning
off to the Blea Tarn road is extremely tight - I think even a London
taxi might have difficulty getting round in one go. There is a National
Trust pay & display car park at the given grid reference, the
footpath to the lake is across the road from the car park entrance.
to see - the lake itself, with a wide choice of backgrounds including
the Langdale Pikes, Lingmoor Fell and Wrynose Fell. By the lake
outfall there are a couple of stiles giving access to views to the
south down into Little Langdale. On the north-west corner there
is a fine pine tree standing slightly out from the rest which can
give a good silhouette against the Langdale Pikes In the summer
it should be possible to get sunset behind the Pikes, but take plenty
of midge repellant.
Between Patterdale and Kirkstone Pass this is a nice little lake,
well worth a visit either directly or if passing through. There
are two viewpoints that I use;
NY 402 133 - small car parks either side of the river at Cow Bridge.
The bridge and river could be worth a try but as the view faces
south the contrast between the shady side of the trees/bridge and
the sky can be challenging. Also it is not always possible to get
down to the water level with a tripod. A footpath leads along the
west side of the river to the lake itself, where there is a decent
gravel shore. the angle of view takes in Kirkstone Pass to the south,
round past Hartsop Dodd and the valley leading to Hayeswater to
Brock Crags to the east. There is a white cottage across the valley
which can be very photogenic, especially if the buttercups are out
in the field in front.
405 125 - a small layby on the left (if heading towards Kirkstone
Pass) with rough steps on the other side of the road and a path
down to the lake shore. This is a small gravel beach with good views
down towards Patterdale, across the lake and up the valley between
High Hartsop Dodd and Hartsop Above How. There is a reasonable growth
of water lilies on this side of the lake, at the right time of year
one or two on bloom can make a welcome bonus.
One of the prettiest lakes in my opinion and, judging by the number
of people who go there I'm not the only one who holds this view.
There is only really one Lazy Photographer's location here, and
you can't guarantee to get it anyway.
from Honister Pass down through Gatesgarthdale, drive past the car
park at Gatesgarth Farm and once you reach the lake shore at GR
NY 191 153 there are three or four pulloffs (some of which are on
double yellow lines, so make it quick) within a couple of hundred
yards. If it's busy, it's probably not worth trying, so park at
Gatesgarth Farm (pay & display) and walk down to the lake.
to see - views down and across the lake and "the" tree
on the promontory on the north shore of the lake.
you feel like a nice afternoon's walk, then it's well worth walking
around the lake. Park in Buttermere village, National Park pay &
display car park at GR NY 174 169, behind the Bridge Hotel, and
take the footpath down to and around the lake. On the way round
there are smashing views from the lake outfall across to Robinson,
from halfway along the south shore across to Grasmoor, from near
the head of the lake across to Gatesgarthdale and Fleetwith Pike,
from Peggy's Bridge above the head of the lake (you can't get onto
the lakehead shore, it's private land) looking down the lake, and
(of course) the promontory and "the" tree again from the
north shore. There are a couple of good views towards Fleetwith
Pike, High Crag and Haystacks from the north shore.
more adventurous photographer might like to get a bit more elevation
so here's a suggestion. Park at Gatesgarth Farm and walk up the
road (towards Honister pass) for a couple of hundred yards before
taking a footpath on the right (GR NY 196 148) that leads up the
flank of Fleetwith Pike. Once you get above Low Raven Crag (only
a few hundred yards up) you have enough elevation for a good view
of Buttermere with Crummock Water starting to become visible beyond
and Mellbreak reflected in the water (if it's a calm day)
Bridge Inn in Buttermere village does good grub, by the way. One
of their beers is brewed exclusively for them by the Coniston brewery
and is well worth a sup.
GR NY 291 237 - a fine example of an ancient stone circle, up on
the hillside above Keswick.
- the easiest way is from Keswick, coming out on the A591 turn left
towards the A66T then after 100 yards turn right up a little side
road. The parking (a layby) is opposite the field containing the
circle at the top of the hill. Coming from Penrith down the A66T,
turn left just after Threlkeld and follow the Ancient Monument signs.
to see - stones laid out in a circle, what did you expect? Depending
on the light and time of day the background options are varied,
with Skiddaw and Blencathra to the north, Great Dodd, St John's
in the Vale and Helvellyn to the south-east, High Rigg and High
Seat to the south and the Derwent Fells to the west. The site is
popular so you may have difficulty keeping grockles out of view
- why do grockles insist on being photographed sitting on stones?
Also the field is usually grazed by sheep so they can also be difficult
to avoid - and lying down is not advised ;-)
One of the largest lakes, I've only found a couple of viewpoints
that I like so far;
SD 290 911 - the Browne Howe National Park car park, pay & display
with toilets, on the western bank. For foreground interest there
are some nice bits of rock sticking out into the lake or, when the
water level is low, some interesting exposed tree roots. Nice views
across and up the lake, especially with nice late afternoon light.
SD 299 927 - car park on the eastern bank, with rough steps down
to the lake shore. Nice views across the lake towards Torver Back
Originally part of the same lake as Buttermere, until alluvial deposits
separated the two, Crummock Water can be rather picturesque. Accessed
by continuing along the road through Buttermere village, there are
two points along the road where I find it's definitely worth taking
first is as soon as you get close to the lake, with a layby located
at GR NY 167 177 on the left-hand side. Walking a few paces down
to the lake you get to choose what you want to do. There is a gate
in the wall on your left, giving access to a grassy lake shore with
a couple of trees to give foreground interest, whilst the background
is taken up with Blea Crag and Mellbreak on the other side of the
lake. Staying on the same side of the wall takes you to a small
gravel beach with a shallow gradient under the water so submerged
stones can give a good foreground. Again, the skyline is dominated
by Blea Crag and Mellbreak. There is a fence leading out into the
water on the left for a lead line, However, when I visited in March
2005 the fence had been destroyed by winter storms. By October it
had been replaced but looked too "new", I reckon it needs
a year or so to weather before it's as good photographically as
next location is just beyond Hause Point. There is a small layby
at GR NY 162 182, by a small rock promontory. Failing this there
is another parking spot on the outside of the next LH bend. The
only drawback to this is that if you shoot from the promontory you
need to get reasonably low down to lose any cars in the second parking
spot. If you shoot across the lake then Mellbreak is again the main
background, whilst if you shoot across the little bay from the promontory
you get Grasmoor in the background on the right and reflected in
the lake if it's calm. Near to the second parking spot you can also
access the lake on a small gravel beach with a rather nice stone
out into the water on the right.
GR NY 399 145 - a shot by John Swannell I saw in the first issue
of Outdoor Photography inspired me to try and find this one. The
grid ref is for a small pulloff on the A592 between Patterdale and
to see - on the other side of the road is a gate, over which one
can shoot up Deepdale valley with the various farm buildings on
the right. Best in morning light, undoubtedly good with the right
light - which I haven't had yet. On the same side of the road as
the pulloff is another gate across which one can shoot towards Dubhow
Crag, when the buttercups are out there can be a nice yellow carpet
on the valley floor.
Known as the Queen of the Lakes, Derwent Water is particularly photogenic.
This is undoubtedly why I have several favourite viewpoints;
Park, Keswick - park at the pay & display car park by the Theatre
at GR NY 265 229. Walk south down the road towards the steamer jetties
and opposite the theatre you will see a gate in the iron fence.
Go through the gate and follow the path across the field to the
lake shore. This is a nice little bay with a great view up the lake
with Derwent Isle in the middle and Cat Bells on the right. There
is a nice fence on the right hand side of the bay for a lead line
and the steamer jetties in the middle-foreground on the left.
Jetties - park at the same place and walk down to the jetties. The
view is more across the lake from here, with steamers and rowing
boats in the foreground - and scrounging ducks ;-)
Crag - again, park at the theatre and walk down the road past the
steamer jetties. If the water level is low enough, walk along the
foreshore until you reach a low rocky outcrop jutting out into the
lake. Good views from here up, across and down the lake.
View, GR NY 258 189 - take the road for Ashness Bridge and keep
going for about another ½ mile. Just around a sharp LH bend
there is a small car park on the left. Surprise View is the cliff
top on the other side of the road and offers a great view across
and down the lake. The drop is sheer and goes down a long way so
take care, especially if the rocks are wet. If you're using a wide-angle
lens remember that things seem further way than they really are
so keep one eye on how close you are to the edge.
car park on the lake shore at GR NY 267 195 offers good views across
the top of the lake
the western side, there is an old mine working where there is room
for two or three cars at GR NY 249 197, where the Allerdale Ramble
footpath meets the road. Take the footpath under Cat Bells heading
south for ¼ mile or so (it's an excellent path, suitable
for wheelchairs in fact) and you will be rewarded with fine views
across the lake to Bleaberry Fell, down the lake towards Keswick,
Skiddaw and Blencathra or up the lake towards the Jaws of Borrowdale.
Down below is Brandelhow Point with some photogenic boathouses.
you're feeling a bit more energetic, there is a nice short walk
down around the southern end of the lake. Park at the small mine
above, and head down hill towards Brandelhow Point. After you've
exhausted the opportunities of Brandelhow Bay and the boathouses,
take the footpath south, through the woods and behind the Point
itself rejoining the lake shore at Abbot's Bay. This offers nice
views down the lake with Otter Island in the middle-foreground.
Follow the path on round to Myrtle Bay for similar views. The path
then leads on across the marshland at the lake head (some stretches
are on short boardwalks) and eventually rejoins the road a little
way outside Grange. Don't be tempted to try and cut the corner on
a path that leads off to the right, that goes to the caravan park
which does not welcome non-residents strolling through. Turn right
up the road for a few hundred yards and take the path that rises
quite steeply up to the left, this path climbs up behind the woods
and rejoins the path under Cat Bells which leads you back to the
One of the western lakes, Devoke Water is one that doesn't seem
to get visited very much, probably because it cannot be see from
any road. However, it does look to have potential in my opinion.
the road between Eskdale Green and Dunnerdale and park at the crossroads
on Birker Fell, GR SD 170 976. Walk along the track to the west
for about ½ mile and you will reach the lake. It has a fishing
lodge and boathouse at the end of the track, on the eastern shore
of the lake, which can add foreground interest. Although I haven't
had the right condition yet, I think that Devoke could be quite
good for a reflected sunset - with or without the boathouse silhouetted.
on the Birker Fell road, if the light is right there are several
places you can pull off for views across to Sca Fell and Eskdale.
Not a lake I've exploited yet, but I'm including it for completeness
as I have recce'd some shots for when the light is right. I have
two locations in mind when that happens;
NY 341 037 is a National Trust car park just outside Skelwith Bridge.
On the other side of the road is a path leading down to the River
Brathay. Upon reaching the river, one can turn left to Skelwith
Force waterfall or right to Elterwater lake.
the road from Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater, just past the first
turning to Elterwater village (GR NY 331 048) there are a couple
of angles worth a look. The first is looking along the road (or
just above) to the Langdale Pikes, the second is a row of cottages
downhill to the left. If you can get them when someone is in residence
and has lit a fire all the better.
Another I have looked at but not exploited yet. There are two points
of access, a car park at GR NY 109 154 giving access to the north
shore and another at GR NY 085 153 giving access to the western
end and south shore.
I think the latter gives the best potential. After a short (couple
of hundred yards) walk you reach the outfall of the lake, which
is a weir. Although manmade I think it has potential - if you crop
out the relatively new sluice structures. The path continues along
the south shore and I think it's worth a look along there when the
conditions look promising.
Nestling between Windermere and Coniston Water, Esthwaite Water
has a couple of locations worth a look.
first is a very small (one car only) pulloff on the B5285 roughly
at GR SD 359 976. It offers a view across the field to the lake,
with a stone barn and boathouse for the foreground (very Swaledaleish)
and the tip of The Nab for the middleground.
other is a small car park on the other side of the lake (and the
other end) at GR SD 362 953, right in the lake shore. The only potential
snag with this one is the number of fishery pens in the lake, I
haven't decided yet whether they will be too much of an annoyance.
The valley running down from Honister Pass to Buttermere, there
are several places you can pull off the road in the vicinity of
GR NY 222 138. The valley floor hosts Gatesgarthdale Beck, a nice
stony bedded stream, and a good collection of alluvial boulders
for foreground interest, with the valley sides rising up to frame
the scene. If you are lucky enough to get a broken sky the shadows
and light playing on the north side of the valley can be very picturesque.
A pretty little lake in the middle of the Lake District, I've only
found two locations with which I have been happy so far;
first is a real Lazy Photographer's one as you can't leave the car
for long. Take the Elterwater road out of Grasmere village and climb
the hill. At GR NY 334 063 there is a sharp RH bend with a farm
gate on the left where the public footpath around the lake leaves
the road. There is room to pull off the road but don't leave the
car as it will be blocking the gate. This offers a good view down
over the lake, although the island in the lake is partly obscured
by trees at the bottom of the hill.
other location involves a short walk. Park in the National Trust
White Moss Common car park (pay & display) at GR NY 349 065,
on the left of the A593 just after the lake if travelling from Rydal
village. Follow the footpath, from the back of the car park, towards
Grasmere until you reach the river. You can either cross the footbridge
and follow the river upstream or follow the path on the right of
the river to another footbridge by the Grasmere outflow. Both are
good paths although the latter involves a bit more of a climb and
descent. Once at the lake, you have a nice long stretch of beach
with a great view across the lake towards Grasmere village. The
light can catch the reeds on the far side beautifully for most of
the day, especially in autumn. The footpath continues along the
bank before climbing up to the road at the previous location.
A wide glaciated valley, overshadowed by the Langdale Pikes, the
best Lazy Photographer's location I have found is at GR NY 311 062.
There is room to pull off the road on the left (if approaching from
Elterwater) and a "green lane" leads down to the left
and along the valley floor. Anywhere along this lane gives good
views of the Pikes although the best I've found is only about 100
yards down, before the lane turns right. Here there is a rowan (I
think) tree by the wall which can give excellent foreground interest
and form a good block for the sky, especially in late autumn or
early winter when the berries are out.
location worth a look, especially if you're heading round to Blea
Tarn, is at the crest of the pass between Great Langdale and the
Blea Tarn valley. At GR NY 289 051 there is a cattle grid with enough
room to pull off the road on the north side. From here you can get
a good view west to the Mickleden and Oxendale valleys with Bow
Fell rising up between and behind them.
One of the less accessible of the large lakes, because it's a long
way round from anywhere else, it still has plenty of potential.
The dam is at the northern end, as is the access. On the road down
the eastern shore there are several spots where a stop is worthwhile,
especially towards the head of the lake.
you get to the head, there is a small car park at Mardale head (GR
NY 469 107) with a footpath which leads across Mardale Beck (good
views up and down the beck here), up the western shore of the lake
and around the back of The Rigg (a conifer-clad promontory). Once
over The Rigg you are in Riggindale. This offers good views down
Haweswater. If you carry on up the path up Riggindale you will come
to an RSPB viewing station - this is because Riggindale is the home
of the only permanently resident Golden Eagle in Cumbria. Unfortunately
he lost his mate some years ago and hasn't yet managed to attract
another - it might help if he were to make a bit more effort looking,
of course. Last time I went, there had been reports of a female
in the next valley, but matey was confining himself to his own valley
and wouldn't even fly up above the ridges.
Not so much a place to photograph in itself, the pass and approach
road offers some great views down the valleys. I have found three
locations worth a look so far;
NY 403 092 - an approximate location only I'm afraid, this is a
layby on the lefthand side of the A592 heading south up towards
the pass. It offers a good view back towards Patterdale with Brothers
Water nestling in the bottom of the valley. Using a longish lens
it's easy to crop out the road and any cars close to you - although
not further down at the bottom.
NY 402 089 - a small car park on the right (if heading south) with
another good view to Patterdale and Brothers Water. If you want
some foreground detail there is a stile over the fence with a small
stream just beyond.
NY 401 080 - the main car park at the summit, this is on the right
(if heading south) just before the turning to Ambleside via The
Struggle. This offers a good view to the south-west and Windermere.
Might be good for winter sunsets nut otherwise best in the morning
before the sun has got around too far.
Langdale, & Lingmoor Fell
A couple of locations I've found along the Wrynose Pass road out
of Little Langdale are worth a look;
NY 293 032 (approx) has a couple of places you can pull off the
road before the climb to Wrynose really starts, giving good views
up the valley with the Langdale Pikes just peeking over the skyline,
across the valley to Lingmoor Fell and down the valley
towards Little Langdale.
a better view of Little Langdale, continue up the road towards Wrynose
Pass where you will find a pulloff on the right at GR NY 283 032.
A short step across the fell will offer you a fine view of the valley
with Little Langdale Tarn clearly visible.
more location I like isn't really Little Langdale but I'm including
it here because it is on the way out of the valley is Park Farm.
If you like white houses with dramatic hillsides behind, it's worth
a look. Take the road out of Little Langdale to the A593 and turn
left towards Skelwith Bridge. After a few hundred yards there is
a layby and farm access on the left, GR NY 333 029. This offers
the view of the white house with Rydal Fell rising up behind. Panning
left gives a good view of Low Hackett and the end of Lingmoor Fell.
Near Skelwith Bridge, this is rather a pretty little tarn - especially
when the autumn colours are out. The only location I have tried so
far is from the Skelwith Bridge to Grasmere road where there is enough
room to pull off the road at about GR NY 343 041. There is a gate
in the wall there, through which there is a good view of the tarn
with some white cottages on the other side and Loughrigg Fell rising
Not an easy one to photograph this one, as the road side of the
lake is lined with trees right down to the water. There are a couple
of laybys with access down to the lake, best when the trees are
bare otherwise you will hardly be able to see along the lake. There
is also a layby near Loweswater Hall (GR NY 121 223) which gives
an elevated view of the lake.
have included Loweswater if it wasn't for the Kirkstyle Inn in Loweswater
village itself (GR NY 141 209), which is an excellent place for
lunch. They brew their own beers on the premises, named after the
two mountains above Loweswater, Mellbreak and Grasmoor, and after
the valley, Rannerdale. All three are excellent beers, and the food
is also very good. I can thoroughly recommend their steak &
ale pie - the ale used is Mellbreak.
Brathay at Clappersgate Bridge
GR NY 308 033 - when the weather is less clement, if you fancy a
bit of river bank or foliage photography then this location is ideal.
- follow the A593 from Waterhead. Just after the B5286 turning on
the left in Clappersgate, look out for the old bridge on your left,
with a layby just by the bridge.
to see - rocks, mosses, flowing river, the old bridge, spring or
One of the central lakes this is another for which I have a couple
of good viewpoints, although there are undoubtedly more.
first is from the south-east of the lake. Park in the National Trust
White Moss Common car park (pay & display) at GR NY 349 065,
on the left of the A593 just after the lake if travelling from Rydal
village. Follow the footpath, from the back of the car park, towards
Grasmere until you reach the river. Cross the footbridge and continue
uphill away from the river until you reach the end of the woods
at a gap in the stone wall. Go through the gap and take the path
heading slightly left up onto the fell. On the right you will see
a bench, from where a good view of Rydal Water may be had. The path
continues around the lake back to Rydal village, or you can return
the same way as you came - looking out for woodland photographic
opportunities on the way.
second is from up on White Moss Common itself. Coming along the
A591 from Rydal village, pass the White Moss Common car park on
the left and take the next turning on the right. A few hundred yards
up the hill there are some disused quarries on the left, in which
you can park, GR NY 345 063. From these, there is a good elevated
view of Rydal Water.
to these, there is a boathouse at the eastern end of the lake (GR
NY 360 062) Unfortunately all the lake shore on this side is private
so access is not possible, but I think that it may be suitable to
photograph in spring or late autumn, when the foliage and reeds
have died back enough to give a clear view.
you're in the Rydal Water in the spring then you really ought to
pay a visit to Dora's Field, a patch of land bought by William Wordsworth
when he lived at Rydal Mount. He planned to build a house there
but never did as his daughter, Dora for whom it was intended, died.
Instead he planted hundreds of daffodils on the plot, which in a
good year are a real picture, as are the bluebells which follow
them. Access is through the churchyard, parking in the road to Rydal
Hall & Rydal Mount, GR NY 364 061.
while in the area, you are feeling peckish or in need of refreshment,
the Badger Bar of the Glen Rothay Hotel does good food and beer.
A rather picturesque waterfall just outside Ambleside, this one can
be tricky to find by car as the road isn't very well (if at all) signposted.
While on the one-way system in Ambleside the main road turns sharply
right at GR NY 377 044, with a narrow turning on the left beside a
bank. Take this turning and bear left before climbing the hill to
find a suitable pulloff at or near GR NY 381 045.
The fall is down a path to the left. It is fenced off to prevent accidents
as the gorge is deep and steep-sided but it is not a problem to find
a spot without any fence in shot. It looks nice in autumn colours
and is probably best on an overcast day - as are many waterfall shots.
GR NY 304 235 - not a very well known tarn, this one is worth a
visit if you don't mind a short walk. Take the A66 east from Keswick
and a few hundred yards after the A66/A591 junction turn right.
Take the third right after about a mile, then after a few hundred
yards you will see the footpath sign on the right, with enough room
to pull off, at NY 307 238. Take the footpath for a few hundred
yards and you will see the tarn on your right.
can only get to the eastern and southern banks of the tarn but these
give good views across the tarn towards Blencathra, Skiddaw and
the fells west of Keswick.
One of the lakes that has been made into a reservoir, this offers
several good viewpoints for the Lazy Photographer;
first is a layby on the lake side of the A591 at GR NY 315 170,
which offers a good view across the lake to High Seat beyond. Great
with autumn colours in the opposite woodlands.
is a car park at Dobgill Bridge on the eastern side of the lake,
GR NY 316 140. Across the road is a footpath down to the lake shore
offering a small bay and promontory with Helvellyn rising up on
the far side.
favourite is further up the eastern side, near the dam. You can
either head north up the eastern side to the top or up the A591
to ¼ mile after the St John's in the Vale turning, where
there is a left turn past a caravan site and over the dam. Once
over the dam there is a sharp LH bend with a triangular junction
and a small car par in the triangle, GR NY 360 189. A small gate
on the lakeside of the road gives access to a lovely little shingle
bay, from which there is a good view of the lake, shore woodland
on both sides and Helvellyn rising up beyond.
I have a few particular favourite locations for photographing Ullswater,
but there are plenty more if you are prepared to explore;
first of my favourites is from Glencoyne Bridge, GR NY 386 188,
where there is a small National Trust pay & display car park
on the land side of the road. The lakeside has some gravel beaches,
overhanging trees which can give good framing opportunities and
grassy banks, all giving a good view down the lake to the north-east.
second is "the" boathouse, near Pooley Bridge. Located
on the A592 at GR NY 461 242, there is a layby behind the boathouse.
Crossing the road, you can access (provided the water level isn't
unusually high) a narrow strip of shingle and reedbed between the
road and the lake. The reeds can give good foreground, whilst the
boathouse itself fits in nicely on the right and the view up the
lake occupying the left and middle of the scene. Best, I've found,
is in the morning with early sunlight striking the boathouse - although
I have seen a good shot of it in the evening with the boathouse
in shadow, I think that needs a good sky to work.
is the steamer jetty at Pooley Bridge. You'll need to park in the
public car park by the bridge itself at NY 469 244 and walk down
to the jetty, about 300 yards or so. this offers views up the lake,
with the jetty and steamers in the foreground.
you do the boathouse in the morning, I can recommend popping up
into Pooley Bridge for breakfast - the Treetops gift shop and cafe
opposite the information centre and toilets does very good Cumberland
sausage baps, just right for a late breakfast.
Wastwater is the deepest of the lakes, the bottom actually being
below sea level. It is flanked by The Screes on the eastern shore,
a multicoloured scree slope rising some 1500 feet to Illgill Head
above. The head of the valley is crowned with the three peaks Kirk
Fell, Great Gable and Lingmell which form the lake District National
Park logo and for a week or so either side on Mid-Summer's Day the
sun rises in the V between Great Gable and Lingmell. However, that
requires a very early start since it's at the unGodly time of around
04:40! There are several good viewpoints that I use for Wastwater,
as well as the hamlet at Wasdale Head;
near the foot of the lake there are a couple of pulloffs on the
road from Nether Wasdale at GR NY 148 048. Just after a cattle grid,
one is in the right and the other on the left just around the next
LH bend. You can shoot from here but if you look down below the
pulloffs you will see a stile. Crossing this leads to a short footpath
through a rhododendron grove to a shingle beach at GR NY 147 046.
This gives stunning views of The Screes and right up the lake to
the three peaks at the end. There is a small island partway up the
lake, which gulls use for nesting in the spring and summer.
up the road beside the lake there are several car parks which offer
good views although I haven't tried them yet. The next one I have
used is Overbeck Bridge (GR NY 167 068), there being a car park
on the left just after the bridge. Crossing the road leads to a
shingle beach, split by Over Beck and headed by the bridge itself.
Although I haven't tried it yet, I imagine that morning light would
catch the bridge nicely with Yewbarrow up behind. The beach gives
good views down the lake to The Screes, up the lake to the three
peaks at the end and across the head of the lake to Scafell Pike.
on up the road is the hamlet of Wasdale Head. You can park in the
hamlet or just before it at GR NY 186 084. From this car park the
path north-east towards Great Gable lead you to the tiny but picturesque
church of St Olaf, claimed to be the smallest church in England
- which I can believe.
Back in Wasdale Head, there is a photogenic packhorse bridge behind
the Wasdale Head Inn which can be photographed with Kirk Fell rising
there, the Wasdale Head Inn itself is worth a visit with its excellent
range of on-the-premises brewed beers.
GR NY 276 163 - A small hamlet and tarn to the south of Derwent
- take the road to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View and just keep
going as far as you can. The car park is at the end, in between
a couple of farms, with public toilets and a tearoom in the hamlet.
to see - the hamlet, the tarn and a restored packhorse bridge. In
the pavement on the western side is the plaque that tells us that
Prince Charles opened it. There is a small rise above the western
side of the bridge which gives a good elevated view of the tarn,
hamlet and the valley to the north. Footpaths lead out of the valley
to the east & south-east towards Thirlmere, and to the west
GR NY 376 032 - unfortunately somewhat over-run with grockles at
times, this can offer good sunset shots over Windermere.
- approaching Waterhead on the A591 from the south, take the left
fork onto the A5075. After a couple of hundred yards is a pay &
display car park on the right.
to see - Windermere, boats and jetties, swans & ducks, sunsets.
Between Wrynose Pass (GR NY 277 027) and Cockley Beck (GR NY 246 016)
the road runs through Wrynose Bottom, an alluvial valley with several
spots where you can pull off to photograph the stony stream bed and
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text and photos are copyright © Chris Maddock, 2007