Claife Viewing Station to Wray Castle….

Another grey day, but a dry one, so off we went for a walk along the shores of Lake Windermere. We parked up at the NT car park (thank goodness for my NT membership otherwise it would have cost £7.50!!!) near Claife Viewing Station, just above the Ferry House on the Lakeside side of Windermere. A short walk up the hill to the Viewing Station – what a beauty!

The Viewing Station was built in the 1790’s during the ‘Picturesque’ period where a view should be framed and have various layers (depth, different heights and ideally trees and water!). The different coloured glass was to enable viewers to look at the view and see it during the different seasons, yellow for summer, green for spring, red for autumn and blue for winter.

What an interesting idea – though I personally prefer it au naturale!

To add to the drama, above one of the windows is a wind harmonica playing a rather mournful melody – magical!

Could have spent all day but onward we walked following the track through the woodland alongside the Lake.

At one point we missed a turning in the footpath and ended up following the lanes up the hillside and doing a bit of an unintended detour, but eventually we arrived at Wray Castle.

Built in 1840 as a rather fancy house with a significant claim to fame in that Beatrix Potter had a holiday here when she was 16, which apparently led to her passion for The Lakes, she subsequently bought a small farm nearby with the proceeds of her first book. Other wise they serve a nice cup of tea and make a mean chocolate brownie. Suitably revived, time was cracking on and the light beginning to fade, so we set a fair pace for our return walk – a long but enjoyable 10 mile round trip (would have been 8 without our detour).

Two thoughts of the day:

Until the late 1700’s the Lake District was considered to be an overgrown wilderness and certainly nowhere that anyone would want to visit – now visited by some 15.8 million a year! How things change?

I find these quirky little glimpses at our history so fascinating.

2 thoughts on “Claife Viewing Station to Wray Castle….

  1. All the times I have been to the Lake District and I have never been to Claife Viewing Station! I’ll put that right next time I get chance, thank you. It is interesting how attitudes to wild areas and landscape changed in the 18/19th centuries thanks in a large part to writers, artists and poets.


    • I’m no great historian but seeing these little insights into our past is fascinating and the resultant effects of tourism on many places, bearing in mind the effort that was taken to get there – quite incredible!


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