Surprise View to Watendlath Walk near Keswick
| | | |

Surprise View To Watendlath Circular Walk

Are you looking for an easy and enjoyable family activity that will show off the grade-A beauty of the Lake District? Then look no further because we’ve got just the thing! Our Surprise View To Watendlath Circular Walk is picturesque and accessible for all ages.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and purchase something I recommend, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps keep my website up and running and is very appreciated. Thank you for your support! You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Surprise View To Watendlath Useful Information:

Welcome to the Lake District, a stunning landscape of breathtaking views and incredible scenic walks! If you’ve been dreaming of taking your family on a nature-filled adventure but don’t know where to start, look no further than the Surprise View To Watendlath Circular Walk. You can expect rolling hills, calm lakeside paths and picturesque vistas with plenty of memories waiting to be made along the way. It is beautiful and highly manageable, perfect for families wanting a nature-filled day out!

Please note: Although this is a relatively easy route, some parts of the trail are a bit rocky with some stair climbing involved, so unsuitable for those with mobility issues, wheelchair users and pushchairs.

Walk Statistics:

  • Length: 6 km
  • Route Type: Circular
  • Estimated Time: 2 Hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Walk Highlights: Ashness Bridge as well as stunning lake and mountain views.

How to Get to Suprise View and Watendlath:

By Car:

You could start this walk either from Suprise View or Watendlath as both have National Trust car parks. I find it easier to park at Sunrise View, plus you get to take in the fantastic view at the beginning and end of the walk.

On route to Suprise View, you will pass the famous Ashness Bridge. This quaint packhorse bridge is said to be the most photographed bridge in the Lake District. It’s easy to see why, striding over a fast-running beck, it’s the perfect foreground to an unmatched Lake District View! The bridge also has a National Trust car park, and those of you who want a longer, more challenging walk may want to start your walk here.

Sunrise View car park is located 3.5 miles from Keswick en route to the hamlet of Watendlath. The car park has around 15 spaces in total split across two areas. The upper car park is more suitable for those with mobility problems as it is nearer to the viewpoint (approximately 10m).

To get to Watendlath car park (45 spaces), you continue along the narrow winding road from Suprise View for a further 2 miles.

Please note: The road from the lakeside towards Sunrise View and Watendlath is very steep and, although scenic, is a single-lane with passing places. It’s not for the faint-hearted, so if you’re not a confident driver, I recommend parking at Sunrise View.

Suprise View National Trust Car park

  • Postcode: CA12 5UU 
  • Grid ref: Grid ref: NY268189
  • Find on Google Maps

Watendlath National Trust Car park

  • Postcode: CA12 5UW 
  • Grid ref: Grid ref: NY275163
  • Find on Google Maps

Ashness Bridge National Trust Car park

  • Postcode: CA12 5UN 
  • Grid ref: NY269196
  • Find on Google Maps

Parking is free for National Trust members with a scan of the membership card. For others, costs are as follows. Please remember to bring coins, as due to the rural location, there is limited mobile signal, meaning card or phone payments may only sometimes be possible.

  • £5 up to 2 hours
  • £7 up to 4 hours
  • £8.50 all day

By Public Transport:

Unfortunately, there is no public transport to Sunrise View or Watendlath. You can, however, get the Keswick launch to Ashness Gate or, during the summer months, the Honister Rambler and get off at the Derwentwater Youth Hostel.

Both routes will take you up the road to Ashness Bridge (approximately 20 minutes) and Sunrise View (a further 30 minutes). However, the walk up to Sunrise View from the lakeside is very steep.

If you are starting this walk from the lakeside, it would take approximately 4 hours to get to Warendlath and back.

Other Useful Information:

Before starting any walk, I recommend checking out the local weather. This walk, in particular, can become extremely muddy in places, especially in wet weather. The walk is also pretty easy to navigate, although I would still recommend using a map and compass or even a mobile route finder such as AllTrails. or OSMaps.

Although the walk only takes 2 hours, please ensure you have plenty of fluids, snacks, and any extra warm clothing or waterproofs. It’s generally an easy walk; however, please be mindful, especially if with children, that Sunrise View has a very steep cliff face with no safety barrier!

There are no toilets or catering facilities at Sunrise View. However, there is a lovely cafe and toilets at Watendlath.

Surprise View To Watendlath Circular Route

Starting from Surprise View, continue uphill along the road until you reach a footpath on your right with the sign pointing towards Watendlath.

Continue along this footpath for about 10 minutes until you reach a gate. At the entrance, turn left and continue along the path and over the wooden bridge. On the other side of the bridge, you will notice a direction marker on the ground indicating to take the path to the left.

The remainder of the route is pretty straightforward. Simply take the path on the left, which follows the stream all the way to Watendlath.

Please note: Although the path leads directly to Watendlath, parts of it may be tricky for some, especially those walking with young children. As you can see from the pictures below, parts of the path have eroded, probably due to high water levels during the winter months.

Once you reach the steps, you are only about 15 minutes away from Watendlath. Once you arrive, go across the small packhorse bridge, and you’ll find the lovely Caffle House Tearoom directly in front of you. If a picnic is more your fancy, there are many places to pull up a blanket, relax and take in the scenic views.

Unfortunately, I can’t comment on how good the cafe is as it was late in the evening when I arrived so it was shut. However, I have been informed that they have the most amazing scones and homemade cakes! So, I will be back to try them out soon!

To return to Surprise View, you can either take the same route back or walk along the road and take in the surroundings from the other side of the river.

Please note ‘Easy Life Traveller’ accepts no responsibility for any injuries or accidents resulting from walking any of these published routes. We always recommend wearing appropriate footwear and proper equipment, such as a map and compass. For more details on walking safely in the countryside, check out The Ramblers safety advice here.

Final Thoughts

The Surprise View to Watendlath walk is the perfect way to experience the beauty of the Lake District. The trail takes you through some of the most incredible landscapes in the area, and the views are breathtaking. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, this walk is easy to navigate and a great way to spend a day. Just remember to wear sturdy shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring some tasty snacks to enjoy along the way!

Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content in the next few weeks, so make sure you pop back to catch up! 

Remember to follow our social media accounts for more travel inspiration and updates. 

Happy travels!

Surprise View to Watendlath Walk near Keswick
Surprise View to Watendlath Walk near Keswick

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts