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Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

A Lake District view, that has to be said as one of the most popular to be seen in Cumbria. For those that visit Cumbria and peruse the postcard or calendar section in any of the shops, there is no doubt the image of Ashness Bridge, with Derwentwater and Skiddaw behind will be there……

DSC_0322-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

What makes the view more popular is the fact that it does not force the view admirer to climb up to it. You can drive up direct to this old Grade II listed packhorse bridge, and especially in the Summer months the banks of the beck are adorned with families, walkers and photographers. Enjoying the area, paddling, having a picnic and plenty of people trying to get that spot to take a picture themselves. It is rather difficult to get a shot without people or a car as you can imagine. Out of season, early or late on is best for a ‘just nature’ shot. The stones by the side of Barrow Beck just above the bridge are  worn down and smooth from the thousands and thousands of people whom have stood and adjusted to see what they had seen on just paper before.

P1110217-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

Different weathers bring whole new views. Skiddaw often hides its top.

P1110205-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

To get to it just drive down Borrowdale from Keswick, with Derwentwater on your right. After a few miles you see a small road off to your left heading uphill with a sign to the bridge. Now then behind Ashness Bridge, where you most probably parked is Ashness Wood. From here you can walk up through the woods full of Red Squirrels and ancient trees or you can drive up a bit more in the car. What awaits you is simply called ‘Surprise View’ and is quite simply a breathtaking spot to stand at and look out.

DSC_0308-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

P1110185-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

Down and before you are the Lake District delights of Derwentwater with Bassenthwaite Lake behind, Skiddaw rising above the town of Keswick. You can look up, down and across Borrowdale with the River Derwent and of course fells in all directions. This is a spot I thoroughly give as a tip to venture to in each season. Every time I come here the view is changed by the colours of seasons or by the weather that be, each time individually dramatic.

P1110187-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

For the view seeker this area is amongst the best. For a free day out with the family you can do much worse than take in the nature and learning this area creates. For a less walking day too it is a perfect escape.

P1110199-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

P1110218-ashness-bridge Ashness Bridge and the Surprise View above

Written by Paul Steele

Founder of and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele

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