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The Lake District

Top 10 Places to watch the sunset in The Lake District

24th October 2018

Surrounded by stunning views of mountains and lakes, we can't believe how lucky we are sometimes. We think the only way to top The Lake District's natural beauty is to add a sunset. The way sunlight reflects off the water and paints the fells is simply magical. Whether you're visiting for the first time or returning for the 50th time, we believe that watching a Lake District sunset should definitely be near, if not at the top of your to-do list! With this in mind, and a locals view, we've made it a little easier for you and put together a list of all the best places you can go to watch the sunset.

If this sounds like your kind of adventure, why not stay at The Daffodil in Grasmere. We provide the perfect base to discover all of the incredible views around The Lakes, from Buttermere and Windermere to Grizedale and Wasdale. Don't forget to pack your camera!

Lake District Location #1 | Orrest Head, Windermere

Orrest Head is an easy, short, circular walk with spectacular panoramic views over Lake Windermere. The start of the walk is signposted near Windermere Train Station (so you cant miss it). A lane leads most of the way up which makes this walk very accessible. However, if you are able to we would recommend making your way along the woodland path which will take you on a slightly longer and more scenic route to the top. Watching the sun set on some of Cumbria's most well known peaks such as; Coniston Old Man, Wetherlam, Bowfell, Scafell Pike and The Langdale Pikes is simply magical! It's no wonder Orrest Head is loved by locals and visitors alike - as soon as you make the ascent, you too will fall in love with it!

lake district sunset orrest head
Lake Windermere from Orrest Head by Gary Campbell-Hall, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original

Lake District Location #2 | Warnscale Bothy, Buttermere

Warnscale Bothy, which was once a miners shelter, is nestled in to the mountain side and very well camouflaged at the south end of Buttermere - you will have to be careful not to walk right past it! Parking is available at Gatesgarth Farm, where the shortest route to the bothy begins. Alternatively, you can make the walk longer by beginning in Buttermere. The ascent to Warnscale Bothy from here is part of a popular hiking route up on to Haystacks. The elevation and panorama from this view point provides unrivalled views down the valley which are truly unbelievable, any sunset you watch from here (or through the picture perfect Bothy window) is guaranteed to be impressive. 

lake district sunset buttermere warnscale bothyButtermere from Warnscale Head Bothy by Photography @ 55, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 / cropped from original

Lake District Location #3 | Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

Unlike most of the locations on our list, Castlerigg is less of a walk and more of a view point - perfect if you want to catch the sunset last minute or are worn out from a full day of exploring The Lake District! Parking is available on Eleventrees Road near Keswick with the dramatic stone circle directly opposite. Not only are the views from here beautiful but Castlerigg has an interesting history! With Helvellyn and High Seat in the distance you'll be sure to get some amazing photos of the sunset from here.

lake district sunset castlerigg keswick

Lake District Location #4 | Pooley Bridge, Ullswater

Pooley Bridge Pier House has a gorgeous view of the length of Ullswater which is a perfect location to watch the sunset. As long as you can find parking nearby minimal effort is required to find the Pier as it is right on the roadside. Alternatively, there is a small view point just to the left of the pier which you may prefer to watch the sunset from. Don't be surprised if you fall in love with this incredible view - it's one of our favourites! 

lake district sunset ullswaterUllswater 2/4 by wazimu0, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original

Lake District Location #5 | Wastwater

For those of you who are looking for a simple, short walk with extraordinary views, Wastwater is for you! You'll get a wonderful view of the sun setting if you make your way to Wasdale at the north end of the lake. Parking is available at Wasdale car park, plus there is a campsite if you feel like staying the night! To get the best view of the sunset from the lower slopes of Wasdale valley over Wastwater, we suggest you make your way from the car park along the gravel public footpath and across the foot bridge. 

lake district sunset wastwaterWastwater by Richard Walker, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original

Lake District Location #6 | Kirkstone Pass, Ambleside

At 1,489 feet (454 m) Kirkstone Pass is the highest pass in The Lake District that is open to traffic, which makes for an interesting but exhilarating experience in the best of weather conditions. There are a number of roads to the summit of Kirkstone Pass and many walking routes. The easiest way to watch the sunset from here is to drive up the A592 from Windermere, however if you think you are up to it you can attempt the journey from Ambleside and make your way up 'The Struggle'. At the top you'll find the Kirkstone Pass Inn and a car park adjacent providing the perfect viewpoint to watch the sunset on Windermere.  

lake district sunset kirkstone pass

Lake District Location #7 | Friars Crag, Derwent Water

Friars Crag was once described by famous poet and writer John Ruskin as one of the most beautiful scenes in Europe, so it definitely needs to be on your travel bucket list! Whether you've had a busy day exploring the Lakeland fells or a more quiet, relaxing day browsing Keswick's shops - this short walk is the ideal way to end a day in The Lakes. To begin this walk start in the centre of Keswick and make your way along Lake Road past the Theatre By The Lake. Make sure you get some snaps at the viewpoint, it really is beautiful!

lake district sunset friars crag derwent water

Lake District Location #8 | Loughrigg

Loughrigg Fell is a highly popular walk which is easily accessed from The Daffodil. From the hotel, begin walking in the direction of Rydal and Ambleside until you come to a sharp left bend. Here will be the start of a footpath which takes you across the River Rothay and on to the lower parts of Loughrigg Fell. Once at the summit you'll have 360 degree views of the Central Lakeland fells, making sunset watching easy and impressive. From here you will also be able to see Lake Windermere, Grasmere and The Langdale Pikes. 

lake district sunset loughrigg

Lake District Location #9 | Catbells, Keswick

Found on the west side of Derwent Water, Catbells certainly looks more challenging than it is. The short but steep climb requires a bit of effort, but the 360 degree views are definitely worth it! During the day you can park in Keswick and catch the Ferry across Derwent Water right to the start of the climb. However, if you're beginning the walk in the evening to catch the sunset you are better off finding somewhere to park near Gutherscale Lodge. 

lake district sunset catbells keswick

Lake District Location #10 | Gummers How

You will find Gummers How on the east side of Lake Windermere near Fell Foot Park. If you want to get a bit of a head start on this walk then we would recommend parking at Gummers How car park on Fell Foot Brow. Alternatively, if you would like make it a longer walk you can begin at the lake shore. Wherever you decide to begin the ascent, the summit provides the same gorgeous panoramic views of the South Lakes. You will certainly get stunning sunset views from here! 

lake district sunset gummers how
Lake Windermere from Gummers How by Ian Gratton, used under CC BY 2.0 / cropped from original

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