The Most Photogenic Bridge in the Lake District
Is Ashness Bridge the most photographed place in the Lake District? If not, it must come a close second or third. The Ashness Bridge, a charming old-fashioned humpback bridge built of stone, spans Barrow Beck. It is situated on a narrow, dead-end lane that leads from the main Borrowdale road to the isolated hamlet of Watendlath. However, it’s the breathtaking backdrop that truly makes this bridge a popular spot for visitors. Stand upstream of the bridge and point your camera to take in Derwentwater with Skiddaw behind it. Perfection!
Parking Ashness Bridge
A small National Trust car park is located on the lane to Watendlath, situated just after Ashness Bridge. However, given the narrowness of both the road and the bridge, visitors may find it more convenient to approach this scenic spot on foot. Consider parking at the bottom of the lane and then walking up. Alternatively, you could catch the bus or boat from Keswick to the Ashness Gate jetty. Another option is to incorporate a visit to Ashness Bridge into a walk towards Walla Crag, which offers an excellent viewpoint to the north.
Views and Scenic Vistas
Keep your camera handy; there’s more to explore beyond Ashness Bridge. About half a mile further up the Watendlath road lies another charming spot that is definitely worth a visit. Surprise View does exactly what it says on the tin… One minute you’re traveling uphill on a road through the woods. However, as soon as you step off the asphalt, the trees vanish and the ground opens up, revealing a stunning panorama that includes Cat Bells, Skiddaw, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake.
Beyond Surprise View, the lane stretches for almost two miles. It ultimately ends at Watendlath, a picturesque ensemble of cottages and farmhouses nestled beside a quaint tarn, approximately 850 feet above sea level.