Situated on the Western banks of Lake Windermere, nestled in amongst the woodland, is Claife Viewing Station. This 18-century building has never been lived in but instead used to appreciate the stunning views across Lake Windermere by the area’s first tourists. These affluent sightseers came to sketch picturesque spots listed in a guidebook written in 1778 by Thomas West, who assisted in creating the Lake District’s fashionable reputation, encouraging waves of view loving visitors. The viewing station originally had tinted windows in line with the four seasons; for example, yellow transformed the landscape into summer, whatever time of year. The National Trust has since restored the viewing station to its former glory so that people can enjoy the views and colours to this day.
Claife is a 5-minute walk from the Ash Landing national trust car park on the B5285, from Sawrey to the Windermere Ferry terminal. There are several walks in the area, including one along the west shore of Windermere from Ash landing, passed Claife Viewing Station to Wray Castle. You could also walk from Hilltop Beatrix Potters House in Sawrey to the station, through Claife Heights, an area held in such fondness by Miss Potter that she had her ashes scattered there. If you are looking for a more relaxed option, you could catch the ferry across from Windermere, take in the views at the station and then enjoy a freshly roasted coffee and a tasty snack at Joeys Cafe located close by.