The little hamlet of Watendlath, owned by the National Trust, sits high between the Borrowdale and Thirlmere valleys. It is 847 feet above sea level, with an attractive tarn surrounded by fells in a classic ‘hanging valley’.
Watendlath beck is the source for Lodore Falls – a tourist attraction from Victorian times.
Watendlath has an attractive packhorse bridge, and a National Trust tea-room, particularly pleasant in good weather when you can sit outside at tables and watch the birds.
The hamlet is reached by a very narrow road with passing places, from the Keswick to Borrowdale road. This is a steep climb at first before crossing the famous Ashness Bridge (below), then past ‘Surprise View’ where it is possible to park and look out over the whole of the Derwentwater valley (see photo in ‘gallery’). Take care with children as there are no barriers and this is the top of a cliff.
Watendlath was used by Sir Hugh Walpole as a setting for the fictional home of Judith Paris in his haunting Herries saga, a series of four novels published in the early 1930’s.
Information is available at the National Trust shop at Lakeside, Derwentwater.