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Surprise View

As you drive down Borrowdale from Keswick in the Lake District and you’re hoping for panoramic views along the lake and north to Skiddaw it can be frustrating. It’s hard to find that perfect view, except at one point – Surprise View. A rock platform juts out and gives that perfect scene – Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Skiddaw. It’s right next to the road, too. In the summer holidays this has an obvious side effect – crowds. Of course, you know the saying, “You’re not in traffic, you are traffic”. I sat patiently waiting for the sun to go down and the people to go but that didn’t seem likely. There was a family in front of me who had settled down with a picnic table, not to mention the bride and groom having some of their wedding photos taken.

Lesson learned, think about likely crowds when planning photo trips. I did manage a couple of shots, though not from the golden hour of sunset.

There’s another classic viewpoint just down the road, Ashness Bridge. As I arrived there it was also covered in people taking the classic (cliched?) view and a minibus arrived and emptied out more people. Hmmm…

However, walking back from Surprise View to Ashness Bridge later on I found it empty and got a couple of good shots and then made my way along the hill side, climbing steadily, to find a viewpoint and a wild bed for the night. I found both, though the photos for the trip were not what I’d hoped they’d be. Sleeping was a big success though, the first time I’ve actually had solid sleep in my bivvy bag. At least 5-hours worth. Up again at 4:30 am for a slightly disappointing sunrise.

I’ll persevere though, I think this area does have potential for some great shots.


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