Osprey - Watch them fish at
Away from all the traffic jams and tourist shops those who are keen bird lovers head up to Bassenthwaite Lake to watch Osprey soar and fish.
The 'Lake District Osprey Watch Project and Forestry commission have worked wonders in providing a natural safe haven for Osprey to breed in the Lake District after an absence of around 150 years.
We hope this information will help you to view the Osprey at Bassenthwaite - however as you will fully understand, this isn't a zoo it is nature at its most beautiful and that sometimes means that the birds don't always nest in visible places!
The very knowledgable staff and volunteers will help guide your binoculars for the best chance of a sighting, either on a nest or flying for food.
We will try to keep the information on this page updated to help you view Osprey and in return ask that you keep a respectful distance from nests - please do let us know if you have any updates to the information we have here, we'd love your input - Thank You!
Two visitor view points allow you to watch the Osprey in their natural habitat, the newest upper viewpoint just 400m away from the Osprey's nest, allowing spectacular views without causing any disturbance to the Ospreys themselves.
Lower Osprey Viewpoint
Open from 10am and 5pm daily, and visitors are asked to visit this viewpoint first. In addition to excellent views of the ospreys fishing over Bassenthwaite Lake this viewpoint is a great way to see other Cumbrian wildlife such as red squirrels and woodland birds. The volunteer staff at the lower viewpoint will be able to advise you on getting safely to the upper viewpoint.
Upper Osprey Viewpoint
This viewpoint is about a 30 minute walk/climb from the lower viewpoint via a forest road) and is also staffed by volunteers. High powered telescopes are available but you are encouraged to bring your own binoculars if you have them. The upper viewpoint is open between 10.30 and 4.30 daily.
The Osprey have now been returning to their nest in the woods above Bassenthwaite since 2001 and can normally be seen in flight around Bassenthwaite Lake and particularly from the Osprey Watch viewpoints from mid April until the end of August.
The Osprey Watch advises that on bright sunny days the visibility in the afternoons is much poorer than in the mornings. Also please note that the lower viewer point and Whinlatter Visitor Centre have better accessibility for visitors with restricted mobility. There is no parking at the upper viewpoint, access is by walking from the lower viewpoint.
Whinlatter Visitor Centre
Get a bird's eye view from the Osprey's nest at The Forestry Commission's Whinlatter Visitor Centre. A web cam has been rigged near the Osprey's nest allowing visitors to Whinlatter to observe the Osprey whilst they are nesting.
The Whinlatter Visitor Centre is accessible for visitors who have restricted mobility. For more information on the Osprey webcam, Whinlatter Visitor Centre and accessibility go to the Forestry Commission's website here.
Whilst no charge is made to use the viewpoints car park charges are in the region of:
£1 - one hour
£3 - up to four hours
£4 over 4 hours
The Osprey Bus operates between Keswick, Dodd Wood View Point and the Whinlatter Visitor Centre. Read more information about this service here
For detailed directions and current opening hours of the Osprey Watch view points please check details here.