Admired through the ages…

Waterfall from viewing station

Rydal Hall isn’t just a brilliant Grade II listed building, it’s also the site of what is thought to be the UK’s first purpose built viewing platform!

Viewing platforms were popularized just as tourism was becoming an industry. The purpose of viewing platforms was to offer a predetermined spot deemed the best place to enjoy the beauty of nature. When looking out from “The grot” its easy to see why Rydall falls was chosen by nature appreciators of years gone by. Here in Christopher Wordsworths’ own words from his 1851 memoir;

“He accompanied me to the gate and then said if I had a few minutes longer to spare he would like to show me the waterfall which was close by – the lower fall of Rydal. I gladly assented and he led the way across the grounds of Lady Fleming (Rydal Hall) which were opposite to his own to a small summer-house. The moment we opened the door the waterfall was before us. The summer house being so placed as to occupy the exact spot from which it was to be seen. The rocks and shrubbery around closing it in on every side. The effect was magical. The view from the rustic house, the rocky basin into which the water fell and the deep shade in which the whole was enveloped, made it a lovely scene. Wordsworth seemed to have much pleasure in exhibiting this beautiful retreat”