5 Top Locations To Photograph Sunrise In The Lake District

Jan 10, 2017 | Inspiration, Locations, Planning

With its stunning lakes, craggy hilltops and rolling fells, there’s no shortage of great spots to watch the sun rise in the most breathtaking fashion in the Lake District. Here SNAPP Pro photographer, Phil Buckle, shares five of his favourite places to capture the UK’s Lakeland in all its Golden Hour glory. Read on to discover 5 of Phil’s top locations for a sunrise shoot in the Lake District…


Castlrigg Stone Circle, a ring of 38 stones, surrounded in turn by mountains, has stood at Castlerigg for about 4,500 years since it was created by Neolithic farming communities. This is a not-to-be-missed spot and is easily accessible for anybody, with free parking just 100 yards away. This is a magical place which, if you get lucky with the right light, will take your breath away. Although Castlerigg Stone Cirlcle is best photographed at sunrise or sunset, there would be something to shoot here at most times of the day.


If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten track location, try Tewet Tarn. Rubber boots are a must for this particular sunrise shot as you’ll need to get low and ideally slightly into the water! However there are so many options around this small tarn if you’ve forgotten your wellies. From here you have great views towards Skiddaw and Blencathra Fells and it’s all too easy to spend 2 to 3 hours exploring the different possibilities for photography here.


Far from the madd(en)ing crowds you’ll find this spot, a short climb up from Hallin Fell, which offers some lovely views down into Martindale and Boredale valleys. This location is particularly wonderful during Autumn and Winter months when in early light the bracken will be a golden brown colour. This also works well shortly after sunrise on partially cloudy days when you will often get a mixture of light and shade on Beda Fell which divides these two gorgeous valleys.


This small, easily accessible bay just outside of Glenridding offers views of Wall Holm & Cherry Holm Islands on Ullswater with a backdrop of the fells behind. If you’re lucky and conditions are right you’ll get great mists and fog here which adds an air of mystery to the scene. It’s still a great view without the mist, and a fantastic spot for sunrise and an early morning shoot. There’s a knarly old tree stump in the water further around the bay as you look towards Glenridding and this provides a nice foreground interest.


From the gravel beach on the shores of Lake Buttermere try this classic shot of the traditional white “bothy” (hut) with Haystacks hill as a backdrop behind it. This is a great early morning location from sunrise until the sun breaks over the fells and picks out the trees. This location becomes even more spectacular in Autumn months when the bracken takes on a golden brown colour. Look for a still day with light winds to get the reflections or try longer exposures to smooth out the water.

To discover more information, plan your shoot and get precise locations for these and more of Phil Buckle’s favourite Lakeland spots, check out his SNAPP Guide to photographing the Lake District or why not join him in person on a photography workshop

All images by Phil Buckle Photography