Otley Chevin Forest Park

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yorkshire.com - visit the official visitor site for Yorkshire

Opening Times:

All year round



Venue contact details:

T: 01943 465023
W: www.chevinforest.co.uk

Otley Chevin Forest Park

The views across Wharfedale from Otley Chevin and Caley Park were among Turner's favourite subjects. It is arguable that, for a time at least, this scenery was the most important in the world to him.

Looking across the valley, just to the east of Otley, you can see Farnley Hall (now a private residence). This was the home of Turner's friend and patron Walter Fawkes and the great artist stayed here every year, usually in the late summer or autumn, for a period of nearly twenty years between 1808 and 1824.

He came up to the Chevin on many occasions and made many sketches and, as a result, numerous finished watercolours. His famous oil painting, Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps, exhibited 1812 (Tate) is reputed to have been inspired by a view of the Chevin with a stormy background sky.

Tea roomPicnic siteWheelchair accessDogs accepted

Turner's Viewpoint

One of the finest of Turner's Chevin watercolours, View of Farnley Hall in the Valley of the Wharfe in Yorkshire (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), was painted about 1816 for Walter Fawkes of Farnley.  It is taken from a viewpoint on the West Chevin, looking across to the Wharfe Valley, with Farnley Hall in the distance. 

The exact spot is now obscured by tree growth.  However visitors today can walk to the rock outcrop of Surprise View where Turner's material may be seen very clearly, since this viewpoint is higher and completely open.  Surprise View is the highest point of the Chevin, reaching 282 metres, and offers extensive views of Otley and Wharfedale.

Discover The Landscape

Otley Chevin Audio Tour

Follow in the footsteps of one of England's greatest artists to explore the routes that JMW Turner took around Otley Chevin with our Turner Trails audio tours, which will work with any mp3 player or iPod, as well as mobile phones and PDAs that can play mp3 audio.

You can also visit the Turner Trails panel at Caley Crags.

The Venue


Surprise View Car Park, Yorkgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3DG - Co-ordinates, 53 53 36.40N 1 41 25.53W

Map reference: SE204442

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Directions to Otley Chevin Forest Park:

9 miles NW of Leeds on the A660 to Otley; follow signs from Otley town to East Chevin Road.
There is a car park adjacent to Surprise View off Yorkgate at the top of the Chevin.


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