Out and About in Ullswater
Your Ullswater Holiday Itinerary
Join us on a journey to Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District. This quiet and lesser-known part of the Lakes is for visitors wanting to explore, adventure, discover and relax.
Here you will chance-upon stunning Ullswater Cottages and the most surprising landscape and stories.
From Place Fell to the most romantic ‘place to be still’ picnic spot in the Lake District, Ullswater continues to surprise.
Travel with us today as we weave our way around some of her highlights.
1. Steam ride for a rambler
The first stop on the itinerary of anyone enjoying a holiday in our Ullswater holiday cottages has to be to the 150-year-old Ullswater Steamers attraction. For many, the iconic journey to be made on a steamer in this part of the Lakes is from Pooley Bridge, on the lakes northern tip, to the Ramblers Bar at The Inn on the Lake in Glenridding, on the southern tip of this narrow ribbon lake. For anyone enjoying a self-catering holiday in Ullswater, the Afternoon Tea here is also one for the ‘things to do in Ullswater’ list.
The lake shore village of Glenridding has long been the place to head to to start the famous walk up Helvellyn, the second most acclaimed peak in the Lake District, with Scarfell being the highest.
2. Waterfall round to get you going
The most famous of the Lake District’s waterfalls is only 1-mile from the more frequented western shore of Ullswater. The A592 road weaves, precariously in some places, along the length of this shore and is one of the best drives in the Lake District in itself. However, we recommend that you park up, or leave a steamer, at Aira Force, and enjoy a walk to the impressive 65ft drop waterfall. This makes for one of the best introductory walks when exploring the Ullswater region as it always leaves you wanting more.
3. Linear solitude to let the mind wander
Exploring the traffic-free eastern shore of Ullswater has to be one of our top insider recommendations for new and returning visitors to our Ullswater accommodation. This Howtown to Glenridding walk guides you from Howtown Pier along one of the least visited walks in the Lakes, to the reward of a refreshing pint of Striding Edge at the Ramblers Bar at Inn on the Lake. In autumn, one of the last remaining herds of wild Red Deer can be seen on the slopes of Place Fell that you will pass on this relaxing linear walk, where you likely will be lucky enough to have the route to yourself.
4. A place to be still
William Wordsworth has become one of the Lake District’s most iconic figures. Whilst the central and western lakes, in particular Grasmere and Hawkshead, have become the focus for many visitors to the region for this reason, visitors to Ullswater must look up Glencoyne Bay – especially in spring.
Clinging to the heel of the ‘dog-leg’ that is the unusual shape of lake Ullswater, is the tiny, pebbled bay of Glencoyne. Visit any year on the 15 April and see what William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy saw back in 1802, which inspired one of the most famous poems in English Literature – I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud – in which the poet described coming across a ‘host of golden daffodils’. The native daffodils (Narcissus lobularis or Wild Daffodil) are small, dainty flowers but they grow in great swathes, and it is this mass of colour and movement that so inspired the Lakeland Poet. Read more on ‘the son of the Lake District’ in this blog post. This is a great spot for a paddle and picnic and just to be still, all-year-round.
5. Delve into enchanting stories
Finally we find ourselves in Pooley Bridge, the mystical northern capital of Ullswater where druids, stone circles and other legendary tales can be found. Visit Dunmallard Hill at Pooley Bridge, which is said to be the burial mound of Sir Tristian, one of the Knights of the Round Table. Look out for Lyulphs Tower near Aira Force, once home to another noble Knight of the Round Table, Sir Eglamore. Pendragon Castle, found at nearby Penrith, was home to King Arthur’s father, and nearby count the stones at Long Meg Stone Circle where legend has it that the stones will return to life as people. Discover more, including why Ullswater was known as ‘the dark lake’ in medieval times on a ‘Knights & Tall Tales’ commentary cruise. For a self-guided tour, journey along these mystical attractions that have been brought together in a digital trail on Ullswater Steamers app, available for download on android and apple devices.
For eating out in Ullswater view our guide and we urge you to try Ullswater Steamer’s famous ‘Fish Supper’ too!