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Ullswater is often referred to as ‘England’s most beautiful lake’ and as it’s the second-largest, occupies much of the north-west corner of the Lake District. Pooley Bridge is Ullswater’s tourist centre – a former fishing village located right on the northern tip of the lake with lovely pleasure boats cruising up and down the beautiful 7.2-mile lake.
For many, the bustling village of Pooley Bridge also acts as the gateway to the lesser-known north and western Lake District and is easily accessible from the M6. The outlying north-western lakes are a world away from the bustle of the South Lakes, yet they are only a 45-minute road journey from Pooley Bridge. Get three lakes in one, with a visit to Buttermere where the views are the best in the Lake District. And enjoy the warm water of the shallow pool that is the northernmost of the Lake District’s waters, Bassenthwaite.
You’re in excellent company when staying in a holiday cottage in Pooley Bridge and the Ullswater area. Much of the land along Ullswater shore is privately owned and several grand historical properties are dotted around the region. Our collection of luxury cottages in the Pooley Bridge area are all VisitEngland 3 to 5 star rated with many also being Gold award.
All the lakeshore and surrounding scenery can be easily accessed on foot, bike and boat, making Ullswater and Pooley Bridge an ideal place for a short break or simply somewhere to escape with friends and family.
Lake Ullswater gained its title as the most beautiful of the Lake District’s waters due to its mix of giant mountains in the south and gentle scenery to its north. It really is worthwhile exploring the full stretch of Ullswater when visiting Pooley Bridge. Departing from the village, the 160-year-old Ullswater Steamers attraction makes regular stops at the popular walking and cycling hubs of Howtown and Glenridding as well as Aira Force – the most popular waterfall in the Lakes. A cruise along the unique ribbon-shaped lake is blissful, with new views unfolding with each mile.
The Ullswater Way is a circular walk around the lake. It is 20-miles of glorious lakeshore scenery, ready to transport you away to a world of cascading waterfalls, daffodils dancing in the breeze (visit Glencoyne Bay in April to see those that inspired William Wordsworth’s most famous poem), pretty tarns and fells dotted with the famous Lakeland Herdwicks.
The picturesque village of Pooley Bridge formed around the River Eamont that flows out of the northerly edge of Lake Ullswater. It then journeys through the pastoral Eden Valley, a delightful spot that we urge you to discover when staying in Pooley Bridge.
Penrith and Keswick are the principal nearby towns and offer plenty of temptations, including shops, supermarkets, bars, cafes, cinemas, a theatre, and restaurants. Pooley Bridge itself is a pretty former fishing village and we’d recommend a delicious cream scone or ice cream to enjoy whilst watching the swans and moored boats.
Take things slowly with a picnic on one of the many secluded, pebbly beaches along Ullswater’s tranquil shore, letting the sound of lapping waves from the passing gentle steamboat wash over you.
You can take things up a notch with paddleboarding or kayaking on Ullswater or cycling and pony trekking along the quiet, car-free paths in and around the surrounding fells. And there’s plenty for serious walkers too, with some of the Lake District’s best walks right on your doorstep – like Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Hallin Fell, Aira Force and Haweswater, to name a few of our favourites.