Ullswater in the north east Lake District is the region’s second largest lake. It is 7 miles (11.7 km) long and ¾ of a mile (1.02 km) wide, surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.
The superb views can be enjoyed from a leisurely Ullswater Steamers trip along the lake calling in at Glenriding, Howtown and Pooley Bridge. Alternatively, follow the A592 road along the western lake shore with its many parking spaces where walkers can access the paths across the fells and mountains. Walks vary from easy to difficult.
Ullswater is a glacial valley and the lake has three distinct bends giving it a dog-leg appearance. Each section is served by a settlement – Glenriding (and Patterdale) to the south, Pooley Bridge to the north and Howtown in the middle.
Much of the area is owned by the National Trust and we recommend their informative website for further information on places to visit in the area. Go to Web: National Trust/ Ullswater & Aira Force website
One of the most popular attractions in the area is the Aira Force Waterfall, the Lake District’s highest cascade.
In spring the lakeshore is carpeted with daffodils, a sight which inspired William Wordsworth to write his famous Daffodils poem. The site that inspired him is Wordsworth Point, Glencoyne Bay about a mile north of Glenriding (OS Map Ref: NY 387190).
There is access to the lakeshore at many points along the A592 between Waterfoot and Patterdale with numerous picnic spots.
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No access to waterfall but there are accessible paths to Victorian Glade and Aira Green on the shore of Ullswater. There are a number of seats dotted around the Aira Force site and an Accessible toilet. The seasonal Tea Room at Aira Force has a ramped entrance.
The lakeshore footpath at Brotherswater has recently been made more accessible and is classed as a 'path for many'.
The Lake District Visitor Centre at Glenriding has a ramped entrance.
Facilities around Ullswater
- Toilets: Aira Force Car Park; Glenriding Tourist Information Centre; and Patterdale (opposite The White Lion pub).
- Cafes & Tea Rooms: There are many cafés and tea-rooms in the area - Aira Force Car Park and Side Farm (in summer); Glenridding; Pooley Bridge and Patterdale.
- Pubs: There are several pubs in Glenridding; Dockray; Pooley Bridge and Patterdale.
- Visitor Centres: There is a Visitor Centre in the National Park Tourist Information Centre at Glenridding and a seasonal Visitor Centre at Pooley Bridge.
- Camping & Caravanning Sites: There is a campsite at Side Farm, Tel +44 (0)1768 482 337.
- Cowbridge car park: At the south-western end of Ullswater is the start for several pleasant walks ranging from a gentle 2 mile (3.2 km) stroll around Brotherswater, taking in magnificent oak woodland and tidy farmed landscape, to more strenuous paths along the valley floor to Hartsop Village and up onto the higher mountain tops.
The Ullswater local website is stacked full of excellent local information including things to do, where to eat and accommodation. There is also useful information on local weather including daily forecasts. Go to Web: Ullswater In Cumbia website
- By Car:
Approach the valley via Windermere and Bowness on the A591 and Ambleside (The Struggle) for a scenic drive down the steep and windy Kirkstone Pass. Alternatively, access the valley from Junction 40 of the M6, or from Keswick/Penrith on the A66
- By Bus:
Summer service 108, Penrith-Patterdale, with a reduced winter service.
- By Rail:
Penrith 10 miles, then direct bus service to Ullswater.
Google Maps - Ullswater Lake