Ullswater is known as one of "England's most beautiful lakes" and at nine miles long is surrounded by dramatic mountains and inspiring Lake District countryside, featured in the "Miss Potter" film. The lake is the second largest in England at around nine miles long, but is less than a mile across. It is also the third deepest English lake at 250 feet deep.
Sir Donald Campbell set the world water speed record on Ullswater on July 23, 1955, when he piloted the jet-propelled hydroplane 'Bluebird K7' to a speed of 202.32 mph (325.53 km/h).
Ullswater is the perfect place to unwind. You can choose to stay in and around Ullswater in traditional farmhouses, cosy cottages, welcoming guesthouses and Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs), fine hotels, self catering cottages, or well run caravan and camping sites around the lake-all offering quality accommodation.
Local restaurants, cafes and inns provide local fare and cuisine to suit all tastes.
The village of Pooley Bridge has a good choice of places to eat and stay, together with a lovely selection of small friendly shops. The bridge at Pooley Bridge was unfortunately washed away by Storm Desmond in December, it is hoped that a temporary bridge will be in place for Easter 2016. For more information on getting to Pooley Bridge please visit our Get around Eden webpage.
Glenridding is a popular starting point for walkers and climbers going up Helvellyn - England's third highest mountain which includes Striding and Swirral Edges.
The village of Glenridding can be reached via the A592 (past Dalemain Historic House and Gardens) coming from the Penrith area and over Kirkstone Pass (A592) from South Lakeland. From the Keswick direction, Glenridding can also be reached via the A5091 by turning off at Troutbeck on the A66 between Penrith and Keswick.
Enjoy a cruise and soak up the atmosphere of this peaceful lake on one of the Ullswater 'Steamers' which carry passengers all year round. There are piers at Glenridding, Pooley Bridge and Howtown plus a new Pier at Aira Force which opened in June 2015.
Howtown offers a 'steamer' stop half way along the lake. Wainwright called the walk from Howtown back to Glenridding to be "the most beautiful of lake walks in the National Park."
Brotherswater is a small lake south of Ullswater at the foot of Kirkstone Pass. Originally called Broad Water it was renamed after two brothers drowned there in the 19th century. Kirkstone Pass is The Lake District's highest pass which runs between Windermere and Ullswater.
Ullswater has featured on Channel 4's 'Walking through history' with Tony Robinson, ITV1's 'Ade in Britain,' ITV1's 'The Adventurer's Guide to Britain,' BBC1's The Great British Weather and ITV1's ''The Lakes' with Rory McGrath.
Things to do
Ullswater is a great lake for sailing and canoeing, windsurfing and fishing and you can hire rowing, sailing or small motor boats to explore the islands and bays at your own pace. There's an active sailing club, various activity centres and pony trekking too.
Walking and cycling
Follow one of the many scenic paths which skirt around the lake, much admired by Wainwright or head up to the nearby fells such as Helvellyn for a full days hike. Look out for red deer or red squirrels along the way!
Go walking in search of the Spring daffodils on the shore line around Glencoyne which inspired Wordsworth to write his famous poem. Wordsworth once wrote of Ullswater, as being, "perhaps, upon the whole, the happiest combination of beauty and grandeur, which any of the Lakes affords".
Visit the National Trust's Aira Force, where a series of waterfalls plunge through an attractive wooded ravine. Aira Force drops an impressive 65ft and is the perfect place for a family walk and picnic.
The Ullswater Way - a new 20 mile long promoted walking route using existing Public Rights of Way and quiet roads which will circumnavigate Ullswater - is scheduled to open in Spring 2016.
Try one of our cycle routes around Ullswater and explore the area on two wheels.
Further information on the Ullswater Valley and Surrounding Area
- Ullswater Information Centre
- Pooley Bridge Visitor Information Point
- Lake District National Park - Car Parking information
- National Trust - Aira Force and Ullswater
- Ullswater - The official Ullswater website
- Lake District National Park website - Historical Places to visit around Ullswater
- Ullswater 'Steamers' webcam
For a free leaflet on Ullswater, please contact the Ullswater Information Centre.
Ullswater Environment Recovery Fund
Nurture Lakeland have set up the Ullswater Environment Recovery Fund to raise money to help repair the damage and enable the community of Ullswater to thrive again. Please visit the Nurture Lakeland website for more information.