Watch the new Ullswater destination video on YouTube.
Ullswater - as seen on the BBC1 comedy 'Home from home' starring Johnny Vegas.
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).
Where to stay
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.
Pooley Bridge and Glenridding
The village of Pooley Bridge has a good choice of places to eat and stay, together with a lovely selection of small friendly shops.
Glenridding is a popular starting point for walkers and climbers going up Helvellyn - England's third highest mountain which includes Striding and Swirral Edges.
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.
New Pooley Bridge Project
Please note that at the moment, there is pedestrian access only over the river at Pooley Bridge during the construction of the new road bridge on the B5320.
All shops, eating places and places to stay in Pooley Bridge village are open as normal. You can still enjoy a cruise on the Ullswater “Steamers” combined with a visit to Pooley Bridge village by walking into the village from Pooley Bridge pier over the footbridge.
As you may be aware, the original Pooley Bridge built in 1764 was sadly washed away in Storm Desmond in 2015. A temporary road bridge was in place until September 2019 when work started on the construction of the new permanent road bridge.
Construction of the new road bridge is taking place between October 2019 and late October 2020. Pedestrian access will be maintained across the river throughout the main construction works via the footbridge.
Routes in and out of Pooley Bridge village and car parks during the works
A useful leaflet to download called "Routes in and out of Pooley Bridge" which shows how you can get to Pooley Bridge village and car park locations during the works is available on www.cumbria.gov.uk/pooleybridge where you will also find more information and the latest updates about the new Pooley Bridge project.
Visit the Ullswater.com website for more information on timescales and the Pooley 'New' Bridge Loyalty Lottery.
For information about bus services during the works, visit the Stagecoach website.
Howtown and Brotherswater
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.
Try one of our cycle routes around Ullswater and explore the area on two wheels.
The Ullswater Way
The Ullswater Way - a stunning 20 mile walking route around Ullswater. The route can be walked in either direction and from any starting point. Why not walk the route in shorter sections, using an open top bus or steamer to start your journey!
Download the official map and guide from the Ullswater website and visit the Friends of the Ullswater Way website for more information.
The Dalemain Loop
Following the fantastic success of the Ullswater Way, an additional 5 mile circular loop - The Dalemain Loop - has been developed to enable people to link from the Ullswater way to Dalemain Mansion with its Garden and Tea Rooms and Dacre village with its ancient church and traditional pub.
The Loop is well signposted and an illustrated account of the walk can also be found in the Official Guide to the Ullswater Way, available in businesses around the Ullswater Way, with £1 for every copy sold donated to the National Park to help maintain the route - on sale at Penrith TIC.
Lowther Castle Loop
Try the latest addition to the Ullswater Way - The Lowther Castle Loop. From Lowther Castle, the circular 7.5 mile route follows the banks of the Lowther river, through the hamlet of Helton and then up to Askham Fell with its panoramic views, before returning through the charming village of Askham.
Potential blue green algal blooms
We’ve had reports (24 June 2020) of potential blue green at Ullswater near Pooley Bridge. Though testing cannot yet to be carried out due to lockdown restrictions, the public are advised to take precautions. For guidance please view online Government advice on Algal Blooms. The Environment Agency have set up a webpage that includes a map of all reported cases in Cumbria and will be updated regularly.
Further information on the Ullswater Valley and Surrounding Area
- Accommodation in Eden - Details of 'where to stay' in and around Ullswater
- Eden Church Trails - Discover Eden's religious past through these fascinating routes, stopping off at some of the area's most interesting and architecturally beautiful churches
- Lake District National Park - including Car Parking information
- Lake District Foundation - Fundraising and grant making foundation covering the whole of Cumbria
- National Trust - Aira Force and Ullswater
- Pooley Bridge Visitor Information Point
- Ullswater - The official Ullswater website
- Ullswater Information Centre
- Ullswater 'Steamers' webcam
- Watch as Lonely Planet Ambassador Chloe Gunning visits the Lake District without a car
For a free leaflet on Ullswater, please contact the Ullswater Information Centre.