National Park Rangers maintaining hedge in Ullswater

East Distinctive Area

The rugged and craggy high fells of Helvellyn, Fairfield and High Street are split by the two upland valleys of Ullswater and Haweswater / Lowther. Farmland fringes the north-eastern margin of the East area, which contrasts with the high fells.

The East distinctive area is predominantly rural and tranquil and has the lowest population of any of the distinctive areas. Glenridding / Patterdale is the largest settlement, with other smaller villages including Askham, Pooley Bridge and Penruddock.  

Ullswater is one of the four navigable lakes in the National Park, whilst Haweswater is a reservoir providing water supplies for the North West of England.

Watch our video

Find out more about the Ullswater Way – a community project to create a new, 20-mile walking route that connects the spectacular scenery along the shores of Ullswater with the picturesque villages and attractions.

Contact details for your local team 

Your Area Ranger Suzy Hankin

Suzy is the Area Ranger for the East Area of the Lake District. Please get in touch with Suzy if you have any queries or enquiries about our work in the East, potential projects or community fund applications.

Contact details

You can contact Suzy with any general enquiries relating to the East of the Lake District.

Tel: 01768 871409 Mobile: 07799 075114

Key information  

Community fund information:

A fund has been created for projects which are led by, or of benefit to, the resident communities of the Lake District National Park. Find out more about the community fund.

Grants so far: East Distinctive Area

Key updates and news

Take a look at what's going in and around the East of the Lake District:

Ullswater Litter Pick 2018

For several years Distant Horizons have organised canoe-based litter picks on Ullswater in a bid to help make it a cleaner place to live, visit and enjoy. This year they are joining forces with Lake District National Park Volunteers to collect litter from key sites around Ullswater, and along the Ullswater Way.

When is it happening?

Wednesday 21 November 2018

10am – 1pm at Eusemere Car Park, Pooley Bridge. GR 471, 244

How can I get involved?
On the water - Distant Horizons will utilise their fleet of canoes launching from Pooley Bridge to enable volunteers to easily access the shoreline to gather litter which has blown down the lake. Distant Horizons will provide qualified canoe guides, all canoe equipment, buoyancy aids etc, and will raft the canoes together to make sturdy litter carrying vessels.

On land - volunteers will collect litter from key locations around Ullswater, and along the Ullswater Way.

We will provide all litter picking equipment, so all you need to do is bring yourselves, wellies and warm/waterproof clothing.

For more details and to register for either canoeing, or the land based litter pick: please ring 01768 871409 or email

I really hope you can come and join us!

The Ullswater Valley Plan – What happened!?

The Ullswater Valley Plan was a pilot project set up to identify opportunities and ambitions of a local community within a Lake District Valley. The Ullswater Valley was chosen, and over 6 months through consultation and workshops with local people the Ullswater Valley Plan was produced in 2014.

The Plan has led to a number of projects being developed and pursued:

Prosperous Economy:

  • The Ullswater Association produced a Marketing Strategy for the Ullswater Valley and redeveloped the Ullswater Association website, supported by the Lake District Communities Fund. The new website provides comprehensive information to support visitors to the local area.  
  • ‘See More Cumbria and the Lake District’ – a Department of Transport funded project helped to support the development of an open top bus service on the 508 route, as well as Twizy hire at a number of visitor attractions in the valley, and additional funding helped to research coach parking feasibility in the Pooley Bridge area.

Vibrant Communities:

  • The Ullswater Way – identified within Ullswater Valley Plan and launched in 2016 and included the development of a 20 mile walking route around the Ullswater Valley including improving furniture, surfacing, the creation of 2.5km of new public footpath and marketing and promoting the route. The route provides a sustainable visitor attraction in the local area which visitors and locals can enjoy.  
  • Friends of the Ullswater Way – developed following on from the Ullswater Way. a local group of residents have produced an amazing development of cultural art installations to celebrate local heritage and culture. The LDNP Communities Fund have supported a number of the installations.  
  • Youth Projects – following an initial project working with Outward Bound in 2014 The LDNP have supported a number of projects in the Valley including a Glenridding Sailing youth club during Summer 2015; supporting Penrith Canoe Club to re-locate during the summer months to Ullswater Sailing Club, and funding ‘Have a Go’ sessions for children from 5 local primary schools to take part in outdoor activities with local providers during September 2017.


  • There was an aspiration to restore views of Ullswater from key locations around the lake itself. Two small areas of woodland have been cleared near Pooley Bridge end of the Lake, alongside larger areas of tree felling by the National Trust along the side of the lake beneath Gowbarrow.

The Ullswater Valley Plan continues to provide evidence and support for projects within the Ullswater area. For more information about the project see:

Ullswater Way work continues!

The Ullswater Way has been a phenomenal triumph since its official launch in April 2016. The local community, landowners, businesses, partner organisations and volunteers have all been instrumental in its creation and its continuing success. The 20 mile route is now enhanced with an inspirational Heritage Trail, a series of installations from local artists and craftspeople, which celebrates an aspect of the Valley’s heritage.

Recently people counters have been installed at 2 sites on either side of the lake to monitor footfall and provide evidence of its continuing success.  Volunteers have been regularly downloading the data from the counters and during August over 11,000 people were estimated to have passed the sensor at Sandwick.

The Ullswater Way continues to exceed everyone’s expectations and one of the greatest challenges is to ensure that the high standard of the route is maintained. Volunteers regularly patrol the route to report any maintenance works that are required and in 2017 our Tourist Information Centre along with other local businesses and hotels are selling Ullswater Way pin badges with donations raised going to the Ullswater Way Maintenance Fund. For more information on the Ullswater Way visit and


School children step into the great outdoors at Ullswater Outdoor Fest

More than 100 school children from the Ullswater area became official members of the ‘great outdoors’ at the Ullswater Outdoor Fest held in September, thanks to a cash boost from the Lake District National Park’s Communities Fund.

The £3,000 donation made it possible for children to try out a range of outdoors activities, such as sailing, archery, indoor climbing, bushcraft skills and horsemanship.

Suzy Hankin, Area Ranger for the Lake District National Park, organised the funding for the project. Suzy said: “You’d be surprised by how many local children aren’t aware of the range of activities and experiences that are on their doorstep, so I was delighted to be able to connect with local outdoor providers and inspire the children about the National Park. This has proved a huge success, so we’re keen to find the next project to support with the Local Communities Fund.”

The Lake District Communities Fund is available for communities within the Lake District National Park area to apply to, for projects supporting the local area. Find out how to apply on the Lake District National Park website.

School children attended from from Penruddock, Stainton, Patterdale, Yanwath and Lowther Endowed primary schools.

George Jackman, aged eight from Penruddock School took part in the Bushcraft Activities with Reach Beyond Adventure, said "I had a great afternoon in the woods. I started a fire with the firewood I'd collected, and baked some bread which I ate with some hot chocolate. It was better than any subject at school!"

The annual Ullswater Outdoor Fest organised by Ullswater Association takes place every year at the end of September and offers nine days of guided walks, outdoor adventures, films and talks celebrating the great outdoors and the Ullswater Valley in particular.

The school childrens’ activities were supported by businesses from the Ullswater Association, including Ullswater Yacht Club, Distant Horizons, Reach Beyond Adventure and Rookin House Centre.