Ullswater Steamers copyright Dave Willis

Explore Ullswater and Glenridding


This lovely lake is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery to its south, softening to the gentle hills of the north. The lake is the second largest in England at seven and a half miles long, but is less than a mile across. It is also the third deepest English lake at 250 feet deep.

There are dramatic views from both sides of the lake, by foot or by vehicle.

Ullswater Way map

The Ullswater Way

This 20 mile route around the lake has boat and bus stopping points, so you can walk it all or do a smaller section combined with a cruise on the water.

Watch our video to see some of the spectacular views, then download the maps and plan your walk!

Ullswater way

Towns and villages around Ullswater


This small village at the foot of Ullswater is a popular starting point for walkers and climbers going up Helvellyn. England's third highest mountain includes Striding and Swirral Edges.

You can catch steamers from here - take a look at Ullswater 'Steamers' for timetables (opens in new window)

You can hire rowing boats and bicycles in the summer from St Patricks Boat Landing. You can also get tuition or hire canoes and kayaks from the Sailing Centre in the village.

There is a selection of shops. Pop into our Information Centre next to the car park for gifts, books maps and other goods. 

There are two hotels, bed and breakfast and self catering properties in the village, many that are family and dog-friendly. There is also a campsite, bunkhouse and Youth Hostel.


This village is just shy of the shores of Ullswater. It includes a pub, hotel and a post office. It's a welcome refuelling stop for hikers coming down off the fells.

It is named after the legend that Saint Patrick converted many local people to Christianity here in the early 5th century. St Patrick's church is well worth a visit. The present church replaced a church built about 1600.

For more on this lovely area, check out the community website Patterdale.org (opens in new window).

Pooley Bridge

A picturesque village at the northeast end of Ullswater. The river Eamont meanders through its collection of houses and pubs. Close to Pooley Bridge is the historic Dalemain House and Rheged Visitor Centre.


This 'steamer' stop is 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 and Hartsop

This small lake south of Ullswater is at the foot of Kirkstone Pass. There is a footpath around it, although it does not hug the shoreline completely.

It used to be called Broad Water but was renamed after two brothers drowned there in the 19th century. Low Hartsop is a cluster of stone cottages once used for wool spinning. Several date from the 17th century and still have their external spinning galleries.

Kirkstone Pass

The Lake District's highest pass runs between Windermere and Ullswater. It is is named after "Kirkstone", a large boulder at top. The road from Ambleside to the top is called The Struggle for good reason!

The Kirkstone Pass inn at the top is England's third highest pub.


The fells above Martindale are home to England's oldest native herd of red deer. The ancient deer forest is centred on The Nab but the deer range all over the fells into Mardale and Kentmere.

The church of St Martin's was built in 1634. The enormous yew tree in the churchyard is said to be more than one thousand years old. The Church of St Peter's was built in 1882 to replace the old church.


This small scenic village has the remains of a castle with a well preserved 14th century keep. Please note the castle is private.

In St Andrew's churchyard there are four stone bears which may have come from the four corners of the keep.

Useful links

Travelling to and around Ullswater

Bus service 508 runs from Penrith Station to Pooley Bridge, Aira Force, Glenridding and Patterdale all year round. In summer it continues over Kirkstone Pass to Windermere. Bus service 208 provides a direct link from Keswick to Ullswater on summer Saturdays. Timetables can be found in Stagecoach's Lakes Connection.

Train: the nearest train station to Ullswater is Penrith. You can get there using the buses listed above

Nearest large town: Penrith. From Pooley Bridge it is six miles to Penrith. From Glenridding it is 13 miles.

Need more help? Pop in to Ullswater Information Centre!

Ullswater Information Centre in Glenridding

We can help you with booking accommodation, tickets or attractions. We are next to the car park in Glenridding - do pop in and take a look around Ullswater Information Centre.