Ullswater Steamers copyright Dave Willis

Things to do around Ullswater

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

On the water

Ullswater Steamers

Sit back, relax and enjoy a lake cruise on one of England's most beautiful lakes. With stops at Glenridding, Aira Force, How Town and Pooley Bridge, you can walk and cruise your own route.

Timetables and booking for Ullswater Steamers

Kayaking on Ullswater lake with mountains in the background

Kayak tours with Tall Bloke Adventures

Guided kayak tours on beautiful Ullswater. A great way to explore the islands, beaches and rocky shores of the lake. Leaves from Glenridding village.

Book a kayak tour on Ullswater

Walking and hiking routes around Ullswater, Glenriding and Helvellyn

Guided walks

Why not join our volunteer guided walk leaders on a free or low-cost guided walk? Many start from Glenridding, and they range from easy family friendly rambles, to strenuous day long hikes to the summit of Helvellyn.

Search and book your guided walk near Ullswater

Aira Force waterfall

Aira Force

Aira Force has a magnificent 21m (70ft) multiple waterfall  with viewing bridges above and below to get close to the thundering water safely.
There is a seasonal tea room, a car park and toilets on site.

Aira Force - National Trust

Hiking up Helvellyn

At 950 metres above sea level, Helvellyn is the third highest peak in England. On its eastern side, two sharp aretes lead off the summit of Striding and Swirral Edge. The knife-edged Striding Edge provides one of the best known scrambles in the Lake District.

There are different ways to reach the summit, but all of them require you to be properly equipped. Please take a look at our checklist for walkers

In the winter, the Fell Top Assessors climb Helvellyn every day to report the conditions for Weatherline, you can join them on a Winter Skills Course to learn how to enjoy the Lake District fells safely in winter.

Pop into Ullswater Information Centre for great advice on climbing Helvellyn

Short walking routes

Get to know the Ullswater area

Outdoor activities

Attractions, History and Visitor Centres

Lowther Castle and Gardens

Lowther Castle and grounds

Dramatic ruins, gardens within gardens, and one of the UK’s largest adventure playgrounds. Lowther won the Large Visitor Attraction of the year 2018 at the Cumbria Tourism Awards, and exploring the innovative renovation of this historic castle and grounds you'll see why.

Shop, cafés, free car parking and cycle hire make this a full day out.

Lowther Castle

Dalemain Historic House

The Dalemain Estate includes a splendid house, gardens, a deer park and tenant farms. Documents tell us that a fortified ‘pele’ tower stood here in the twelfth century. A spiral staircase is all that survives of this early building. Dalemain became a manor house in Tudor times, and the Georgian façade was added in the mid-eighteenth century. It’s been the home of the Hasell family since 1680. Dalemain house and garden are open to visitors and is on the route of the Ullswater Way

Dalemain house

Dalemain House and Estate

Rheged Centre

Rheged has indoor and outdoor soft play, a 3D cinema screen, family theatre, exhibition halls, a gallery, cafe, foodhall and shops.

Rheged Centre

Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre

See hawks, eagles, falcons and owls from around the world, with flying displays, a tea room and gift shop.

Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre


Glenridding and Pooley Bridge villages

The two main villages on Ullswater lake are Glenridding at the southern end and Pooley Bridge at the north. Both have a small number of shops selling things from outdoor clothing to gifts and food, and a selection of cafes and pubs.

The Ullswater Information Centre at Glenridding also sells gifts, maps, walking guides and can help you plan your visit.

Penrith town

Shops in this town include John Norris for fishing equipment and outdoor clothing, and The Toffee Shop which counts the Prince of Wales as a customer! There are also several supermarkets.

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.