There are three main villages around the edge of Ullswater. Patterdale and Glenridding lie at the southern end, with Pooley Bridge to its north, all offering good pubs and shops.
The lake itself is serpentine, snaking its way through a delightful landscape as peace prevails with no speed boats allowed. You can hire all kinds of other boats at Glenridding and for those who wish to gain further experience in sailing, the Glenridding Sailing School offers courses and tuition.
Transport is run by the grandly titled ‘Ullswater Navigation and Transit Company Limited’ taking you as far as Pooley Bridge. They run three lovely old steamers, ‘Lady of the Lake’ first launched in 1877 and ‘Raven’ twelve years later. In 2001 they introduced ‘The Lady Dorothy’, brought in from Guernsey, in the Channel Islands and refurbished by local shipwrights. They depart from Glenridding, calling at Howtown and on to Pooley Bridge - the whole journey takes about an hour each way.
Walking in the fells and mountains
Explored from the southern end, the lake is dominated by Place Fell, St Sunday Cragg, Fairfield and Helvellyn. Take the east path along the shore heading towards Sandwick, then on to Howtown, and you will be able to ramble all day with a magnificent view always in sight. You can end your day on a high note, catching the steamboat from Howtown to Glenridding for some final, memorable views.
There are a number of big fells and mountains. The goal for many is Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lake District. The approach is often made by the challenging Striding Edge, a knife thin ridge, which is found on the ascent to the mountain summit. Make suitable preparations before setting off into the wilds of the National Park. Read our guide to learn some of the basics.
We have some lovely cottages in and around Ullswater if you're feeling inspired to visit.