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Grammar School House

Watermillock - Ullswater

Key Information


Star Rating:VE 5 Star Gold Award


Pets:Pets - See Property Inventory

Other: Wi-Fi Broadband

See Also - Low Longthwaite Farm   Horrock Wood Farm   Bank Barn - Wreay  

Things To Do While Staying At Grammar School House

Our Explore More Pages showcase the best along with some of the lesser-known attractions of the Lake District. We want you to get the most from your experience whilst staying in this unique area by highlighting some of our favourite places, along with those of the owners and our friends most loved walks and attractions.

Some days you may wish to stay close to home, on others, set off and visit further away landscapes. Here are just a few of the magnificent places we love, both near and far, always remembering that nowhere is more than a hour to and hour and a quarter drive away, and the journey through the landscape is always part of the days enjoyment.

We would also love to hear about you memorable moments so we can share it with others. 
Either email or post us on Facebook, Google+ or twitter or even send a post card.

Owners Ian and Judy's Favourite Things

Grammar School House "GSH" nestles at the foot of Little Mell Fell and Priests Crag and has unrestricted views across the fields to both of these. It is very private here and there is little noise other than birds and farm animals. There is no light pollution either - turn off the house lights on a clear night and the night sky is quite something to behold. 

The house is surrounded by its own garden, bordered by a babbling beck, and with a lily pond and woodland area. It is a wildlife haven with red squirrels and a profusion of birdlife visiting the garden all year long. In the spring the squirrels come with their kittens to empty our feeders and play in the trees. The lily pond has newts, dragon flies and water boatmen and, in spring, there are frogspawn developing into tiny frogs. At night in the lane there may be badgers and bats. We have even seen deer in the wood over the lane. 

You will not be disturbed by traffic or tourists yet we are in the heart of the Lake District's magical scenery. Just on the opposite side of our lane is the start of the beautiful walk to Aira Force waterfalls. This wends its way through fairytale woodland then follows high above the shore of Ullswater with splendid lake views throughout. The falls themselves are stunning and we like to continue upstream from there to a quaint and welcoming pub - the Royal at Dockray. 

In 2016 the Ullswater Way was created, a spectacularly scenic 20 mile walking route going round the entire lake, and this goes literally past our garden. This is a fabulous walk that can be done in its entirety (for the fit) or can be done in sections, maybe shortening the trek with a trip on the Ullswater steamers. The nearest steamer terminal to us is in Pooley Bridge, just a 5 minute drive away and there is now also a pier at Aira Force servicing boats from Glenridding. Round the beautiful east side of the lake is Howtown just a 12 minutes drive from here. There is a steamer pier here too. We have loved discovering the fells in this remote area - climbing Beda Fell, Hallin Fell or Pikeawassa rewards one with special and magnificent lake and fell panoramas. 

As well as the fabulous walking and cycling that this area provides, there is also a wealth of opportunity for outdoor activity enthusiasts ranging from lake-based adventures to adrenaline-fuelled abseiling, canyoning and cliff jumping. The Distant Horizons centre, here in Watermillock, offers a large range of fun-filled activities suitable for families, groups, couples with all the necessary support and equipment. Nearby, Rookin House offers a different selection of exciting outdoor activities and team building challenges. There is also easy access to sailing, canoeing, horse riding, and so much more. We try to keep up to date information leaflets available on the huge range of options so you can choose what's best for you. And what could be better after a hard day’s activities than returning to a warm cosy house to relax and unwind in our comfortable sofas or, better still, have a spell in the massage chair?

We love to visit the quaint and delightful market town of Keswick, just 25 minutes away, for the outdoor shops, mini golf in the beautiful Hope Park or to see a play at the Theatre by the Lake. Derwent Water is stunning and can be explored on foot or by boat. Not much further on is Whinlatter Forest with its woodland walks, cycle trails and Go Ape facility. 

Watermillock is also ideally placed for foodie enthusiasts with a number of outstanding restaurants both in the village and not far away. For a very special occasion there is the famous Sharrow Bay Hotel, just the other side of Ullswater from us, which has a great reputation and a location second to none. The refurbished fromer Rampsbeck Hotel in Watermillock will be opening in August 2017 as an Another Place Hotel and sounds very promising. Also in Watermillock is the MacDonalds Hotel, Leeming House. Both of these are just a mile from GSH and in simply stunning, large lake front settings. Both are open to non-residents for dining. The Cottage in the Woods in Whinlatter is a little further afield but definitely worth the trip when you want something a little bit special. We also love the George and Dragon in Clifton and Bistro 1863 in Pooley Bridge, both serving delicious locally sourced seasonal fare. There are also several nearby pubs serving less formal great pub grub.

We want our guests to have the best possible holiday experience here at GSH. We try to keep the house as interesting, comfortable and low-maintenance as we can to take the stress out of being in an unfamiliar place and to enable you to get on with enjoying your holiday. We encourage and welcome feedback and constantly try to accommodate guest wishes. We have developed an extensive in-house information book based on our own experiences and those of our previous guests to help you get the most from your stay and we try our best to keep this up to date. We simply want you to love and enjoy the place as much as we do. 

Exploring the area near Grammar School House

Aira Force - Ullswater

The most famous of our waterfalls, its waters cascade over a 65ft drop. The route is a magical stroll through ancient woodland and landscaped glades. This is the perfect place for taking family walks, and having a picnic on route.

At the visitor centre and car park, there is a little cafe to refresh after your scramble. If you take a camera you will get some memorable shots, and I would love to see your results. 


A packed lunch, and around the foot of Ullswater for the best walk ever.

This is the one walk everybody should do. The track starts from the southern basin of Ullswater, going all the way to Howtown. Your journey takes you through the most splendid fell and moorland, with a view of the serpentine lake always there to keep you company.

Take a camera for some stunning shots of yourself in a cracking setting. If you make it to Howtown, you can catch a launch back to Glenridding, a splendid way to finish the day - if not you will have to return the way you came.

PS. Check the boat times.  


Place Fell - Above Ullswater

Place Fell overlooks the southern basin of Ullswater on the eastern shore, rising at the centre of the great circlet of mountains of Helvellyn, the Dodds and the High Street peaks. Not the tallest of fells, but the views from its summit are splendid, with Ullswater reaching away into the distance. Less arduous than Helvellyn, and arguable safer, it offers altitude for all of reasonable fitness. Take a packed lunch and a camera for some super snaps for the family album.


A Balloon Flight Over Cumbria

Imagine the romance and thrill to soar majestically skywards with a beautiful lake and mountain stretching away before and beneath you. This dream can now come true with Virgin Balloon Flights. Flights go from Newby Bridge at the foot of Windermere, also Rampsbeck Country House Hotel in Ullswater. Wrap up warm, even in summer and make sure toy camera batteries are well charged. 

I did a flight with Clare in Egypt many years ago, and the memory still stays with both of us. So chaps if you want to make a grand romantic gesture, this could be the one. Imagine proposing to your loved one a few thousand feet above the land of poets and artists and florishing a bunch of flowers - can't fail!

Exploring further afield of Grammar School House

Rydal Water

Rydal Water to Grasmere is one of our most beautiful walks, taking in two tarns, and fairly easy. Drive out through Ambleside, on towards Grasmere. Look for the signpost that says Loughrigg. Cross the little Pelter bridge and you will see a small car park.

Follow the track up the hill to the east shore of Rydal Water. One of the prettiest lakes, the path is easy to follow. We take the high path, which gives the best views and is where you will find the two caves. To extend the day, carry onto Grasmere, another delightful tarn. Take a picnic and spend some real time relaxing.


The Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine

The Via Ferrata - The Iron Way

For the brave and the seeker of thrills, then try Honister’s Via Ferrata, or Iron Way.

Set on the side of Honister Pass, high above the beautiful valley of Buttermere, this really is a unique, some would say scary, experience.

There are two different courses. The Classic course follows the ancient miner's cliff-edge footpath, high on Fleetwith Pike. The Xtreme is more of everything including the Burma Bridges; a wire bridge suspended 2,000 feet above the Valley floor and a 66foot vertical cargo net to finish off.

Not for the feint heated or those without a head for heights but a must for thrill junkies.

You are clipped to a cable so safety is ensured, but in no way detracts from the thrill.


There then are a few ideas for you to try. To get the most from you visit, do have a look at our Lakeland Guide Pages, the links to the many attractions, and of course explore the wider Internet for more wonderful areas and things to.