ULLSWATER, LAKE DISTRICT
Ullswater is the second largest lake in England and is regarded as the most beautiful of the larger lakes, with a stunning mountain backdrop to the south and softer hills framing the northern shores. You’ll also discover bays and beaches if you explore more closely, so a spin on the lake is a must! For those inspired by Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books, this is a fantastic opportunity to actually sail. Visit the Glenridding Sailing Centre and whatever your level, they’ll look after you, with dinghies, canoes, kayaks and even traditional boats on offer.
If you prefer a slightly more relaxed point of view with time to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery around you, Ullswater Steamers run regular services from Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, Howtown and Aira Force – all an easy drive from the hotel. The company has five heritage steamers in regular service, including the motor yacht, Lady of the Lake, launched in 1877 and thought to be the oldest passenger vessel in the UK.
You’ll undoubtedly be taking in one or more of the wonderful trails, hikes or climbs that the area is so famous for – but there are several villages around Ullswater that are worth discovering as you go.
A popular starting point for walkers and climbers going up Helvellyn, but you can also hire rowing boats and bicycles in the summer from St Patricks Boat Landing and get tuition or hire canoes and kayaks from the Sailing Centre in the village.
A welcome refuelling spot for hikers coming down from the fells whilst picturesque Pooley Bridge provides a handy pit-stop on the northeast edge of the lake. From here, it’s a short drive to the wonderful Dalemain House, which has been the family home of the Hasells since 1679. It’s full of character and most recently, put itself centre stage in the marmalade world when Jane Hasell-McCosh initiated the World Marmalade Awards. The annual event now attracts interest and entries from all over the world. Discovering more about marmalade, however, is just one of many reasons to visit!
The Ullswater Steamer stop at Howtown is the halfway point across the lake and if you fancy stretching your legs, the walk from Howtown back to Glenridding has been described as the most beautiful of the lake walks. If you’ve a head for heights, Kirkstone Pass is the Lake District's highest pass, running between Windermere and Ullswater. It is named after "Kirkstone", a large boulder at top, which is where you’ll also find the Kirkstone Pass Inn – England’s third highest pub. It is quite acceptable to drive up!