Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District, being approximately 9 miles (14.5 kilometres) long and nearly a mile wide (1,200 metres) with a depth of more than 60 metres (197 ft.).
Ullswater is a typical Lake District narrow “ribbon lake” formed after the last ice age when a glacier scooped out the valley floor, the deepened section filled with melt water when the glacier retreated, and it became a lake. The surrounding mountains give Ullswater the shape of an elongated “Z” giving it three separate segments (or “reaches”) that wind their way through the surrounding mountains and fells.
The village of Glenridding, situated at the southern end of the lake, is popular with tourists but especially so with mountain walkers who can scale England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn, and many other challenging peaks. This part of Ullswater is surrounded by spectacular high mountains, waterfalls and breathtaking scenery.
The Village of Pooley Bridge lies at the northern end of the lake where the landscape is more genteel. Its narrow 16th-century bridge straddles the River Eamont as it flows out of Ullswater and is overlooked by Dunmallard Hill which was the site of an Iron Age fort.
The road from Pooley Bridge takes you south through the beautiful Lowther Valley and in less than 20 minutes’ drive you arrive at our gorgeous 5 star Lake District cottage – Rose Farm in the picturesque little hamlet of Rosgill.
Ullswater’s attractions include the Ullswater ‘Steamers’ which offer trips around the lake calling at Pooley Bridge, Glenridding, and Howtown. The ‘Steamers’ operate all year round.
You can catch the ‘Steamer’ from Glenridding at the southern end of the lake to Howtown which is about half way up the lake on the eastern shore. This then offers you a fantastic 2½ hour walk back to Glenridding along the lakeshore. This is one of the most stunning scenic low level walks in the Lake District. Virtually the entire walk is on good footpaths that are a long way from any roads. You can stop off at various bays on the shore of the lake for a picnic or to just relax and lap up the peace and quiet with a backdrop of spectacular scenery and mountain views.
Ullswater is very popular as a sailing location with sailing marinas situated around the lake. The lake has a speed limit that deters noisy motor boats and the lake is dotted with several sailing yachts, especially at weekends.
Dotted around the lake are several facilities for diving and hiring rowing boats and small motorboats.
Another of Ullswater’s attractions is the spectacular waterfalls of Aira Force midway along the lake on the western side.
Ullswater and the Lowther Valley are truly wonderful places.