Ullswater is the second largest of the English Lakes after Windermere but regarded more populously as the most beautiful, I tend to agree.
You can get around three quarters of the lake by car but it is that one quarter that is roadless and full of nature that is a true wonder to walk. From Howtown, situated halfway up the lake, back to Glenridding.
The variety of it will be one thing that sticks in the memory. Views upon views, away from hustle and bustle.
To get to the start, as I said there are no roads on that part, you can jump aboard one of the Ullswater Steamers at Glenridding, safely knowing you shall be walking back to your car. This way you can park in Glenridding safely at any of the car parks available. There is one by the steamers dock itself.
In the summer they run every 45 minutes up and down the Lake to Pooley Bridge and back, stopping off half way along at Howton, the place I needed to be.
The boats are not expensive at all. It was just £6.20 single today. Sit back relax and enjoy the scenery around too from the middle of the water en route.
Starting The Walk at Howtown
Back on land at Howtown and the smells of nature hit you. If you have only seen Ullswater from the road sides then I advise you gander over to the East side and enjoy.
The path back to Glenridding and Patterdale follows nature and the majority of it is close to the lake shoreline. The walk is about 7 miles in total so it is perfect for a day out. Undulating and rocky underfoot in parts but no real big climbs to worry about.
I have seen many guides say it takes about 3 hours, well, yes if not enjoying the gorgeous surroundings or pausing for a picnic in one of the many vantage viewpoints. Allow time to enjoy, a walk not to be rushed.
As I mentioned earlier the variety is enormous. One minute you will be walking through lovely woodland and suddenly it will open up and a panorama up and down Ullswater will lay before you.
The mountain ranges rise up in all directions and ahead of you as you wander the peaks of the Helvellyn Range heightens the backdrop. The path occasionally meanders directly along the shoreline, the only sound is the lapping of the water on the small stone bay beaches.
The path has points where you climb up above and overlooking too, perfect spots to sit and watch the world go by.
I wandered lonely as a cloudWilliam Wordsworth
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
All in all it is one of those walks you never forget nor never say you wouldn’t do again. It is a beauty in every sense and I have returned before and shall return again, never a doubt.