Ullswater – Walking Beside This Most Beautiful Lake

A lakeside walk of Ullswater, welcome to one of my favourites. The sun came out, I awoke with an itch to hike so out the door it was and over to Glenridding to start a revisit to a beautiful walk.

path beside Ullswater

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.

Mountains, fields, woods, open pastures, water and history.

Ullswater – Walking Beside This Most Beautiful Lake 1

The variety of it will be one thing that sticks in the memory. Views upon views, away from hustle and bustle.

Ullswater teamer on the lake

Ullswater Steamer

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.

Ullswater flowers
Ullswater footpath sign to Patterdale

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.

I love this part of Ullswater. From Here at Howtown you could take a small detour up Hallin Fell, or the wonderful Old St Martin’s Church.

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.

view over Ullswater

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.

rocky path

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.

Ullswater view across

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.

view to Helvellyn range

Wordsworth’s Daffodils

It is on this side of Ullswater too that William Wordsworth is said to have encountered the daffodils he could not resist writing his famous poem about.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
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.

William Wordsworth
Ullswater boating

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.

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  1. Great blog Paul. With fantastic pictures. Enjoyed the read. Thanks

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      thank you very much Walt

  2. Thanks for this! Wonderful. Is it, then, possible to walk the entire way round the lake on a mixture of roads and footpaths? How far is it?

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      you are talking over 20 miles all around yes. Lots of road would be involved

  3. What great pictures, so clear and crisp! I loved this walk, it was stunning for the duration, even on an overcast day.

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      thank you.. yes a firm favourite

  4. Avatar of Pete Hilton Pete Hilton says:

    One of the most stunning places in the world. The walk from Howtown back to Patterdale is one of my most favourite. All the guide books suggest starting in Patterdale and walking to Howtown and getting the steamer back. In my opinion it’s much better to take the steamer to Howtown an then walk back to Patterdale. The pictures are great

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      Yes I am totally with you on direction 🙂 Thanks very much

  5. Avatar of Vera Amahorseya Vera Amahorseya says:

    Beautiful scenery, peaceful and fresh flowers charm the eye.

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      thanks so very much

  6. Avatar of John McPartland John McPartland says:

    A beautiful set of photographs. Paul captures the real beauty of Ullswater and the views bring back so many memories of many walks over many years. A great photographer.

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      Hi John.. Many many thanks. Yes, I love returning there many times. I am sure you do to 🙂

  7. Fantastic pictures. There is still some beautiful places in Britain

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      thank you very much

  8. Avatar of Rachel Cohen Rachel Cohen says:

    Beautiful images and post Paul!!!

    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      Thanks Rachel 🙂 hi

  9. Avatar of Rajani Arya Rajani Arya says:


    1. Avatar of Paul Steele Paul Steele says:

      Thanks very much

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