The Ullswater Way from Gowbarrow, looking towards Glenridding.
The Ullswater Way looking towards Sharrow Bay

The Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is a 20 mile, all around Ullswater walk that opened on the 25th of April 2016. For the first time you can encircle Ullswater and its dramatic winding valley, picking up the route at any point you wish, and walking in clear stages or all in one go - clockwise or anti-clockwise is up to you, but for the best views along the valley we would say clockwise provides the best angles and panoramas.

Hailed as the most beautiful of all the lakes with its own microclimate, (it is most reliably one of the smoothest and most reflective, particularly at dawn and dusk), make the most of its cultural heritage and bring a camera or sketchbook – you will be inspired as the views unfurl around each bend in the path. The Eastern side of Ullswater is of course our favourite, with abundant wildlife on the fells above us if you choose to do the higher route, (directly accessible from Sharrow Bay). England’s oldest and largest herd of wild Red Deer roam the valley heads, and native Fell Ponies favour Barton Fell and the start of the old Roman Road, High Street - near The Cockpit, an ancient stone circle.

It may be easily accessible physically, but what is most amazing is how quickly you enter another world up there, where the land tangibly belongs to animals more than people and the distant past has a strong presence. We always forget the Pennines - if you take the route option to the top of Barton Fell above Pooley Bridge, (which we highly recommend), you have a 360° panorama of the central and north lakes, to Scotland, and across the Eden Valley to the sheer wall of the Pennines. It may be tempting to take the lower option for its stretch of lakeshore, but the views are unbeatable with the higher option. The result of careful planning and generous cooperation between the National Trust, Lake District National Park Authority, and the Ullswater Steamers, we’re happy to declare The Ullswater Way well and truly open, and invite you to experience it for yourself!

A PDF map of the route can be downloaded from

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