Winter Flooding in Ullswater
Ullswater was severely affected by the winter floods that started with Storm Desmond in December 2015. Whilst lucky compared to many others, Sharrow Bay was affected after relentless rain topped by a record breaking 24 hour downpour, caused the lake level to rise over 7 feet higher than normal. Luckily the hotel is built on a raise, but the only road down the east side of the lake was cut off either side of us by the floodwater. The combination of high water and storm force winds literally tore out over 100m of our lakeshore, destroying the original old boathouse and exposing services and utilities. The lake is now a bit bigger than it was in November. Once guests were able to leave the hotel two days later, we closed for repair work and reopened a week later, ready to welcome guests for the Christmas holidays. The storms continued over winter, and local bridges were lost, but despite the challenges, (and the joys of road diversions), the Ullswater community united to ensure as speedy recovery as possible. Businesses have remained open and welcoming guests. We will have our local bridge replacements open by Easter, and life returns to normal. We are grateful to all our guests who honoured their reservations, and continued to visit undeterred. The support shown by people from across the country who came to help and pledged fundraising support has been truly heartwarming. Ironically, or perhaps appropriately, we should remember the origin of tourism in the Lake District lay in its awe inspiring natural majesty and the untrammelled forces of nature - that is the landscape we have preserved and continue to appreciate.