The lake itself is perfect for sailing and canoeing with boat hire available in several places including Glenridding and Pooley Bridge whilst the wonderful steam boats ply the lake from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge and then on to Howtown where you can disembark and enjoy the walk back to Glenridding on the eastern lake shore.
The villages in the valley all offer their own individual charm. Hartsop lies at the foot of the Kirkstone Pass and nestles in the hills at the foot of the paths to Hayeswater and High Street. The Brotherswater Hotel offers bar meals and there is a little store at the camp site where you can shop for basics in season. Patterdale village has its own well stocked village shop/post office and a popular village pub, whilst Glenridding is the biggest settlement in the valley with several hotels, varied shops, tea shops, general store and garage. This is the place to come for the start of the walks up Helvellyn including the dramatic Striding Edge.
Tiny little Dockray with its well-known pub is off to the west of the lake and just a few minutes' drive to the lake shore. Pooley Bridge is a charming little village right at the north end of the lake with its own steamer pier, pretty village square and various gift shops, cafés and pubs as well as a monthly farmers' market. And last but not least is Dacre set to the north of the lake and handy for the fantastic visitor centre at Rheged, as well as the most interesting Dalemain Country House which is open to the public.
The Ullswater Valley is best placed for access from the M6 at junction 40 and you can visit all areas of The Lakes. There are fine days to be had out if you want to use the car...take the Kirkstone Pass over to the Ambleside and Windermere area, maybe stopping at the summit to take in the fine views. You could also enjoy the country road over the top through Dockray heading towards Keswick and the western lakes. The Ullswater Valley makes a fine base from which to explore all the Lake District National Park although you may just wish to stay locally and enjoy the magnificent lake and its immediate surroundings.
All our cottage holidays in the Ullswater area include free Leisure Club membership (details given with each cottage) so, even on wet days you can be assured of plenty to do.