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A guide to activities around Ullswater the Lake District.

Activities in Ullswater
Clockwise from top left: (1) Mountain biking, (2) Guided walks with WALX Helvellyn Ullswater, (3) Boat ride with Ullswater Steamers, (4) Ullswater Way.


If you are not familiar with the Lake District, please bear in mind that the weather can change very quickly, particularly at height, and the temperature on the summits can be cold even when it is t-shirt weather at the lakeside. The Lake District National Park publishes advice for walkers and it is always worth checking the weather forecast
before heading out for the day.

Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is a marked footpath that circumnavigates the lake, and conveniently passes just outside the cottage. It is possible to do the entire 20 mile circuit in a day if you are feeling particularly energetic, or you can divide it into more manageable sections, perhaps using the Ullswater Steamer to reach your starting point. The Friends of Ullswater Way‘s website includes downloadable maps of the route, information about the heritage trail along the way, and an interesting blog.

Aira Force

It is possible to reach Aira Force from your cottage on a very pretty 8.5 mile circular walk that uses the Ullswater Way. The woods and waterfalls are worth a visit in their own right and the walk adds stunning views of Ullswater as well as very varied scenery and terrain.

The Wainwrights

The Wainwright Guides to the Lakeland Fells remain the best, most comprehensive (and dryly entertaining) guide to walks in the Lakes. This unofficial Wainwright Routes website has some useful photographs and information.

Guided Walks & Events

The Lake District National Park website includes many suggestions for walking in the Lake District, including information on both guided walks and map and compass courses.

Activities & Events

Ullswater Association is dedicated to the Ullswater valley, with information on activities and events and links to relevant websites.

Rookin House has a variety of activities for adults, children and groups, including horse-riding, quad biking, human bowling and clay pigeon shooting


Lake District National Park and the GoLakes have information on water based activities and where to hire boats, canoes and kayaks.


Arragons Cycle Hire

Arragons in Penrith hire out bicycles, including ebikes and mountain bikes, from several locations in the area.  They are also able to bring them to your accommodation for a fixed delivery and collection charge of £30.00 (plus the hire fee).  The bicycles are bookable through Arragon’s website above for a day or longer.

Lake District National Park Cycling Guide

The Lake District is a fantastic place for cycling, find out more about cycling in the Lake District here, including hire, events and routes.

GoLakes Cycling Guide

Information about on-and off-road cycling, including routes and bike hire.


If you are interested in climbing, there are a number of providers who can help with routes and instruction, see GoLakes climbing guide.

If you have a particular goal in mind, ISM offers bespoke rock climbing courses in the Lake District based on skills needed for alpine mountaineering.


Runners will find well-attended weekly Parkruns at Penrith and Keswick. From the cottage there is a circular route using the country lanes that is conveniently about 5km in length (but it is not flat).

What’s On

Penrith Farmers’ Markets

A handy list of Farmers’ markets to buy quality local produce.

Local Events

Check out the following websites for local events and places to visit.

Wet Weather

The Rheged Centre is a great nearby venue for bad weather with an Imax cinema, art galleries, exhibitions on various subjects form time to time, shops and restaurants. Located at the roundabout where the A592 to Ullswater leaves the A66.

The Attractions sections in the websites above offer a range of indoor attractions including properties, museums, art galleries, and child-friendly activities, such as The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction and Wray Castle.

Further Afield

The Eden District

Includes Ullswater but extends eastwards into the Eden valley and the North Pennines

Hadrian’s Wall

Some of its forts are within an hour from the cottage by car. One of the most interesting, which has a good museum and frequent active archaeological digs, is Vindolanda (50 miles away).

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