Lake Cruises on England’s most beautiful Lake...
Things to do

with Ullswater 'Steamers'



Ullswater Valley is a spectacular place to visit whatever the season so, to help you plan your adventure with us, we have devised a small sample of things to do along the length of Ullswater connected with our ‘Steamer' cruises.  Our cruises connect to some of the most famous and spectacular walking routes in Lake District National Park. For more detailed information and walking guides, click here . For information on the Ullswater Way, the round the lake 20 mile footpath, waymarked with the famous daffodil symbols, please click here.  Do the Ullswater Way, your Way ! 

Ideas for your Day Out


Perfect Days out in and around Glenridding

Walk to or from Howtown

Combine a cruise with one of the most famous and spectacular scenic walks in the Lake District, the Howtown to Glenridding walk. This low-level walk is 7 miles/11km from Howtown Pier to Glenridding Pier House and takes approximately 3 to 4 hours.

Visit Lanty's Tarn

This moderately easy walk, affording stunning views of the Ullswater Valley and Keldas, is an ideal spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon away from the hustle and bustle. Don't forget your camera you may spot a red squirrel!

Afternoon Tea

Glenridding has many excellent cafés and hotels – why not enjoy a traditional Cumbrian Cream Tea and fantastic lake views from the terrace of the Inn on the Lake. Alternatively, browse in the Glenridding Hotel's library dedicated to Donald Campbell or try out the cyber café located in Kilners Coffee House.

Steps of the Famous

From the village of Patterdale retrace the steps of Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott who stayed at the Patterdale Hotel before their ascent of Helvellyn – at 3117ft it is England's third highest mountain.

Larking About by the Lake

Jenkins' Field, just next to our Glenridding Pier House, is the perfect place for enjoying the sunshine, a picnic or a spot of bird watching. The original slipway used by Donald Campbell is marked by a memorial plaque adjacent to the Pier House. In the autumn one of the last remaining herds of wild Red Deer can be seen grazing on the slopes of Place Fell on the opposite shore.

Skipper Your Own Vessel

A short stroll through Jenkins' Field will bring you to St Patrick's Boat Landing for Motor/Rowing Boat or Mountain Bike hire. On your voyage investigate Purse Point, Devils' Chimney or Stybarrow Crag where Wordsworth, as a schoolboy stole a boat and rowed out into Ullswater, only to be driven back by the appearance of a huge cliff believed to have been either Place Fell or Black Crag.

Cycling Routes

Try out some of the great cycle routes with the Eden Cycling Guide. Both Pier Houses have cycle racks so you can leave your bike behind and link cruises with other walking routes or follow the guide and ride all the way. Bike Hire at St Patricks Boat Hire just next door to the Pier House. Coming soon electric charge point for electric bikes with a discounted travel voucher thrown in too.

Walk the Ullswater Way

This is the circular 20 mile route around Ullswater.  Don't feel you have to walk all 20 miles in one go though! It is easy to walk sections of the route and use the 'Steamers' or the Stagecoach bus to get you back to you start point. From Glenridding you could walk to Howtown or to Aira Force.  Download our free app and find out more about the heritage around the valley, supported by Friends of the Ullswater Way

Perfect Days Out from Howtown

Enjoy the view!

Howtown is the perfect location for both long and short walks. Stroll along the lakeshore from the pier and find a perfect spot to enjoy a lazy lakeside picnic, soaking up the sun while the kids fish for tiddlers or feed the ducks. Keep an eye out for Ravens, Peregrine Falcons and Buzzards. It is advisable to refer to Ordnance Survey (OL5) map when exploring the valley.

Walk Around Hallin Fell

This is a very rewarding short walk taking approximately one and a half to two hours, well worth the climb for the splendid views of the lake and fells from the summit. Did you know that during a volcanic upheaval approximately 450 million years ago, faults in the rock allowed movement; Howtown is located on such a fault which gives Ullswater its characteristic kink.

Visit the Howtown Hotel

Only 200 yards from the Steamer Pier, Howtown Hotel is a landmark Lakeland Hotel, and the perfect place from which to experience the unique surroundings of Ullswater, whilst quenching your thirst in our Hikers Bar or enjoying a selection of teas, coffees and light refreshments from our newly opened Tearoom.

Explore Martindale and Fusedale

One of Lakeland's least visited yet most stunning valleys, Martindale is a real hidden gem. Follow the road through Martindale Common to Dale Head then along to Bannerdale. This is one of the oldest Red Deer forests in England and is a good place to watch the stags during the Autumn rutt.

Visit the Churches

Wander up the hill from the pier to visit two of the areas loveliest churches. St Peter's Church set within the parish of Martindale has a memorial window dedicated to the officers and men lost when aircraft carrier HMS Glorious was destroyed off the coast of Norway in 1940.

If you continue beyond St Peter's you will come across the thirteenth century church St Martin's. A place described by Wordsworth as "the chapel, with its bare ring of mossy wall" and "single yew tree". The Yew Tree in question is believed to be in the region of 1,300 years old.

Visit the Lowther Barn Tea room at Beckside Farm

Halfway from Howtown to Glenridding, the Lowther Barn offers an ideal location to stop and rest for lunch or afternoon tea and soak in the fantastic views of the lake and surrounding Martindale.  Look out for the deer grazing in the fields and woodland.

Perfect Days out in and around Pooley Bridge

Walk to Dalemain

Walk via the bridleway to Dalemain, starting out from the footpath signposted by the bridge, taking you along the riverside. Dalemain is a stunning historic house with magnificent gardens and a medieval tearoom. Take advantage of our later sailings by spending a leisurely afternoon in the gardens then wander back to Pooley Bridge Pier House to catch the last sailing to Glenridding.

Shopping for Souvenirs and Farmers Market

Looking for a memento of your time in the Ullswater Valley? Our own ‘Ullswater Steamers' Shop and Information Centre carries comprehensive information about the area and the Lake District in general as well as a wide range of gifts. On the last Sunday of every month from April to September, Pooley Bridge hosts a traditional farmers market. The market is a great ‘foodie' day out and a chance to meet the producers of local food, drink and crafts.

Walk the Ullswater Way

From Pooley Bridge you are ideally placed to walk a section of the Ullswater Way. This is the circular 20 mile route around Ullswater.  Don't feel you have to walk all 20 miles in one go though! It is easy to walk sections of the route and use the 'Steamers' or the Stagecoach bus to get you back to you start point. From Pooley Bridge you could walk to Howtown or to Aira Force. 

Perfect Days out in and around Aira Force

Visit the Waterfall

A visit to the Ullswater valley wouldn't be complete without seeing Aira Force waterfall. The tumbling waterfall of Aira Force drops and impressive 65ft and can be reached by an enchanting stroll through ancient woodland and landscaped glades. You can experience the falls from high up and down below form the ornate stone bridges.

Look for the famous Daffodils

Glencoyne wood was the pace where William and Dorothy Wordsworth saw daffodils by the lakeshore in 1802. The encounter is described in detail in a celebrated entry in Dorothy's Grasmere journal and inspiored William Wordsworth to write his most famous poem, "The Daffodils".

Walks for everyone

Aira is the starting point for a range of walks and is an integral part of the Ullswater Way. You can walk the family friendly path to Glenridding, or up onto Gowbarrow, follow the Glencoyne Farm path or walk to Pooley Bridge on the Ullswater Way.


By the lakeshore or in the glade at Aira Force. Pack a picnic rug and your favourite snacks and go. You could even have a paddle in the lake.

Become a Squirrel detective

Learn all about Red Squirrel's with Cyril's Red Squirrel Ramble. Follow the map and Cyril's clues and crack the code to become a squirrel detective. Available to buy at the National Trust shop in the car park at Aira Force.

Relax in the tearoom

Stop, rest and admire the view from the National Trust tearoom. With tasty treats to restore your energy levels.  All proceeds go towards National Trust projects in the area.