with Ullswater 'Steamers'
Leave the car behind and travel to the Ullswater valley by train. There are great connections from Penrith station to Pooley Bridge where you can pick up a boat or bus. First TransPennine Express and/or Virgin Trains, run direct train services to Penrith from London Euston, Birmingham, Manchester and Manchester Airport, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme, Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Other services run trains from Newcastle to Penrith via Carlisle.
There are excellent Stagecoach bus links between Penrith, Pooley Bridge and Glenridding all year too! Great savings when you purchase a Stagecoach Bus & Boat Ticket. To plan your visit click here or download the Stagecoach App here.
It is now even more economical and environmentally friendly to visit Ullswater Steamers especially if you have an electric vehicle. At Glenridding Pier House we have a two free to use electric car charging points, so you can enjoy your day out with us, safe in the knowledge that you are saving your pennies and helping to save the planet too!
Since 1995 we have worked with local conservation charity, Lake District Foundation to raise awareness and monies for a series of local conservation projects in the Lake District National Park. Every passenger fare carried between our piers of Howtown and Glenridding generates a 10p donation for conservation work in the area. To date, we have raised over £40,000 towards such projects. Currently our key objectives are the improvement and repair of the Ullswater Way footpaths. You can also get involved in some of the Lake District Foundation's projects and make a donation too. Help us to help them.
There are miles of bridleways linked to our ‘Steamer’ routes that cater for all abilities. From the might of the Helvellyn Mountain range at the Southern Reach and one of Wainwright’s most famous walks, Striding Edge, to the remote valley of Martindale which offers access to an expanse of seldom-walked fells. The most spectacular and famous walking routes in the Lake District can be found in our valley, including the seven mile lakeshore walk between Howtown and Glenridding, Hallin Fell affording spectacular views over ‘Ullswater, or the family friendly footpath between National Trust Aira Force and Glenridding. The waymarked Ullswater Way is a 20 mile round the lake footpath that links all four piers. A great opportunity to take in all the sights that Ullswater has to offer over a course of a few days.
The Ullswater valley is home to some of the UK’s most endangered and rare species. In the air look out for the fastest bird on the planet; the Peregrine Falcon, the iconic honk of the Raven or resting Holly Blue Butterflies in Martindale. High in the trees hides the very shy Red Squirrel, isolated to a few strongholds in England but found here in good numbers. These shy creatures are protected and we raise awareness and monies to help protect their habitat through our school programme in conjunction with the National Trust at Aira Force and the Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group. High on the fells, listen for the roar in the Autumn as the Red Deer stags battle it out to secure their family line. And finally on the water, look out for native and migratory visitors such as Red Breasted Mergansers, Greylag Geese, Herons and little Wagtails.
Environmental issues such as our consumption of fossil fuels and air emissions are central to the activities of Ullswater ‘Steamers’ and the implementation of our Environmental Management Survey (EMS) procedure has assisted us in our aim to manage our activities with a view to reducing our impact on the environment and reduce our waste streams. We also want to highlight some of the key issues especially the damage that phosphates can cause to watercourses hence we are a supporter of The Lake District Foundation. Every year we calculate our carbon emissions and offset our office consumables annually.
We raised over £200 for Lake District Foundation Tap To Donate scheme
We continue to operate the staff minibus scheme, carbon footprint reduction from 27180 kgs CO2 to 1445 kgs CO2 p.a. - based on an average of six members of staff per day. This transport is a high tech low emissions engine vehicle.
Our leaflet printers HH Reeds are enrolled in the Carbon Capture scheme
We raise the profile of car free holidays into and around the valley including the Ullswater Way Dalemain & Lowther Loops
We removed all single-use plastic from catering such as biodegradable coffee cups and water fountains to refill your bottles
We no longer stock 500ml PET plastic bottles for Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta or Sprite we now solely stock cans.
Aira Force pier in the Lilac and Red main timetables reducing the carbon footprint to/from Glenridding Pier
We completed 500k Pier project to increase and sustain our transport connections throughout the year
We support local charity and community projects in kind and financial support by donation of fundraising charters
Our office and consumables emissions are carbon neutral because we planted 30 trees in the North West this year and offset 25 tonnes of carbon
We continue to monitor and reduce our energy and water consumption with carbon reporting methodology
We will engage with public conferences to relay our sustainable best practices to others
We consult with stakeholders, planners, EA and Natural England to ensure any new developments enhance the local infrastructure and economic community
You won’t get a plastic bag from us, we only use biodegradable if you ask us (for a small fee)
Your donations help restore and improve footpaths in the Ullswater valley every year. To date we have raised over £40,000 for the Lake District Foundation
We support three local charities with a private charter event every year and local events and community village shows
Our core values include sustainability at the heart of everything we do
Get an extra 25p off a hot drink when you bring a refill mug
Great savings when you visit by Stagecoach and National Rail
We support local suppliers and have a green procurement policy in place, Our sandwiches travel to our Piers by boat every morning
Our catering suppliers sign a catering code of conduct and sign up to our sustainable procurement policy
Our retail products are going through an overhaul – coming soon recycled plush Red Squirrels!
We currently hold the Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold accreditation and Gold Green at Heart for best environmental practice and have won numerous awards for sustainable practices over the years. We have been recognised internationally for previous World Tourism Responsible Tourism Awards in the sea and river cruise category. These major accolades reflect the company's commitment to sustainable practices, which are at the heart of our tourism strategy. View our environmental policy and procurement policies here.