Ullswater at 7.5 miles in length, 0.75 miles in width and 205ft in depth is the second largest of Cumbrias lakes. It twists and turns amongst craggy mountains-from the volcanic rocks of Helvellyn to Skiddaw's slate-covered slopes, all watched over by Place Fell at the lake's head. Wordsworth called it a “magnificent view”.
Although edged on one side by the highway, its other less accessible and more remote shore is rimmed by a narrow, dead-end road. This area was another favourite haunt of Wordsworth. He considered settling here and went as far as buying property in the area.
19th century steamers (now diesel) ply Ullswater in summer, cruising from Pooley Bridge to Glenridding. A circular walk encompassing Goosebarrow Park and Patterdale is rewarded, in the springtime, with the scene that Wordsworth wrote about in his famous Ode to the Daffodils in 1802:
“...A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze...”
William Gilpin wrote, in 1772, in The Ullswater Echoes, of the lakes surrounded by rocks and mountains as being instruments of sound, each with its own special note.
A rare species of fish, the schelly, is found here. Boats can be rented for lake cruising. On the more remote side of the lake is Martindale with its 1633 chapel.
Ullswater is located on the A592 north of the Kirkstone Pass. To reach the far side, turn off to Pooley Bridge on the B5320 and thence onto a minor road that deadends at Sandwick.
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