lake district attractions

Ullswater

Ullswater

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the English Lake District, being approximately 9 miles (14.5 kilometres) long and 0.75 miles (1200 metres) wide with an average depth of around 200 feet (60 metres).

Ullswater as the most beautiful of the English lakes

Many people regard Ullswater as the most beautiful of the English lakes. It has been compared to the superb Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. It is a typical Lake District narrow "ribbon lake" formed after the last ice age when a glacier scooped out the valley floor, the deepened section filled with melt water when the glacier retreated, and it became a lake. The surrounding mountains give Ullswater the shape of an elongated "Z" giving it three separate segments (or "reaches") which wend their way through the surrounding hills.

Ulswater comes from the name of the Nordic chief Ulf

The origin of the name "Ullswater" is uncertain. Some say it comes from the name of the Nordic chief Ulf who ruled over the area; however, there was a Saxon Lord of Greystoke called Ulphus whose land came down to the lake shore. The lake may have been named Ulf's Water in honour of either of these. Alternatively, it may be named after the Norse god Ullr, also known as Ull.

Glenridding is popular with mountain walkers

The village of Glenridding is situated at the southern end of the lake, popular with tourists of all kinds but especially mountain walkers who can scale England's third highest mountain, Helvellyn, and many other challenging peaks from here. The village has ample accommodation including two Youth Hostels and camp sites. The village of Pooley Bridge is at the northern extremity of the lake. Its narrow 16th-century bridge straddling the River Eamont as it flows out of Ullswater, it is overlooked by Dunmallard Hill which was the site of an Iron Age fort. For much of its length Ullswater forms the border between the traditional counties of Cumberland and Westmorland.

One of the attractions of Ullswater is the lake steamers

One of the attractions of Ullswater is the lake steamers which offer tourist trips around the lake calling at Pooley Bridge and Glenridding, and also at Howtown during the summer. The steamers were originally working boats which from the 1850s moved mail, workers and goods to and from the Greenside lead mine at Glenridding which closed in 1962. Today there are three steamers plying the waters of Ullswater, "Raven", "Lady of the Lake", and "Lady Dorothy". People may catch the steamer from Glenridding to Howtown during the summer and then return on foot back along the lakeshore to complete one of the most popular and scenic low level walks in the Lake District.

Ullswater is very popular as a sailing location

Ullswater is very popular as a sailing location with sailing marinas situated around the lake. At weekends especially the lake is dotted with many yachts but there are facilities also for diving, rowing and motorboats. Another of Ullswater's attractions is the spectacular waterfall of Aira Force midway along the lake on the western side. (Ullswater lies partly within the National Trust's Ullswater and Aira Force property.) Close to the falls is Lyulph's Tower, a pele tower or castellated building, built by a former Duke of Norfolk as a shooting box.

World water speed record on Ullswater

Sir Donald Campbell set the world water speed record on Ullswater on July 23, 1955, when he piloted the jet-propelled hydroplane "Bluebird K7" to a speed of 202.32 mph (325.53 km/h).

Pooley Bridge is where anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson lived

Just south of Pooley Bridge on the lake's eastern shore is Eusemere, where anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson (1760–1846) lived; the house gives one of the best views of the lower reach of Ullswater. William and Dorothy Wordsworth were friends of Clarkson and visited on many occasions. After visiting Clarkson in April 1802 Wordsworth was inspired to write the poem "Daffodils" after seeing daffodils growing on the shores of Ullswater on his journey back to Grasmere. Wordsworth once wrote of Ullswater: "it is the happiest combination of beauty and grandeur, which any of the lakes affords"[citation needed].

Ullswater is also the home to Ullswater Yacht Club

Ullswater is also the home to Ullswater Yacht Club, and the prestigious Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy, which is held annually on the first weekend in July. This regularly attracts upwards of 200 sailing boats and comprises 2 races, both of which cover the full length of the lake.

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