If your heart and hiking boots yearn for trails and landscapes that have inspired poets, artists and writers for generations, the Ullswater Way is utter-perfection. One of the Lake District’s newest and most spectacular trails, this 20-mile (32 km) route loops the famously-beautiful Ullswater. Surrounded by the dramatic mountains of the Eastern Fells, the lake is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
The trail was born through adversity. In December 2015, Storm Desmond devastated the people of Ullswater. Flood waters swept away bridges, ruined homes and destroyed businesses. However, as the local community bounced back from this turmoil, they lovingly crafted the Ullswater Way to help get this wonderful region back on its feet and hikers back into the hills.
So grab your boots, backpack and explore the tranquil hamlet of Howtown, nestled in a secretive bay; the historic villages of Patterdale, Glenridding and Pooley Bridge; the thundering waterfall of Aira Force and the Wainwright summit of Gowbarrow Fell. We’ve also included a short hike to the summit of Hallin Fell, an easy mountain-in-miniature that rewards your efforts with astonishing views.
It’s a walk that is fantastic at any time of year. Spring sees Wordsworth’s famous daffodils and other wildflowers bloom, as the fells shake off their winter coats and come out of hibernation. Long summer days are glorious, with sunshine shimmering on the lake and a carnival atmosphere in the villages. Autumn is magnificent, when the woodlands turn golden and red, whilst soft light drifts across the hillsides. Winter is when the hills transform into mountains — spectacular displays of rock, ice and snow.
Regardless of the season, you need durable footwear that is comfortable on the rough Lakeland trails. This is where our KEEN.Bellows Flex technology comes in. Conventional walking boots consume energy at various flex points as you walk. Our accordion-like bellows remove this consumption, maximising your energy efficiency and enabling you to hike happier for longer. They’re simply the most energy efficient boots out there and perfect for hitting these Lakeland trails.
We may be able to make you more energy efficient, but we can’t control the weather. Waterproofs and warm layers are essential. This part of Cumbria sees way above average amounts of rainfall compared to the rest of the country. Handily for you, our boots come with a waterproof and breathable membrane as standard.
The route is clearly waymarked (look out for Wordsworth’s daffodil) and you are never too far from the next village. Linking stages is easy, as each one ends at a pier for the Ullswater Steamers, the lake’s charming passenger boat service, with piers at Glenridding, Aira Force, Pooley Bridge or Howtown. This all adds up to a trek that is suitable for everyone, from Lakeland newbies to seasoned mountain goats.
In this Collection, we’ve split the route into four stages, each around 6 to 7 miles (9.8 to 11.3 km) in length. We begin and end at Pooley Bridge, which is the easiest village to access by public transport, and travel in a clockwise direction around the lake. The ascent of Hallin Fell, coupled with the way we take both route options on Gowbarrow Fell, brings the total distance of the Collection to 27.2 miles (43.8 km).
If you are using public transport, the 508 bus service can take you from Penrith to Pooley Bridge and many other points along the lake’s northern shore. Penrith is on the main train line from London to Glasgow and on the M6 motorway. Pooley Bridge is just a 10-minute drive from junction 40 on the M6.
If you do these routes with our new technology, share your experience with us on social media with #KEENFlexChallenge and tag us at @keeneurope – or tag your Tours @KEEN footwear right here at komoot.
The first stage of the Ullswater Way ascends the open flanks of Heughscar Hill to the ancient Cockpit Stone Circle, before descending back to the lakeside at the wonderfully tranquil …
Stage 2 follows the south western lake shore and affords views that have been the muse of artists and poets for centuries. The popular villages of Patterdale and Glenridding form …
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
The third stage explores one of England’s favourite waterfalls, Aira Force, before ascending to the Wainwright summit of Gowbarrow Fell at 1,578 feet (388 m). This is the highest point …
The finale enjoys splendid views from the flanks of Gowbarrow Fell, before traversing the quieter hillsides high above the lake and descending into the charming village of Pooley Bridge.