Oft-con­sid­ered the most beau­ti­ful lake in Eng­land, the tran­quil­lity of Ull­swa­ter rep­re­sents the Lake District at its finest...

Trail (UK) - - Base Camp -

To gaze across Eng­land’s ‘most beau­ti­ful’ lake 1

Ull­swa­ter, aside from its ar­rest­ing beauty, is no­tably the se­cond largest nat­u­ral lake in Eng­land (af­ter Win­der­mere) with its stretched Z-shape cov­er­ing an area of 8.9km2. The 12km-long lake is steeped in his­tory too – Don­ald Camp­bell set the first of his seven world wa­ter speed records at Ull­swa­ter, reach­ing 202.32mph in the Blue­bird K7 on 23 July 1955. Mean­while, its splen­dour was im­mor­talised by Wordsworth, whose poem Daf­fodils was in­spired by a visit to Ull­swa­ter. He also wrote of the lake as ‘be­ing, per­haps, upon the whole, the hap­pi­est com­bi­na­tion of beauty and grandeur, which any of the Lakes af­fords’.

For a Wordswor­thian wa­ter­fall 2

Aira Force is a mag­nif­i­cently pic­turesque fall and just as Wordswor­thian as Ull­swa­ter it­self. In fact, the fa­mous poet men­tioned the cas­cade in three of his works. From a stone foot­bridge, you can watch as the beck crashes al­most 70ft to a rocky pool be­low. The fall is Na­tional Trust-owned, so heavy visi­tor footfall can be ex­pected in peak sea­son but, nev­er­the­less, it’s a must-see beauty spot if you’re in the area!

To stay at a cot­tage fit for a king 3

Be­lieve it or not, prior to the out­break of the Great War the Ger­man Em­peror Kaiser Wil­helm II toured Ull­swa­ter in 1912. In prepa­ra­tion for the Kaiser’s visit a shoot­ing lodge, ‘The Bun­ga­low’ was spe­cially built in nearby Martin­dale – and now you can stay in it too!

To walk the Ull­swa­ter Way 4

Opened in 2016, the Ull­swa­ter Way is a 20-mile walk­ing route that cir­cum­nav­i­gates the en­tire lake. The fully way­marked path of­fers view­points of Ull­swa­ter and, of a par­tic­u­lar sec­tion the route takes in, Wain­wright once said it was ‘the most beau­ti­ful and re­ward­ing walk in Lake­land’. For those not keen on a 20-mile slog, the route can be com­pleted with a lit­tle help – by jump­ing on a bus or even hop­ping aboard one of the Ull­swa­ter Steam­ers.

To climb a lake­side fell 5

While Ull­swa­ter makes an ideal base­camp from which to tackle Helvellyn, a much nearer high point to head for is Place Fell. It may top out at just 657m, but the lake­side hill fea­tures a jum­ble of crags and steep rocky scree to make its as­cent chal­leng­ingly fun and, once at the sum­mit plateau, the views make it worth the sweat.

‘Com­bi­na­tion of beauty and grandeur’ – the glo­ri­ous view south along the lake to­wards Pat­terdale and the Kirk­stone Pass.

The un­der­rated Place Fell.

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