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Published July 17th 2021
Ride a Steam Boat
Ullswater lake is nestled in the heart of the Lake District, boasting jaw-dropping scenery and a whole lot of charm. Ullswater runs for eight miles through a backdrop of impressive mountains, but the biggest and most renowned is Helvellyn at 3,117ft. Helvellyn crowns the lake, standing on a mighty plateau approximately 9 miles in length and 4.5 miles wide.
The steam boats that run on this idyllic lake are named 'Ullswater Steamers' and they offer a once in a lifetime trip on the lake, surrounded by unforgettable scenery. The stunning mountainous backdrop will make you question if you are still in England. When I looked out onto the lake, I thought I could definitely be on a Swiss lake in the alps!
The Steamers are an award-winning, environmentally accredited Lake District attraction. For the last 160 years, they have been operating cruises using one of the largest heritage vessel fleets in the world. The boat is run by a steam engine which is very impressive and visually stunning. Best of all, you can make a real day out of your visit as the cruises connect to some of the most famous and iconic walking routes in the National Park. My favourite is taking the Steamer to hike to a waterfall called Aira Force. It is an easy hike suitable for the whole family and it makes the perfect day out.
There are many different Steamers which you can find more information on using the website. Onboard the steamer boats there is a large open deck, covered upper deck with a seating area, a covered downstairs saloon with a licensed bar and toilets. The interior of the boats are very luxurious and well looked after. There are also excellent facilities located at the Pier Houses including cafes and free Wi-Fi.
The Steamers operate an all year service with varying timetable connections between Glenridding, Howtown, Pooley Bridge Piers and between Glenridding and National Trust Aira Force Pier. You can find the timetable here. Cruise times can vary from 20 – 120 minutes and the website has lots of information to help you plan your perfect cruise.
During the cruise, you will listen to lots of information about where you are passing. You will find out about the history of the Ullswater lake and the Steamers which date back to 1859. The valley has also inspired many famous artists and poets through the centuries including William Wordsworth and Turner. You can visit historic landmarks during your trip and listen to the ancient tales of myth and legend on the steamer.
A visit to Ullswater would not be complete without a trip on the famous Ullswater Steamers. No matter what the weather is like, Ullswater Lake and its scenery continues to look beautiful and you are always guaranteed to have a day full of unforgettable memories.