Many regard Ullswater as the
most beautiful of the English lakes.
It is the second largest lake in the English Lake
District and is approximately nine miles (14.5 kilometres) long and 0.75
miles (1,200 m) wide with a maximum depth of slightly more than
60 metres (197 ft).
The surrounding mountains give Ullswater the shape of
an elongated 'Z' with three distinct segments (or 'reaches') that wend
their way through the surrounding hills.
Ullswater's attractions include the Ullswater
'Steamers' which offer trips around the lake calling at Pooley Bridge,
Glenridding, and Howtown. The 'Steamers' operate all year round and were
originally working boats which from the 1850s moved mail, workers and
goods to and from the Greenside lead mine at Glenridding, which closed
Today there are four 'Steamers' plying the waters of
Ullswater: Raven, Lady of the Lake, Lady Dorothy and, since April 2007,
Lady Wakefield. All the boats are now powered by diesel, with the two
oldest, Lady of the Lake and Raven, having been converted from steam in
People often catch the 'Steamer' from Glenridding to
Howtown and then return on foot 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, with
sailing marinas situated around the lake.
Another of Ullswater's attractions is the spectacular
waterfall of Aira Force midway along the lake on the western side. 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.
Ullswater is 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
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).