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Walking the Ullswater Way

from £325
Discover the majestic fells and tranquil waters of England's Lake District.

Guided Walking Holidays - Walking the Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is a 20 mile route that opened in 2016. The route can be walked in any direction and from any starting point as it is a circular route, however we plan to start and finish at Pooley Bridge. From the start point you will have panoramic views of the central and north lakes, to Scotland and across the Eden Valley. Thought to be the most beautiful lake in England, the waters are calm and tranquil and it is thought to be one of the most reflective lakes in the Lake District. Ullswater is easily accessible from Hassness Country House and all transport over the two walk days is included in the holiday price. 

You will be inspired by the variety of scenery along the way. The eastern side of Ullswater is abundant with wildlife on the fells above, you'll visit quaint villages along the way and you will view the impressive Cockpit Stone Circle. 

The Ullswater valley is a haven of peace and tranquillity and is a must see for walkers, water lovers and those wanting to really get away from it all. 


If you really like to stay in our Hassness Country House, you might also be interested in holidays like Navigation & Hill SkillsGreat Lakeland Ridge WalksWomen's Activity Week and Mindfulness in the Mountains.

Holiday Highlights

  • A 20 mile circular route around beautiful Ullswater – considered to be the gem of the Lake District. 
  • Begin at Pooley Bridge with views across Ullswater, nicely mapping out the route ahead. 
  • A section of the path was described by Alfred Wainwright as “the most beautiful and rewarding walk in Lakeland”. 
  • From Pooley Bridge at one end and Glenridding at the other with a scattering of quaint villages in between. 
  • As you approach the final downhill walk to Pooley Bridge, you’ll view the impressive Cockpit Stone Circle. 
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Three night's accommodation at Hassness Country House
      All meals including packed lunches on your two walking days
      Transport to take you to and from the trailheads each day
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 5

  1. Day 1

    We wish you a very warm welcome to Hassness Country House. Your hosts Debbie and Laurie will be there to welcome you and ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Your holiday starts upon arrival at Hassness Country House in Buttermere where you are welcome to arrive from 3pm. Your evening meal will be served at 7pm. If you anticipate arriving after this time, we kindly request that you telephone Hassness Country House to confirm your expected arrival time.

  2. Day 2

    We start our day in Pooley Bridge at the monument commemorating the granting of a charter by King John to hold a fish market here. We head westwards and uphill with fine views to Cross Fell, the highest point on The Pennines. Then, onto Maiden Castle, the remains of a palisaded Iron Age Farmstead. 

    The path takes us high above the lake where we can delight in the splendid views of the Ullswater Valley and the surrounding fells to arrive at Aira Force. It's now owned by the National Trust, but visitors have been coming here for over 300 years to gasp as Aira Beck's waters roar down the 65 feet falls. 

    We descend, walking along and close to the lake shore to finish our day in the small village of Glenridding, which was once a centre for lead mining, but now popular as a starting point to ascend Helvellyn, England's third highest mountain. About 10.3 miles, 410m of ascent & descent. 

  3. Day 3

    We leave Glenridding behind on our second day and walk to St Patrick's Dale. Crossing to the east of the dale we have excellent views to the west and can now fully appreciate the beauty of the fells and crags where we walked yesterday. 

    We follow the path just above the lake shore, with open views of the lake and possibly glimpse the 'Steamers' on the water plying their trade. We ascend along the edge of Barton Fell to the pre-historic Cockpit Stone Circle and then briefly walk on High Street, the Roman road once linking the forts of Ambleside and Brougham, near Penrith. From here we descend to Pooley Bridge and perhaps have a deserved drink to celebrate completion of the Ullswater Way. About 11.8 miles, 460m ascent & descent. 

  4. Day 4

    After a hearty breakfast, Debbie and Laurie wave you goodbye when you'll leave with memories from your Lake District experience. We hope you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to welcoming you again soon. 

Travel Details

  • Accessing Hassness Country House is both easy and beautiful. Nearest railway station: Penrith (28 miles). Nearest bus station: Keswick (9 miles). See our Holiday Information Sheet for more details on how to reach Hassness Country House by car or public transport. There is ample guest parking outside the house.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hassness Country House

Hassness Country House, beautifully located in its own extensive grounds on the shores of Buttermere in the Western Lake District, provides a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere for each and every guest. 

You can find sheep grazing and red squirrels scurrying around just outside the door. This is one of the remotest parts of the Lake District and has been recognised as offering some of Britain’s finest views.

Following a refurbishment in 2018, 7 of our 11 bedrooms now have en-suite facilities. Accommodation is in twins, doubles and single rooms, accommodating 21 people in total. There is only one single room however twins and doubles for sole occupancy are available at an appropriate supplement. All bedrooms are lakeside with many overlooking the lake and the fells beyond. Some of the rooms have a garden view. All rooms are very comfortable, either with en-suite facilities or sharing high-powered modern shower rooms and toilets, which are located across the hall from the bedrooms. Toiletries and towels (both hand & bath) are provided for each guest.

All of our bedrooms have stunning views; whether it be of the rugged and imposing hillsides across the water, garden views or views of the lake itself.

At Hassness Country House you’ll take a step back from the frantic world beyond the fells. It’s far enough away yet convenient for the main tourist hubs of Keswick; this is a quieter, less trodden part of the Lake District with dramatic and tranquil scenery. Our friendly managers, Debbie and Laurie, will make you feel welcome.

The lounge at Hassness Country House is a delightful place to relax, with a large picture window looking out across the lake. Comfortable and welcoming, it’s a great place to enjoy your own company or that of your fellow guests, to read a book or simply enjoy one of the most dramatic vantage points in the world. It’s also a perfect starting point for some truly remarkable days in the hills.

Hassness Country House offers a retreat from today’s always connected world. There's no TV, no phones in the rooms, and no mobile reception in this sparsely populated valley of West Cumbria. If you do need to contact the outside world there is a payphone available and Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property.

New to Hassness Country House is a licensed bar which offers a selection of red and white wines, beer and a small assortment of spirits at reasonable prices (payment by card only). You can walk the mile into Buttermere village (a tiny hamlet) for a drink or something to eat at one of the two pubs, but otherwise you can just get away from it all.

The madding crowds don’t come anywhere nearby, and surrounding hills are generally less well stomped than the more readily accessible peaks.


Cooked breakfast, cakes in the afternoon and a three course evening meal are provided every day (excluding Tuesdays when there is a cold buffet breakfast and dinner can be taken in one of Buttermere’s village pubs). Picnic lunches are also provided on each of your walking days. 

Free tea and coffee are available at all times to enjoy in the spacious lounge overlooking the lake. There is also a guests’ kitchen with a large fridge for storage should you need it.