Ullswater is the second largest of the lakes in the Lake District National Park, and the second largest in England. It’s around 14.5 km (9 mi) long and 1.2 km (0.75 mi). At its deepest, it’s around 60 m (~197 feet). It was the spring views here in 1802 that inspired William Wordsworth to write his most famous poem ‘Daffodils’. Thought by many to be England’s most beautiful lake, it’s often compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.
Formed by three separate glaciers in the last Ice Age, the lake is surrounded by mountains, and for much of its length forms the border between the ancient counties of Cumberland and Westmoreland.
Ullswater is a major draw for tourists and serious sporting enthusiasts alike. Activities include sailing (there are marinas all around the lake), kayaking, rowing, diving and fishing. For those less inclined to activity, there are boat trips and the Ullswater steamers offering tours of around the lake and terrific views of this tranquil setting.
You don’t have to go far away from the water to find some great walks and climbs in the nearby fells: from a short woodland walk to see Aira Force, a stunningly beautiful waterfall dropping some 20 m (66 ft) to Helvellyn itself - England’s third highest mountain - for the more serious climber. There are also horse riding, cycling, mountain biking and climbing opportunities.