Located in the northern half of Lake District National Park, Ullswater Lake is the second-largest lake in the area and is consistently cited as one of the most beautiful English lakes. Often compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, it is 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) long, 0.75 miles (1,200 meters) wide and has a distinct “Z” shape, which is enhanced by the steep mountains that surround it.
The village of Glenridding, located at the southern end of the lake, is the main gathering place in the area. It is especially popular with tourists, as it’s the starting point of the long hike to the top of England’s third-highest mountain, Helvellyn, along the Striding Edge. (This hike, however, is not for unexperienced mountaineers and should be planned with care.) The village is also where most of the nautical-equipment-rental shops are, for activities such as boating, sailing, rowing, diving and windsurfing. Two Victorian steamer boats circle the lake from Glenridding year-round, while three newer, diesel-run boats offer more frequent trips.
Ullswater Lake and Glenridding can be reached from Newcastle in 1.45 hours via the A69, the M6 and the A592. The trip takes just over two hours from Liverpool and Manchester via the M6, the A591 and the A592.