The most impressive stretches of the Ullswater Way are on the eastern banks, heading up from Patterdale. Even more so on the perfect Lakeland day we had a few weeks ago – perfect weather conditions, a lake as still as the surface of a mirror and wonderfully clear views across so many familiar mountains.
Alfred Wainwright describes this walk as having the finest views in the Lake District – well, that’s very much a point to debate, but it certainly seemed that he was right on the day we walked there.
A fine old track leads from Side Farm, wide enough for carts until it approaches Silver Point, and then a narrower path winding between Ullswater and the great mass of Place Fell. You pass the place where Turner painted – and the view is still there. William and Dorothy Wordsworth walked this way too. It can’t have changed much since.
The great view of the mountains above Patterdale and Glenridding, all standing out so clearly in the perfect visibility of a warm, balmy day. This has been a very wet summer in England, but these days of summer – rare as they are – have been a delight.
We watched the steamers heading up and down the lake, the launches and the canoes. Only the gentle ripples they were generating breaking the smooth water.
We skirted Silver Bay, an attractive and sandy cove, and followed a rocky path through woodlands, until we came to a rocky viewpoint – a nameless place, but a grand place to sit and drink tea.
This is where we left the Ullswater Way for now, retracing our footsteps to Silver Bay. Here we took the higher path below Grey Crag, passing a reedy tarn set in a rather pleasant little bealach.
This high track offers more splendid views and must have served some purpose in the past, probably serving the slate workings along the hillside. Bits of industry that nature has taken back, though the evidence of men’s hard work can still be found.
The views from the path are simply stunning as you make a very gentle descent to the hamlet of Rooking.
A very beautiful and peaceful section of the Ullswater Way – I think the most spectacular.