UW03 : Glenridding to Howtown

Saturday 1st July 2017

The weather window was likely to be the middle hours of the day so we set off early to meet Ian & Cynthia at Bampton then head off to resume the Ullswater Way.

We knew this would be the hardest section but it got off to an encouraging start. I had feared a lengthy walk from wherever we would find to leave the car to the steamer boarding stage at Howtown.  In fact we struck lucky next to a slipway not far from the jetty.  

The first five miles were the easy bit- the only effort needed being to climb the gangplank, put on warmer clothing to fend off the breeze and to keep turning the head to take in the view.  This became increasingly dramatic as we rounded the Hallin Fell corner and headed up the lake to Glenridding.

The lake was alive with parties of school children doing all sorts of interesting activities on the water, enjoying the sunshine.

We decided that taking coffee at Glenridding would not have been earned so we walked a whole mile and a half to Patterdale before succumbing.

Bacon Butties.  Yes!

Had we known it, we could have walked a further half mile to Side Farm and eaten there.


From the farm the track proceds gently at first but before long it starts to undulate intensely and the ground is rocky and uneven.  

To make matters worse, the view is often obscured by trees.  It is hard work.  However there is some comfort to be found in the number of mountain bikers legitimately using this bridle path but wishing they had a pony with them to carry their bikes.  Eventually things get easier and more open and there is an old barn that has been converted into possibly the most remote café I can recall in the Lake District.  

A good, friendly one, complete with swallows nest with three heads peeping out.

There was a lot of activity on the lake- dozens of yachts, racing.

A little further on, at Sandwick you have a choice.  If you want to climb Hallin Fell, turn right up the beck and head up hill for St Peter’s Church. We didn't.  We chose to continue along the coast path.  Although not quite as undulating as the earlier sections, it is still awkward terrain.  There was one exciting incident as we approached the pier.  A motorboat was lurking around, possibly supervising, a group of lads learning how to ride their boards.  I don’t know what they are called but quite like surfboards except there was no surf.  Suddenly there was an urgent:


The boat was directly in the path of the advancing steamer and the captain was not best pleased.  Fortunately the boat got out of the way pretty smartish.

Soon we arrived back at Howtown pier and the car, somewhat weary.

We dropped Ian and Cynthia off at their caravan, checked in at the Crown & Mitre and promptly nodded off.  Fortunately we awoke in time to head round to the caravan for nibbles and drinkies and supper and drinkies followed by drinkies and a wobble back to the pub.  I had taken my head torch.  It wasn’t needed.  Somewhat to our surprise, the weather window had remained open.  The moon did shine as bright as day even though it was only a half one.  Spookily light.

An enjoyable day and, fortunately, there was a less taxing one to follow.

Don, Saturday 1st July 2017

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Map shown: OS 1:25k

Routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading UW03 .

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