The serene Ullswater Valley is arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the Lake District, home to England’s second largest lake, an abundance of walking routes, and historic homes and ancient castles to explore.

Despite all of this, it is also usually one of the quietest lakeside spots, making it an amazing place to spend the day if you are looking to beat the crowds this summer.

The best way to explore the valley is by hopping aboard the iconic Ullswater ‘Steamers’, which cruise across the length of Ullswater with four pier stops perfectly placed around the lake.

Sailing on these beautiful heritage boats always unleashes a great sense of fun and adventure, and they make it incredibly easy to explore all corners of this spectacular valley without a car.

Start the day at Glenridding and sail across the glittering waters to Pooley Bridge, taking in the breathtaking views, with Helvellyn towering in the distance and fearless paragliders often flying above.

You might be surprised to find that the charming town of Pooley Bridge has an array of fabulous places to stop for a brew, including a beautiful riverside garden tearoom that has one of the best vantage points for soaking up the magnificent views.

Nearby, the impressive Dalemain Mansion is also well worth a visit with 5-acres of stunning Plantsman’s gardens to explore.

Located approximately 2.5 miles away from Pooley Bridge, stroll along the Dalemain Walking Loop which hugs the banks of the River Eamont.

Arriving at Dalemain will blow you away, the stately home is set against the picturesque Lakeland fells with a mix of grand architecture and beautiful gardens, including a delightful rose-walk filled with nearly 200 old-fashioned roses.

The ‘Steamers’ also operates a special Aira Force Shuttle, which is the perfect option for families or those wanting to check out the dramatic waterfall and surrounding woodlands of Aira Force.

People of all ages will love the scenic 20-minute shuttle from Glenridding Pier which drops passengers to the shores of Aira Force, where families can enjoy strolling through the magical woods with a natural play area and plenty of picnic spots.

Meanwhile if you are looking for a unique way to get out and explore mid-week, then be sure to check out the popular ‘fish and chip supper’ cruises, which set sail from Pooley Bridge at 7pm each Tuesday throughout August.

Lap up the last of the summer rays and indulge in a classic supper with live musical entertainment from local singer-songwriter, Pete Lashley.

The last of these popular cruises still have spaces remaining, so be quick to get your tickets online to secure your spot.

Book your journey on the Ullswater ‘Steamers’ at