Glenridding is the largest of Ullswater’s lakeside settlements and is situated at the southern end of the lake. It was once a busy mining town but today its streets are popular with tourists, especially walkers that have come to scale the heights of Helvellyn, the third highest peak in both the Lake District and England.
Attractions & Things To Do
Ullswater Steamers runs five historic steamboats around Ullswater, from Glenridding to Howtown and on to Pooley Bridge. Cruises are offered throughout the year with nine departures from Glenridding every day in the summer months.
Visitors wishing to take to the water themselves can hire a sailing dinghy or kayak at the Glenridding Sailing Centre. Sailing lessons plus boat launching and storage services are also available. Other facilities free car parking, toilets, and a beach. It’s located in the centre of the village, next to the Inn on the Lake.
Small motor boats, rowing boats and mountain bikes can be also rented from St Patrick’s Boat Landing, situated just south of Glenridding.
The most popular walk up Helvellyn, via the infamous Striding Edge, starts in Glenridding. The route requires a head for heights and can be dangerous, especially in the winter. For a more relaxed walk catch the Ullswater Steamers boat to Howtown and walk back to Glenridding along eastern shore of Ullswater.
The Ullswater Tourist Information Centre is a good place to get leaflets for local attractions, obtain travel and tourism advice, and check the weather conditions on Helvellyn.
Hotels and Accommodation
There’s not a huge choice of places to stay in Glenridding. The Inn on the Lake offers 47 en-suite bedrooms, most with views of Ullswater or Helvellyn. Facilities include a restaurant, pitch and putt golf course, croquet lawn, and private jetties. Ramblers Bar offers real ale and traditional pub meals in an informal setting and is open to non-residents.
The Gillside Caravan and Camping site caters to touring caravans, motor homes and tents. It’s situated on a working farm just west of the village. Facilities include a laundry room and toilet block with showers. Caravans are also available to rent.
Walkers wishing to get an early start on Helvellyn can stay at the Helvellyn YHA, a mile and a half up the valley track from Glenridding. It offers 60 beds, including some family rooms, lounges, cycle store, washing and drying room, car park, and self-catering kitchen. The hostel also serves hot food and beer.
Glenridding lies on the A592, the road linking Penrith to Bowness and Windermere. To reach the village from the M6 simply leave the motorway at Junction 40 and take the A66 west (signposted for Ullswater/Keswick/Workington). After 1 mile turn left at the roundabout onto the A592 and follow the road for 11 miles.
There’s a Lake District National Park Authority pay-and-display car park in the centre of the village with public toilets and baby changing facilities. The Ullswater Tourist Information Centre is also here. The car park is just off the A592 and can be found by following the sign marked ‘Tourist Information’. Owners of satellite navigation systems can use the postcode CA11 0PD to find it.
The 108 (Patterdale Bus) runs between Penrith train station and the Patterdale. Stops include the Penrith bus station, Pooley Bridge, Park Brow Foot (for Aira Force), and Glenridding.
In the summer the 517 (Kirkstone Rambler) travels from Bowness to Glenridding, calling at Windermere train station, Troutbeck, the Kirkstone Pass Inn, Brothers Water, and Patterdale.
Windermere train station and Penrith train station are both around 13 miles from Glenridding.