Glenridding is a small village at the southern end of Ullswater Lake, close to the foot of Kirkstone Pass. Today Glenridding is predominantly a tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts including walking and water sports upon the lake.
The village came to prominence with the discovery of lead ore in the 1650’s at what became the Greenside lead mine, with the first levels being driven by Dutch adventures in the 1690’s. Dressed ore was carried to the Stoneycroft smelter at Keswick. The mine was not extensively worked until 1825 with power originally provided by water-wheels, with water being supplied by the damming of the nearby tarns. One such tarn was Keppel Cove , which bust its banks in 1927, bringing disaster to the village of Glenridding below. Much the same happened four years later, when flood waters smashed through the concrete of High Dam. By the 1960’s it had become uneconomical to continue mining lead from the mine, and it closed. Today only a few buildings remain and serve as Lake District Hostels and mountain huts.
With the lead mining industry now gone, the area of Glenridding is mainly farming and for the tourists who come to view one of the most beautiful areas within the Lake District National Park. I would say that the area is possibly one of the most popular with walkers with many walks to suit all levels from easy, such as Ullswater Lake walks which takes you around the shores of the lake from Howtown back to Glenridding. For the more adventurous walkers one reason to visit Glenridding is to do the classic Helvellyn via Striding Edge, although this is not a walk for the faint hearted, more a modern day adventure, with Helvellyn reaching a height of 3,116 ft (950m).
The Ullswater Steamer is a great way to enjoy a different perspective of the lake and the Lakeland scenery as you cruise along the 7.5 miles of Ullswater Lake at a leisurely pace. You could easily combine a walk and a lake cruise on one of the steamers. You can board the steamers at Glenridding, Howtown or at the northern end of Ullswater at Pooley Bridge.
One of my personal favourites includes Aira Force waterfall walk where you will see a spectacular 60ft waterfall as Aira Beck makes its way down from the fells above to Ullswater. There are bridges top and bottom of the waterfall to view from with a National Trust car park on the lake road.
At Glencoyne Bay, which is about a mile north of Glenridding, you will find the famous daffodils that inspired William Wordsworth to write ‘Daffodils’ “I wandered lonely as a cloud.”
The closest village to Glenridding is the small village of Patterdale, another popular area for walkers to Helvellyn and the surrounding area of fells such as High Street.
The village of Glenridding has good accommodation including two Youth Hostels, good camping sites and hotels. There are several guest houses offering bed and breakfast which make an ideal base for any outdoor activity holiday.
Glenridding Sailing Centre
Probably the easiest way to learn more about sailing and get yourself afloat on Ullswater and enjoy the stunning scenery of the English Lake District is to visit the Glenridding Sailing Centre. The centre provides a wide range of sailing dinghies and traditional canoes and kayaks.
The Glenridding Sailing Centre offers expert sailing tuition by friendly, patient RYA qualified staff in their boats or even your own boat if it’s suitable.
Should you wish to see better quality photographs of Glenridding please visit Glenridding on our Lake District Walks Flickr account.
If you are looking for a great location to stay during your next Lake District outdoor adventure ,then I think Glenridding may have everything you need.There is an abundance of holiday accommodation within Glenridding and the surrounding area of Patterdale, with Campsites, Guest Houses and local pubs. For a pet friendly home search our Lake District Cottages for a local cottage close to Glenridding and Patterdale. Whilst not forgetting the areas close proximity to Helvellyn and some fantastic fell walks. Whatever time of year you visit Glenridding and the Ullswater area you will find a friendly place to stay with some of the best scenery in the world.