The Lake District Guide

Ullswater and the Eden Valley

See our other page about Ullswater here

Ullswater and the Eden Valley has many attractions but is less well known and certainly less visited than areas like Bowness or Windermere. Try a relaxing cruise on the lake and see the views as you glide down the Lake on one of the beautifully restored steamers, including the famous Michelin-starred Sharrow Bay Hotel located on the shoreline. If you take a boat to Howtown and head for Martindale there are some superb walks along the eastern side of the lake. Cyclists will enjoy the Eden Valley Circular Cycle Route, not least for the wonderfully delicious pub food along the way.

Those with an artistic streak will enjoy the great contemporary art galleries such as the Upfront Gallery or Beckstone's Art Gallery. Penrith and Kirkby Stephen have lots of specialist arts and crafts shops which are great if you want a souvenir - your own piece of Cumbrian craft to take home with you! Of course there's also Wetherigg Pottery's 'Pots of Fun' studio where you can make and paint your own pot. The keen gardener will want to explore Hutton-in-the-Forest's walled garden, as well as Acorn Banks' Discovery Herb Garden and the hundreds of varieties of roses at Dalemain Historic House.

Rheged, housed in Europe's largest grass-covered building, makes for a self-contained day out complete with giant screen cinema, specialist local retail outlets and a fabulous contemporary restaurant. If you like special foods, you'll never settle for ordinary chocolate again after you've tasted one of the fine chocolates at Kennedy's Fine Chocolates in Orton. And after you've savoured Abbott Lodge Jersey Ice Cream nothing else will do! Try the award-winning chocolate-almond cake at The Village Bakery located in Melmerby or tuck into some tasty vegetarian food at the Little Salkeld Watermill where just about everything is organic and local.

Farmers' markets are held all year round. Orton Formers Market, which you can enjoy every Saturday, was awarded the National Farmers' Market of the Year 2005 and is listed in the Guardian Good Food Guide. Other great events to look out for include Appleby Jazz Festival, the Penrith Beer and Sausage Festival and the Lowther Horse Driving Trails.