10 things to do from the doorstep of Inn on the Lake

Standing proud on the lakeshore of Ullswater within the charming village of Glenridding, the Inn on the Lake hotel is a Lake District gem in its own right. Over the years, our lakefront hotel has developed a stellar reputation among guests, but it’s not just our friendly hospitality that people return year on year for.

Although we are located within a charming Lake District village, the number of activities available to guests from our doorstep is remarkable. From thrill-seeking activities that people deliberately travel to the Lake District for, to the more relaxing opportunities that allow you to unwind amongst nature. Whether you’re ticking off the Wainwrights, seeking solace in the wide-open countryside or fancy trying your hand at a new hobby; your stay at the Inn on the Lake can be whatever you make it. One thing is for certain – you will never be bored!

1. Ullswater Steamers

The Lake District got its name for a reason… and what better way to explore the beauty of the area not by foot, not by car, but atop of the relaxing ripples of the lakes themselves!

The Ullswater Steamers are an award-winning local attraction, taking guests on a water cruise around one of the area’s most beautiful lakes.

Be blown away by the panoramic scenery that surrounds you and get your bearings with all the various villages that Ullswater has to offer. There’s a pier located within Glenridding itself which is approximately a 5 – 10-minute walk from the hotel.


2. Hike or Bike

The Lake District is a haven for keen walkers, cyclists or those who simply wish to enjoy the fresh air and open spaces. Luckily, the Glenridding area has a vast selection of outdoor walks and cycle routes for people of varying abilities.

Glenridding and Patterdale (a couple of miles down the road) are the perfect base for a number of popular walks or cycle trails. Take advantage of Lake District Hotels’ Hike & Bike book available to purchase from the hotel itself. The book details a number of comprehensive walks and cycle routes that you can embark on as soon as you step foot outside the hotel.

Hike & Bike books are charged at a discounted price to hotel residents at £3.50 (RRP – £5.50). Please ask the reception if you wish to purchase one.


3. Aira Force

A trip to Ullswater is not complete without visiting one of the Lake District’s most breath-taking waterfalls. Not only does a trip to Aira Force reward you with incredible views of the grand waterfall, but the numerous trails leading to it around the woodland area makes for a fun day out for all the family.

Visit Aira Force itself, or you can combine the visit with a brief walk up Gowbarrow Fell which offers fabulous views across the lake to the hotel itself.

There are a few different National Trust car parks you can park at to access the waterfall, or if you’re feeling active, you can walk straight to it from the hotel entrance via the Ullswater Way. The walk is 3 miles long and takes you along a flat, well-surfaced path.

4. Tackle Helvellyn via Striding Edge

Few people visit the Lake District that haven’t already heard of the legendary Wainwright fell that is Helvellynand if you haven’t heard of it before you visit, you certainly will have by the time you leave!

Despite not being the tallest fell in the Lake District, it is certainly one of the most popular, with many people opting to climb this mountain rather than the likes of Scafell Pike as the views from the top are far nicer.

Although there are a selection of routes up Helvellyn, one of the most famous (and most popular) is the route via Striding Edge. This walk arguably offers the most spectacular views of all, plus it gives walkers an adrenaline boost as they scramble over the exposed ridges, with valleys unfolding each side of you.

The walk starts from Glenridding itself and the minimum time it will take you to conquer this walk is approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes. Afterwards, you can return to the comfort of the Inn on the Lake where you can reward yourself with a delicious meal in the Orangery or Rambler’s Bar and a proper pint of Cumbrian ale to boot!



5. Enjoy the views from the hotel lounge and gardens

The Inn on the Lake lounges are a hotspot for those looking for an unwinding time in the Lake District. As the weather can be somewhat unpredictable and occasionally on the cooler side, the large lounge windows provide guests with steady views across the lake and over the surrounding fells without the threat of getting wet.

If it is a dry day however, we strongly recommend enjoying the scenery from the 15 acres of hotel grounds at your disposal. The landscaped grounds are meticulously maintained and extend down onto a private jetty that oversees Ullswater lake.

One thing is guaranteed, whatever the weather and whichever the season, you’ll still be rewarded with spectacular views of the area whether you admire it from inside the hotel or out.


6. Kayaking tours on Ullswater with Tall Bloke Adventures

With an abundance of lakes at our expense, kayaking in the Lake District is a wonderful activity. This also gives you the opportunity to take in your surroundings at your own pace, whether you drift along the currents or race against your buddy.

Tall Bloke Adventures offer Ullswater Kayak Tours for groups of up to 4 people throughout the day. The minimum age for these tours is 16, however anyone under the age of 18 is to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

The kayaking tours depart from Glenridding Sailing Centre which is no more than a 10-minute walk from the Inn on the Lake.

Photo by @kate.s.appleby

7. Try wild swimming in Ullswater

Open water swimming is the new trend in the Lake District, with wet suits flying off the shelves left, right and centre. With 7 miles of fresh water and a selection of beaches dotted around its shores, Ullswater is a great place to go wild swimming.

If you fancy trying your hand at wild swimming in the Lake District, why not book a swim session with an experienced guide? They will show you the best hotspots for open water swimming and give you some top tips should you wish to dabble with the activity again in future.

With the popularity of staycations continuing to be on the rise even into 2021, experience the exhilaration of open water swimming in a lake rather than in the sea abroad!


8. Walk the Ullswater Way

Mentioned previously as a route that will take you straight to Aira Force from the hotel, the Ullswater Way is a 20-mile walking route around the outskirts of Ullswater lake. By walking the Ullswater Way, you’re experiencing the area that inspired William Wordsworth’s iconic ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ poem.

Although mainly flat, the route is a long one, so if you do wish to walk it, we recommend wearing an appropriate pair of walking shoes and making sure you’ve got plenty of snacks to give you an energy boost when you need it most!

Don’t forget, you can break the walk up into different sections, or catch an Ullswater Steamer back to Glenridding from Pooley Bridge or Aira Force.

Please note, you cannot currently board a steamer from the Howtown Pier.


9. Go Sailing on Ullswater

Why not visit the Lake District and leave having learnt a new skill – even if it be partially? One fun way to create memories in the Lake District is with a sailing course on Ullswater.

The Glenridding Sailing Centre located no more than a 10-minute walk from the Inn on the Lake hotel offers a wide range of sailing courses for beginners on the water, all the way to the master mariners.

Jump aboard a dinghy or a keelboat as they teach you the National Sailing Scheme which has been endorsed by the Royal Yachting Association.

Please note, the Glenridding Sailing Centre closes each winter and reopens in March for some more adventurous fun.

10. Paddleboard with SUP Paddle Boarding

Unlike sailing, you don’t have to be lionhearted to have a go on a stand-up paddleboard! If you fancy taking to the water in a more leisurely manner, then this may just be the Lake District activity for you. The sport involves standing up on a surfboard style device and using your arms and a paddle to gently propel yourself through the water without falling in.

SUP Paddleboarding can provide you with paddleboarding lessons where they pick you up straight from the Inn on the Lake. What’s more, they bring wetsuits straight to you so you can get changed in the comfort of your hotel room. If you wish to meet them elsewhere, they will have portable changing room facilities from March 2021 onward.

Their favourite part of Ullswater is at the Glenridding / Patterdale area which is within walking distance of the hotel grounds because it is a sheltered area that is a great place to teach and play SUP games. It’s also a great area to explore the embankment and paddle amongst the grass reads.

The activity is ideal for families, couples or even individuals wishing to take in the exquisiteness of the area. Paddleboarding sessions will re-commence in March 2021.

To contact SUP Paddboarding, drop them an email on suppaddleboarding@gmail.com and they’ll respond when they’re not on the water!

Photo by @yilaerialphotography

Book your next trip to the Inn on the Lake

Now you’ve been enlightened to the array of amazing activities that are available to you from the grounds of the Inn on the Lake hotel, why not book your next getaway?