photo of the Ullswater from Martindale
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General Description
Use the drop-down menu above to view STILL photography if available - VIDEO will be shown on each "Site" page if available

Ullswater is one of the longest lakes in the UK, measuring 9 miles in length and as you might expect from such an expanse of water, there is plenty going on it, around it, and underneath it.
The lake lies in a valley of mountains on all sides as can be seen in the top left photo - which is only showing a quarter of this lake I might add.

She has numerous waterfalls with Aira Force being the finest and longest in the lake district. It will take you a few hours to explore that waterfalls entire length, which consists of a number of large falls, and its naturally all uphill. It's a "must do" place to visit in summer. There is even a good dive site across the road from the car park too!

For those with other Interests
The marina's are private members only (photo a), although you can join for a day in the case of Ullswater Yacht Club. Excellent facilities with invitingly friendly people.

Canoeing in summer is available at Pooley Bridge if you can spot the big canoe trailer, and cruises along the lake are available at any of the three piers. Pony trekking can also be enjoyed, but if the non diving family members are looking for an inexpensive day out then why not take to the trails along this attractive lake. Also just off Penrith's J40 is the Rheged Discovery Centre which will appeal to many.

Walking this lake may well bring you into contact with rabbits, dear, foxes, owls, herons, and all sorts of other wild life (photo b). Don't forget that camera! and bring the binoculars to scan the mountain tops! Dive this lake and you are into Trout, Salmon, Perch, even Eel. (photo c)

Places to stay
Tourists are well catered for at Glenridding and Pooley Bridge with lots of cafes, bars and restaurants. Camping, caravanning is best sought in the Pooley Bridge and on the road along to Howtown pier. Guest houses and hotels can also be found almost anywhere along this lake. Some are very exclusive on the national level, others are better suited for those who did not win the lottery this week.

Try "Stay.co.uk" or alternatively check some of these links > Hotels and Guest Houses Youth Hostels for Families etc.

How to get here
This could not be simpler, simply come off the M6 at the Penrith J40. Take the A66 / Ullswater signed road, follow for circa 1 mile and another roundabout presents itself. Those heading for Thirlmere, Rydal water or Grasmere carry on along the A66 Keswick signed turn off, those heading for Ullswater take the A592 / Ullswater signed road. Along the A592 you will see signs for the Haweswater reservoir another good site and by now you know you are into the near heart of the lake district and your excitement is racing but keep that car speed down - you have some sharp turns ahead!

Finally, you are coming down onto the lake, turn right for (northern shore) Stybarrow Crag, Glenriddiing Pier (A592) or turn left into Pooley Bridge to dive the Pooley Bridge Pier which will appear in minutes or to head along the unclassified, single track road, taking you to Howtown pier or any other site along that stretch of southern shoreline.
General Description
Ullswater is one of the longest lakes in the UK, measuring 9 miles in length and as you might expect from such an expanse of water, there is plenty going on it, around it, and underneath it.
The lake lies in a valley of mountains on all sides as can be seen in the top left photo - which is only showing a quarter of this lake I might add. She has numerous waterfalls with Aira Force being the finest and longest in the lake district. It will taking a few hours to walk it's entire length of not one large fall, but many large falls uphill. It's a must visit place. There is even a good dive site across the road from the car park too!

Detailed Information for Divers

Main Attraction
Diving under the Piers: Glenridding, Howtown and Pooley Bridge. Diving under ice during winter, and Stybarrow Crag or (Falling Rocks): Here, you have the road running next to the lake just 1 mile south of Glenridding. A large car park has been cut out from the mountain side and a small beach of shingle opposite gives easy access to the water and to one of the deepest dives down a vertical rock face to 53 metres on your right side.

Viewing Freshwater Life
Personally speaking, I love the night life and in Ullswater it's rock "n" roll time after 6.30 pm in winter or 8 pm during the summer . You simply won't believe the numbers of trout. Fortunately for the trout, Anglers call it a day by 6 pm. You need a permit to fish any lake or stream. The trout, eels (photo c), perch, minnow, and Salmon, can all be found at night in shallow water and just a few feet away from the shore - literally. Colourful beetles and caddis fly larvae abound. Sticklebacks can be seen at 30 metres plus during the day or in the shallow weedy areas during night dives. During the day you are much more likely to see perch at depths of 30 plus, whilst minnows are happiest in the shallows. Trout are everywhere and found at any depth. Most dives around Ullswater's shoreline will see you descend a slope of circa 35 degrees, levelling off at the 20 / 25 metre mark.

But before you get wet at site 3 you may want to check on the Webmasters Pooley Bridge discovery first !
But before you get wet at site 7 you may want to check on the Aira Force spooky side first !

Dive Planning Help
No special permissions required unless going onto private land such as the fery terminal & piers.
map of Ullswater click to dive into Park Foot Camp Site click to dive the Devil's Chimney on Ullswater click to dive Sandwick Bay area click to dive Fairfield Marina click to dive Ullswater Marina click to dive Ullswater Sailing Club area click to dive Sharrow Bay moorings click to dive Waterfoot Boat House area click to dive Pooley Bridge Pier click to dive Howtown Pier bottle bank click to dive Howtown Pier click to dive Skelly Neb click to dive Dobbin Wood layby area click to dive Lyulphs Tower click to dive Aira Force click to dive Glencoyne Bay click to dive Glenridding Pier click to dive The Inn on the Lake click to dive Stybarrow Crag
< Clickable map above>
Please be advised that Sites 3c & 5b are not active just yet - but will be soon :-)
No Permission Required unless diving by the piers while ferry services are active.
This is a 9 mile long lake with lots to see and do.

One more little thing, never, ever, stop dead in this lake. If you stop dead on the bottom of this lake, the clouds of silt will flow over you, followed by some navigational challenges in the zero viz. You WILL LOSE CONTACT with your Buddy if you were not shoulder to shoulder. No amount of high powered lamps will show up unless your Buddy is within six inches of your torch! Follow your lost contact procedures if this happens to you.
Who's the nearest for Dive Air?
British Sub-Aqua Clubs:
West Cumbria: branch are based at Egremont.
Solway Divers: branch are based at Whitehaven.
Kendal + Lakes: branch are based at Kendal Leisure Centre.
Scottish Sub-Aqua Clubs:
Penrith Divers: Penrith based club. Air compressor sited at Penrith.
Solway Sub-Aqua Club: Wigton based. Air compressor at Wigton.
West Lakes Sub-Aqua: Cockermouth based club. Air compressor sited at Cockermouth.
Altitude, Visibility, Temperature, Torches
Altitude and Depth:
This is classed by us local divers as an altitude dive since she is over 544 feet (145 metres) above sea-level. Computers do not pick this up - it is below their altimeter parameter.
You should also note the great depth (60 metres) available in some parts of this lake when planning your dive with appreciation to the altitude. We have noted narcosis setting in at the 43 metre mark when it normally is not a problem at 50 mtrs at sea level - e.g. Wastwater.
Divers should avoid the following roads: Do not use the A5091 or A592 respectively after a dive, as these routes takes you to 1286 feet above sea-level. Also the Kirkstone Pass road must be avoided with an altitude of 1702 feet.
During summer
Temp is a minimum of 11 degrees Celsius.
Visibility: 2 metres.
During winter
Temp is 3 - 4 degrees above zero. Expect surface ice in places, rarely thicker than 2 inches.
Visibility ranges between 5 and 8 metres.
Anything past 25 metres may send your demand valve into free flow.
Torches: will definitely be needed as it is pitch black past the ten metre mark. From pure experience, each of you should carry a spare. I carry four and they have been called upon several times!
A strobe is strongly advised.
Advisable to use an SMB due to yachts, canoes, wind-surfing & ferry activity.
Most of the lakebed is practically flat and very soft on the bottom, except for an odd tree. The UFO or alien being approaching you in front without Scuba gear is simply light being refracted in your mask or light doing strange things to the algae bloom ahead ! ! ! - the other illusion is cathedral like rising columns - those can appear in grasmere too! Wierd of what!?

Thermoclines: these can be severe on descent during the early to mid summer period can often misleading you into believing you are suffering from dizziness, hallucinations and sometimes envoke vomiting. (has same effect as watching kelp swirling around - if you are susceptible).

If new to freshwater diving: We advise strongly to achieve several shallow ten metre dives (with your buddy) or dive with a seasoned UK diver before getting adventurous in this lake. If you are experienced, but have not dived in extreme low viz., think of the lakebed as something akin to a ploughed field and the water as being think fog!. These dives can be very taxing psychologically, due to the low viz and strange objects that appear, to appear, then don't or on occasion do! - confused? you'll see, or maybe you won't?, that's the crazy thing about this wonderful lake and I love it - BOOOO :-)webmaster Paul
Communication intel
phone icon Mobile phones work intermittently along the lake.
phone icon Public phones: are sited at: Pooley Bridge, Glenridding and near to Aira Force on A5091/A592 road junction.

phone icon Reporting thefts or finds - Police: 0845 330 0247

More useful Information for buddies
For the latest on the weather: "Scuba Weather Report"
For more air details see "Dive Clubs & Air".
Note: The above page's will remain open while you click to gather info.

Nearest toilet: Glenridding, Aira Force and Pooley Bridge. all sign posted if you can spot them.
Ferry Services: "Ullswater steamers.co.uk"
Alt navigation:-