Ullswater Way Challenge: Feb 25th

Ullswater Way Challenge: Feb 25th

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The Finest Lakeside Trail

Possibly the National Park’s most popular lowland walk and lakeside trail, with magnificent waterfalls and woodlands, stunning hills all around, along with some interesting artwork and heritage to discover along the way (read about the Heritage Trail below).

Starting at Pooley Bridge, this route proves that best way to explore this amazing landscape is by foot, with stunning views all the way, as it skirts 22 miles around one of the finest lakes in the UK. Before he died, Alfred Wainwright described sections of the Ullswater Way as “the most beautiful and rewarding walk in Lakeland”.


Stunning Ullswater

This is a challenging walk to put it mildly. Covering 22 miles and ascending 1000m. Participants need to be pretty fit to complete the whole circuit, but there is the shorter half route option, catching the steamer back the length of Ullswater to return to Pooley Bridge.
The path has only been in existence since April 2016, after huge amounts of restoration work was needed in the aftermath of Storm Desmond. It had brought some of the most severe weather Northern England had ever seen, ripping the local landscape to pieces.
Huge amounts of work went into rejuvenating the area, such as rebuilding the ancient crossing at Pooley Bridge and laying the extensive 22 miles of this now incredibly popular route, which was designed to restore some local attraction to visitors. 
The route certainly has many attractions, including passing through the beautiful shoreline villages of Glenridding and Paterdale; the stunning might of Aira Force Waterfall; incredible views from Gowbarrow Fell; a back-drop of incredible peaks such as Helvellyn, Raise and St Sunday's Cragg. 
With over 10,000 completing it each year, the Ullswater Way has been recognised by the Long-Distance Walkers’ Association, putting it alongside the most famous long-distance trails such as Hadrian's Wall, the Coast-to-Coast route and the ancient Ridgeway.


    Life begins at the end of your comfort zone...

    Important Info:

    As well as booking your place above (using the "Add to Cart" button), in order to confirm your place, please complete the applicant health & safety form, so we know how best to look after you during the event.

    Review the Kit List below to help you decide what you need for your adventure. The walk will go ahead even in strong wind/rain and only cancelled if conditions become what we consider too dangerous. Therefore, it is essential to be properly equipped! Tried and tested clothing only - don't want to find out something rubs once you've started the challenge and it's too late to change!


    • Rucksack - min 25 litres with cover.
    • Walking boots; broken in; NO trainers
    • Double layer walking socks.
    • Waterproof jacket & trousers.
    • Base layer top – breathable.
    • Warm fleece and spare fleece.
    • Walking trousers - NO jeans!
    • Multiple thin tops allowing temperature changes.
    • Post-challenge clothes.
    • 3 litres of fluid per peak.
    • Basic First Aid kit & Sun cream.
    • Warm gloves, hat/balaclava.
    • Head torch with spare batteries.
    • Whistle for sounding the alarm.
    • Toiletries, towel.
    • Mobile phone & waterproof case

    We only regret the opportunities we don't take!


    We have lots of other walks coming up that are great for training. They also provide an opportunity to ask questions about your upcoming challenge and meet other members of the team. So please browse our website www.getoutdoorsuk.org and come join us soon! We're adding new dates all the time. Taking part in build up events is also a great excuse to push your fundraising page and update supporters about your challenge journey via social media, etc.

    There is no real training replacement for actually walking up a mountain. It can be very surprising how steep the ascents are and how out of breath people get attempting these climbs. So we strongly recommend tackling an actual mountain as a practice in your build up to the event.

    If you aren't able to join us for one of the walks on our website, then great places to train with decent inclines include: The Lake District with 214 Wainwrights; Snowdonia has 14 Peaks over 3,000ft; The Dark Peak District with Mam Tor, the Great Ridge and Kinder Scout; the Brecon Beacons & Black Mountains with Pen y Fan and Sugar Loaf Mountains. These are all quite far from where we are based in Oxfordshire, so reaching them is either a weekend or VERY long day trip.

    Although not comparable with the mountains of the 3 Peaks, some other places that we use for training in a day include the Malvern Hills, Chiltern Hills and Cotswolds, which have lots of hilly walks. There may be other hill ranges nearer to you.

    The level of training needed depends totally on where you're starting from. Completion is dependent on a mixture of fitness, stamina and determination.

    As a rough guide we recommend vigorous exercise at least 3 times per week for as long as possible prior to the event. Walk briskly on the hilliest routes you can find, such that you are regularly out of breath. Improve your stamina by including a long weekly walk, building up to 15 miles or more. Improve your cardio by walking your shorter walks as fast as you can.

    Jogging uphill is a really good way to replicate the cardiovascular strain of walking up a steep mountain.

    Strength and condition exercise, such as weight training or Pilates are beneficial for working on your leg power and core strength.  

    Finally and most importantly, make sure you take it easy during the last week running up to the event. It takes more than 7 days for muscles to recover, rebuild and benefit from any exercise you do. All top athletes do it - 'Tapering off' is your opportunity to exercise lightly and make sure you do not arrive with a build up of lactic acid in your legs that WILL slow you down during the challenge.


    Booking form with terms and conditions

    Kit List


    The Ullswater Way Heritage Trail

    The Heritage Trail consists of 12 heritage-themed installations along the 4 main sections of the Ullswater Way. Each installation celebrates an aspect of the valley’s heritage. Each is created by a local artist and designed to be in harmony with the natural surroundings. While on the trail, it's a fun activity to try and find all 12 of these points of interest:

    The Heritage Trail Installations:

    1. Artists' Seat: Celebrates 3 artists who were inspired by the valley - Ann Macbeth, John Glover and JMW Turner.

    2. Birkett Memorial: Remembering Lord Norman Birkett who helped save Ullswater from becoming a reservoir.

    3. Clarkson Memorial: Celebrating the role of Thomas Clarkson in the anti-slavery movement.

    4. Dorothy Gate: Celebrates the writing of Dorothy Wordsworth and her influence on the poetry of her brother.

    5. Herdwick Stones: Sheep and shepherding are at the heart of life in the valley.

    6. Patterdale Parish War Memorial: Remembering those from the Parish who gave their lives in the two world wars.

    7. Poetry Stones: 3 stones engraved with lines from the poetry of Kathleen Raine, who lived in Martindale in the 1940s.

    8. Pooley Bridge Fish Monument: Reminds us that Pooley Bridge was once a thriving fishing village.

    9. Roman Seat: Marks the spot where two Roman roads crossed.

    10. treefold:north in Glencoyne Park overlooks Ullswater and encircles a young oak tree, built using stones scattered over nearby fields during Storm Desmond in 2015.

    11. Wainwright Plaque at Patterdale PO: Alfred Wainwright's Guides to the Fells were first sold here.

    12. Wainwright Sitting Stone: Celebrating Ullswater, "that loveliest of lakes..."