|A drive around the eastern Lake District, including some remote and beautiful parts of Ullswater and Haweswater lakes. Also featured are the attractive Lowther and Lyvennet valleys, some picturesque villages and historic places.|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Pooley Bridge Village||N 54.61172, W 2.82135|
|4.6 miles||Martindale Hause||N 54.56494, W 2.87413|
|12.3 miles||Askham Village||N 54.60642, W 2.75579|
|13.2 miles||St Michael's Church||N 54.61194, W 2.74608|
|14.1 miles||Lowther Castle||N 54.60844, W 2.73380|
|14.6 miles||Bird Of Prey Centre||N 54.60701, W 2.72756|
|19.7 miles||Morland Village||N 54.59583, W 2.62176|
|24.3 miles||Maulds Meaburn Village||N 54.53967, W 2.58074|
|29.5 miles||Shap Village||N 54.52902, W 2.67619|
|30.8 miles||Keld Chapel||N 54.52395, W 2.69115|
|32.3 miles||Shap Abbey||N 54.53148, W 2.70071|
|38.2 miles||Haweswater Dam||N 54.53231, W 2.76997|
|42.3 miles||Mardale Head||N 54.48924, W 2.82018|
|55.8 miles||Pooley Bridge Village||N 54.61172, W 2.82135|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Pooley Bridge Village Coordinates: N 54.61172, W 2.82135
|Pooley Bridge village|
A short walk leads to the shores of Ullswater lake at the outflow of the River Eamont. There are lovely views up the lake and you can hire a boat at Lakeland Boat Hire. The footpath also continues along the lake shore. Pay and display car parks either side of the road bridge, public toilets in the village.
Travelling:From the road bridge, travel through the village on the main road. At the end of the village is a mini-roundabout where you take the second exit towards Howtown and Martindale. In a short distance meet a T junction and turn right. This dead end Martindale road follows the shores of Ullswater with some wonderful scenery and is worth a detour. The road passes a number of camp sites which are very popular in season. Beyond these the road narrows and soon passes Sharrow Bay hotel and restaurant which provides luxurious refreshments overlooking Ullswater. The road then follows the lake shore although views of the lake are somewhat hidden by trees and there isn’t much opportunity for stopping.
Eventually reach the hamlet of Howtown where Ullswater Steamers regularly pour walkers on to the adjacent pier. Again there isn’t really anywhere to park. Pass Howtown Hotel on the left and soon cross a cattle grid to begin a tricky, short but sharp ascent with some impressive corners that needs some care, especially if something is coming the other way. The summit area is Martindale Hause and parking is on the right or next to the church on the left.
Distance: 4.6 miles Location: Martindale Hause Coordinates: N 54.56494, W 2.87413
|Ullswater and Howtown from Martindale Hause|
The new Martindale church of St Peter’s was built around 1880 and has some impressive stained glass. The old church of St Martin is only 0.5 miles away and is also worth a visit. Follow the road beyond the Hause, taking the first left turn. St Martin’s dates from the 16th century and is in a very picturesque setting overlooking Martindale valley. The attractive church is small and basic but has some lovely features including a yew tree in the churchyard estimated to be 1300 years old.
Travelling:Retrace your steps back towards Pooley Bridge village. Stay on the road to bypass the village and meet the B5320 at a T junction where you turn right towards Penrith. In approx 0.6 miles take the fist right turn, a minor road towards Askham. The quiet narrow road climbs to give views towards Penrith and the Pennine hills in the distance. As the road descends towards Askham you can see the top of Lowther Castle ahead, above the trees. Eventually meet a T junction and turn right to enter the village of Askham. The village car park is a short distance on the left, adjacent to The Queens Head pub car park.
Distance: 12.3 miles Location: Askham Village Coordinates: N 54.60642, W 2.75579
|Askham village green|
The main green surrounds the road, overlooked by charming old houses. Further down the hill on the right is The Punchbowl Inn and opposite the pub is Askham Hall, an historic manor house which was until recently home to the Lowther family who previously lived at Lowther Castle. The Hall has been transformed in to a stylish hotel and has some lovely gardens which are open to the public (admission fee) and a cafe. Further down the hill again is St Peter’s Church and beyond that is the River Lowther. Adjacent to the free village car park is an open air swimming pool which is open to the public over the summer months.
Travelling:Turn left out of the village car park and beyond Askham Stores turn left again towards Lowther. The road descends through the attractive village and soon crosses the River Lowther, bearing left to follow the river. Cross a cattle grid to enter Lowther Park and up a small hill is St Michael’s Church on the left.
Distance: 13.2 miles Location: St Michael's Church Coordinates: N 54.61194, W 2.74608
|St Michael's Church|
Travelling:Continue across a cattle grid to enter attractive open parkland. Don’t miss the impressive facade of Lowther Castle nearby on the right, with its tree-lined approaches. The road ascends a short distance to cross another cattle grid where you take the right turn towards Lowther. Soon meet a minor T junction where you continue straight ahead, passing the small village of Lowther Newtown on the left. This replaced the old Lowther village which was pulled down in the 17th century to improve the view from Lowther Hall, the site of the present Lowther Castle. Ahead, where the road bears left, the entrance to Lowther Castle is on the right.
Distance: 14.1 miles Location: Lowther Castle Coordinates: N 54.60844, W 2.73380
You can wander within the castle ruin and around the numerous themed gardens which are work in progress but still interesting. There are fabulous views of the castle from the huge gently sloping lawn and also of the Lowther valley from the limestone escarpment walk. The stable courtyard has been sympathetically renovated to provide a cafe, gift shop and toilet facilities. Beyond this an entrance fee applies to the castle and gardens which are open daily all year.
Travelling:Leaving the castle car park, turn right on the minor road towards Hackthorpe. The road soon enters woodland and a short distance on the right is Lakeland Bird Of Prey Centre.
Distance: 14.6 miles Location: Lakeland Bird Of Prey Centre Coordinates: N 54.60701, W 2.72756
|Lakeland Bird Of Prey Centre|
Travelling:Leaving the car park, turn right on the minor road which soon bears left and passes the village of Lowther on the left. These small and neat groups of houses were built in the 18th century to house Lowther estate workers. Just beyond, meet a T junction and turn right. Continue a short distance to meet the main A6 road at another T junction where you turn right. Pass through the village of Hackthorpe and the Lowther Castle Inn on the right.
Beyond the village, cross the M6 motorway and almost immediately take the left turn towards Morland. The road descends under the main west coast railway and over the River Leith to enter the pleasant village of Great Strickland where you will find the popular Strickland Arms pub. Beyond the village, the narrow road continues through pleasant countryside and woodland with some views over the Eden valley towards the Pennine hills. Eventually descend to enter the village of Morland. At the T junction in the village, opposite St Lawrence’s Church, turn right and continue a short distance to another T junction where you turn left. The road descends towards the river and The Square where there is some roadside parking adjacent to Mill Yard cafe on the left. Further roadside parking along Water Street opposite.
Distance: 19.7 miles Location: Morland Village Coordinates: N 54.59583, W 2.62176
|St Lawrence's Church, Morland|
Travelling:Leave The Square on Water Street, adjacent to The Crown Inn. The road passes alongside the pretty Morland Beck and old mill race before leaving the village. Continue through pleasant countryside and woodland on the generally straight minor road, again with distant views across the Eden valley. After approx 4 miles, enter the village of Maulds Meaburn. Roadside parking through the village with a wider section at the far end of the village, opposite the modern Village Institute.
Distance: 24.3 miles Location: Maulds Meaburn Village Coordinates: N 54.53967, W 2.58074
|Maulds Meaburn village|
Travelling:Continue on the minor road which ascends out of the village and shortly enters the village of Crosby Ravensworth. Another pretty village with a pleasant stream and the impressive St Lawrence’s Church on the right. Beyond the church, take the first right turn towards Shap and climb steeply away from the village. This area is steeped in history and the surrounding countryside contains countless prehistoric remains and monuments. Continue along the elevated road with views over the Eden valley towards the Pennines and then ahead towards the eastern Lake District mountains. Cross the M6 motorway and descend to enter Shap village. Cross the main west coast railway and pass St Michael’s Church on the left. Continue a short distance to a T junction with the main A6 road. Turn left and Shap village car park is a short distance on the left.
Distance: 29.5 miles Location: Shap Village Coordinates: N 54.52902, W 2.67619
|Goggleby Stone, Shap|
Travelling:Turn right out of the car park on the A6 north. After approx 0.3 miles, just before the end of the village, take the left turn signposted to Bampton. Beyond the village the road is lined with limestone walls, a feature of this area. In a short distance take the first left turn signposted to Keld. Continue approx 0.7 miles along the narrow lane to enter the village of Keld. There is some roadside parking in the centre of the small village, or beyond the village next to the river.
Distance: 30.8 miles Location: Keld Chapel Coordinates: N 54.52395, W 2.69115
Travelling:Retrace your steps to the Bampton road and turn left. Ahead are some great views towards the Lakeland mountains. Shortly, take the first left turn signposted to Shap Abbey. The single track road continues a short distance to a cattle grid then descends steeply towards Shap Abbey. The car park is at the bottom of the hill on the right.
Distance: 32.3 miles Location: Shap Abbey Coordinates: N 54.53148, W 2.70071
Travelling:Retrace your steps to the Bampton road and turn left. The road, narrow in places, is again lined with limestone walls, as are all the surrounding fields. Continue through pleasant countryside following the Lowther valley. Across the valley you can glimpse Haweswater Reservoir and its surrounding hills. Eventually the road descends and enters the village of Bampton Grange, a small pleasant village including The Crown & Mitre pub and St Patrick’s Church. Beyond the church, cross the River Lowther and immediately take the first left turn towards Haweswater. Very shortly take the next right turn, a narrow road which soon crosses Haweswater Beck. Just beyond is a small parking area on the left where you can access the beck. Continue a short distance to a T junction and turn left towards Haweswater. After approx 1 mile the village of Burnbanks is on the right, built to house the workers who built Haweswater dam. Cross Haweswater Beck again and approx 0.6 miles beyond is a lay-by on the left overlooking Haweswater dam.
Distance: 38.2 miles Location: Haweswater Dam Coordinates: N 54.53231, W 2.76997
Near the dam, you can see two streams entering the reservoir, one on each shore. These are aqueducts which collect water from a number of nearby catchments and from Ullswater lake, thereby massively increasing the effective catchment area and ensuring enough water is available. Free parking, no facilities.
Travelling:The picturesque road along the eastern shore of the reservoir was built to access the head of the valley when the original road was flooded. It is worth driving the 4 mile dead end road to admire the remote valley and wonderful scenery. Approx 1.7 miles beyond the dam is the Hawewater Hotel which was built to replace the original Mardale pub and provides refreshments overlooking the reservoir. A short distance beyond the hotel there is a small tower in the reservoir. This is where most of the water is abstracted before travelling by gravity along an underground aqueduct to a treatment works near Kendal. As the road continues towards the head of the valley, the views of the reservoir and surrounding mountains become even more impressive. At the end of the tarmac road is Mardale Head car park.
Distance: 42.3 miles Location: Mardale Head, Haweswater Coordinates: N 54.48924, W 2.82018
|Towards Mardale Head, Haweswater|
Haweswater is also a large RSPB bird reserve which until 2016 was the only place in England where you could see a wild Golden Eagle. Unfortunately it has disappeared but there are still a variety of bird species in the area including Buzzards and Peregrines. Free car park but it can fill early in season and at weekends. No facilities.
Travelling:Retrace your steps all the way back down the valley, past the dam and Burnbanks. Ignore the turn to Bampton Grange, continue straight ahead and shortly enter the village of Bampton. At the T junction in the village is Bampton shop & tea room. Turn left at the T junction on the Lowther valley road towards Askham. There are lovely views across the Lowther valley as you travel along the road, passing the hamlet of Butterwick and on to the small village of Helton. The road bypasses the village, maintaining good views across the valley and you can see the limestone escarpment walkway bordering Lowther Castle. Beyond Helton, enter Askham village again. Continue straight through the village and just beyond take the left turn signposted to Celleron. The lofty lane provides some good views towards Penrith, over the River Eamont valley and eventually towards the Lake District mountains. Continue to a T junction and turn left on the B5320. Soon enter the village of Pooley Bridge, the car parks are at the far end of the village, either side of the road bridge.
Distance: 55.8 miles Location: Pooley Bridge Village Coordinates: N 54.61172, W 2.82135
|Pooley Bridge lakeside|