Lake District Attractions
North East Lakes

Featuring the best attractions in the Lake District and Cumbria including public transport connections between them

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The Lake District and Cumbria are home to some of the best scenery and visitor attractions in the country. In the North East Lakes, this includes the beautiful lake and surroundings of Ullswater, the popular villages of Pooley Bridge and Glenridding, the peaceful Lowther valley and the remote Caldbeck area.

There are various bus and boat services through the area which will transport you to all of the popular attractions described below. Each attraction includes a brief description, photograph, link to website (where available) and any facilities such as shops, cafes and toilets. Public transport services that stop nearby (within 1 mile) are listed and the location of each stop in relation to the attraction is described. Further information on each transport service, including timetable, approximate route and other attractions visited on route, can be found by following the mode link.

Attractions - North East Lake District

Towns & villages

Pooley Bridge

Pooley Bridge village Pooley Bridge is a busy tourist village located at the northern end of Ullswater lake. There are a few shops, pubs and cafes although there isnít much else to see in the village itself. The area is popular with campers and caravaners who come from the many nearby sites. There are some good walks in the area but the main attraction are the Ullswater Steamers which can be caught from the nearby pier. Regular boats travel up the magnificent lake with various stops along the way.

There are toilets and various facilities in the village where you will also find the bus stop. Buses also stop at the Ullswater Steamers pier which is approx 0.3 miles from the village centre.

508 Ullswater Steamers


Glenridding village Glenridding is a small village in a fabulous setting between the lake and the high hills behind. It was originally famous for lead mining but has now been taken over by the tourists. There are a few small gift shops, tea rooms and bars. The Inn on the Lake hotel and bar provides refreshments with great views.

Buses stop in the village centre where there is a Tourist Information Centre and toilet facilities.

208, 508 Ullswater Steamers


Caldbeck village pond The picturesque and historic village of Caldbeck is the most northerly village in the Lake District National Park and one of the most remote. There are a number of attractions for visitors which are worth some exploring. Around the village centre you will find the attractive St Kentigernís church and next door is Priest's Mill, a former cornmill which has been well restored as an arts, crafts and gifts centre including The Watermill Cafe. A short riverside walk leads from the car park to the mill.

Following the river upstream from the Mill, a short walk leads to The Howk, an impressive limestone gorge containing a picturesque waterfall and an old Bobbin Mill ruin. Along the way you will also pass the large village green and pond which provides a pleasant place to stroll and relax. Refreshments can also be obtained at the village shop, the Oddfellows Arms pub and The Old Smithy Tea Room. Public toilets in the village.

Buses stop in the village centre.


Lakes & rivers

Pooley Bridge lakeside

Pooley Bridge lakeside From Pooley Bridge village centre, a pleasant 0.2 mile walk brings you 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. Facilities can be found back in the village.

The pier for the Ullswater Steamers is on the other side of the river, over the road bridge in the village. Regular boats travel up the magnificent lake calling at Howtown and Glenridding.

Buses stop in the village centre and at the Ullswater Steamers pier.

508 Ullswater Steamers

Aira Force waterfall

Aira Force waterfall Aira Force is probably the most famous waterfall in the Lake District and at 65ft high, one of the tallest. From the car park there are various paths leading up to the waterfall viewing areas and beyond. The views from the bridges at the top and bottom of the waterfall are impressive. It is only a short walk but the paths are steep and uneven in places. There is also a tea room and toilet facilities at the car park. Free entry to waterfalls.

Buses stop near the car park entrance on the A592. The boat pier is also near the car park.

208, 508 Ullswater Steamers

Glencoyne, Ullswater

Daffodils at Glencoyne Glencoyne provides a scenic lakeshore area with narrow shingle beaches next to the road and wonderful views across the lake. Approx 0.2 miles walk along the road towards Pooley Bridge brings you to a picturesque wooded area between the road and the lake. This area is well known for its daffodils which were the inspiration for the famous Wordsworth poem ĎDaffodilsí. There are no facilities on site.

Buses stop at the main car park.

208, 508

Glenridding lakeside

Glenridding lakeside From Glenridding village centre, a pleasant 0.3 mile walk leads down to the shores of Ullswater. Here is Glenridding pier where you can catch one of the Ullswater steamers. They sail the length of Ullswater lake, a very scenic trip calling at Howtown and Pooley Bridge. In the pier building is a small cafe and toilet facilities.

Adjacent to the pier is a picturesque parkland area with a large expanse of open grass next to the lake, again with wonderful views.

Across the grass from the pier, adjacent to the lake and the main road, is St Patrick's boat landing where you can hire boats and bikes and there is a small snack bar.

208, 508 Ullswater Steamers

Brothers Water

Brothers Water Brothers Water is a small but picturesque lake with high hills all around at the foot of Kirkstone Pass. It is only a short easy walk from the bus stop to the lake and the path continues along the valley floor if you want to keep going. Despite the proximity of the main road, the lake remains relatively peaceful and there is good access to the west shore from the path. There are no facilities nearby.

Buses stop at Cow Bridge car park.


Historic places

Lowther Castle & Gardens

Lowther castle Part of the huge Lowther Estate, Lowther Castle and Gardens stand on a site occupied by the Lowther family for over 800 years. The castle is now a shell but the impressive facades remain and are testament to the magnificent home that was built in the early 19th century. The castle and gardens were left in ruins in the mid 20th century but a relatively recent project has saved the castle and brought the gardens back to life.

You can wander within the castle ruin and around the numerous attractive themed gardens. There are fabulous views of the castle from the huge gently sloping lawn and also of the Lowther valley from the limestone escarpment walk. Beyond this is a very impressive adventure playground. The stable courtyard has been sympathetically renovated to provide a cafe, gift shop and toilet facilities. Entrance fee applies to the castle and gardens which are open daily all year.

106 bus stops outside the main gate. A 506 bus between Kendal and Penrith also stops in Hackthorpe village, just over 1 mile walk.


Shap Abbey

Shap Abbey The ruins of Shap Abbey are set is a picturesque secluded valley next to the River Lowther. It was the only Abbey within the Lake District boundary and is now in the care of English Heritage. The Abbey was founded around 1200 and was one of the last to be dissolved by Henry VIII in 1540. Much of the stonework was later taken for local construction, including Lowther Castle, but you can still see the lower walls of the buildings and the impressive tower which remains largely complete. Various information boards around the site tell you more about the Abbey and monastic life. The site is not manned and is open at any reasonable time with free entry. No facilities on site, nearest in Shap village.

Nearby is Keld Chapel and a number of prehistoric monuments including the Goggleby Stone. All can be visited in a fairly easy and pleasant walk from Shap village.

Buses stop in Shap village, just over 1 mile walk from Shap Abbey.


Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum

Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum is situated in an old microgranite quarry which operated from the 1870ís to 1980ís. Since the early 1990ís the site has been developed as a museum by enthusiasts and provides a fascinating insight into local quarrying and mining. The site is covered in old quarry machinery and vintage excavators cared for by the Vintage Excavator Trust who are based here. A narrow gauge railway with steam and diesel locomotives will transport you around the site to view these machines and you are free to wonder around for a better look.

There is also a museum building with a fine collection of small mining and quarrying artefacts and nearby an old copper/lead mine has been reconstructed where you can experience conditions in a typical local mine. The open sloping site gives superb views across the valley towards Blencathra mountain. Separate admission fees apply for the museum, railway and mine tour. Open daily from Easter to end of October. Toilet facilities provided.

X4, X5 buses stop at the village hall in Threlkeld village. 208 buses stop on the A66 at Threlkeld village. Threlkeld village approx 1 mile walk from mining museum.

208, X4, X5

Other places

Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre

Next door to Lowther Castle, the Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre has a large collection of hawks, eagles, falcons and owls from around the world. You can wonder around the different aviaries but the highlight is the flying demonstration where you have a chance to fly a bird yourself and there is an informative presentation. The Centre is in an attractive setting and includes tearoom, picnic area, gift shop and toilet facilities. Centre is open daily from April to November, entrance fee applies.

106 bus stops outside the attraction. A 506 bus between Kendal and Penrith also stops in Hackthorpe village, just under 1 mile walk.


Kirkstone Pass

Kirkstone Pass from near Brothers Water At an altitude of 454m, Kirkstone Pass summit is the highest road and the highest bus stop in the Lake District. There isn't much at the summit but there are some wonderful views of the surrounding hills and towards Windermere. There are good walks from here up nearby mountains, made easier by the high starting point. There is also the Kirkstone Pass Inn which is the highest pub in Cumbria and provides refreshments with outdoor seating. Apart from the pub there are no other facilities.

Buses stop near the pub.