On Saturday 3 September, The Friends of the Ullswater Way are inviting members of local communities to join them on the inaugural walk of the Ullswater Way – a recently opened 20 mile walking route that circumnavigates the lake through a spectacular landscape, rich in history and cultural heritage.
The aim of this celebratory walk is two fold: to bring together local communities around the Lake to celebrate shared cultural heritage and environment; secondly to help raise funds to support and develop the heritage of Ullswater and acknowledge those who have devoted their lives to its conservation.
Gordon Lightburn from the Friends of the Ullswater Way said: “The Ullswater Way has given a much needed boost to the valley. The Friends believe it’s s a great opportunity to celebrate the history and traditions of the valley, and the way of life of those who have shaped it.”
The Friends of the Ullswater Way is a local group working with five parishes around the lake to design, create and install up to 14 enigmatic points of culture and heritage along the Way. Each of these will celebrate and illuminate distinct aspect of life in the valley, both past and present.
Using local skills and artists as far as possible, each installation will align to the key project ethos, of being ‘in harmony with the immediate surroundings’. Thanks to local fundraising the first installation is in place: Nestled just below the 2000 year old Roman Road (known locally as High Street) at Moor Divock near Pooley Bridge is a curved stone seat, built by local craftsmen.
Thanks to a grant from The Lake District National Park, work has begun on the following installations:
- Poetry Stones: The words of contemporary poet Kathleen Raine, who found inspiration living in Martindale, will be inscribed on a series of stones close to the Ullswater Way in Hallin Wood, Martindale
- Celebrating artists who loved Ullswater: At the southern end of the lake a Patterdale resident artist has designed a stone seat, re-using local materials, at the spot where the view inspired artists John Glover, Ann Macbeth and William Turner.
3. Anti-slavery Medallion: In 1787 Thomas Clarkson helped establish the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. We would like to commemorate his achievements with an emblem mounted on the wall of his former residence at Eusemere, Pooley Bridge.
However, in order to achieve their goal, the Friends need to raise an additional £5000. It is hoped this community walk of the Ullswater Way will help with that. Launched earlier this year, the 20 mile circular route can be walked in one go or in stages. The entire circuit can take anything from 8-10 hours depending upon your level of fitness and the number of rest stops and photo opportunities. Participants can start at a time that suits them. Those aiming to complete the whole circuit should probably start at about 8am from one of the four ‘natural’ starting points:
- Glenridding: Ullswater Steamers pier. (6.5 miles to Howtown)
- Howtown: Ullswater Steamers pier. (5 miles to Pooley bridge)
- Pooley Bridge: Pooley bridge car park. (6.5 miles to Aira Force)
- Aira Force: Aira Force Car park. (3 miles to Glenridding)
The walk is completely informal – there will be no organised guides, helpers, first aid, or special facilities and participants must bring their own food, water and first aid kit. Ullswater Steamers will run their usual scheduled service. The Friends suggest that all walkers aim to meet up together and celebrate on the last sailing that leaves Glenridding at 16.00, Howtown at 16.35, and Pooley Bridge at 17.05 (arriving back at Glenridding at 18.05).