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A photographers guide to Ullswater

Poets and painters have admired The Ullswater Valley for over two hundred years and now many photographers are following in their footsteps.

We asked local photographer Rod Ireland to highlight some nearby locations for a photography guide to Ullswater.

Another Place shoreline

This one is on your doorstep. A stroll down to the shoreline from the hotel and you’re treated to views of Arthur’s Pike and vistas up and down the lakeside. If you fancy trying out a jetty shot, there’s one directly by the hotel, or a little further down, there are a number to be found at the marina. Early morning will give you a chance of catching the rising sun.

Take in the surrounding views with the Another Place walking loop from the hotel.

Another place shoreline

Aira Force

Without doubt, one of the most photographic waterfalls in the Lake District, Aira Force has a stone arch bridge at the top and a fall that drops 20 meters into a pool below. If there’s sunlight breaking through the canopy of trees you might see a rainbow in the spray at the bottom of the falls. If you cross the road from the car park, there’s also a jetty at Aira Point to capture. From here you can also catch one of the steamer boats that travel around the lake.

Discover Aira Force with a 4.2 mile walk taking in Gowbarrow and Aira Force waterfall here.


Duke of Portland Boathouse

This picturesque little spot is famous amongst photographers and painters and really does make a great subject. I prefer to capture it early morning when it’s lit by the rising sun from the east. If you go on a cool still morning, you could catch some mist on the water as well as some fantastic reflections.

Duke of Portland boat


If you’re up for a short walk uphill, Gowborrow fell offers one of my favourite views, looking down over the lake towards Glenridding. Park at Aira Force car park and cross the beck. Then make your way a little uphill towards what is marked as ‘Green Hill’ on the OS map. You just need to go far enough to enable the view of the lake to open out in front of you. During autumn, the colours here are simply beautiful and not to be missed.


Mossdale Bay

Just before you reach the village of Glenridding, you’ll pass a lovely stretch of shoreline at Mossdale Bay. There are boulders, trees and reeds in the water here, giving you the chance to get some foreground interest, particularly when shooting with a wider angle lens. It’s also a great spot to capture Norfolk island which sits proudly at a fork in the lake.

mossdale bay

Heughscar hill

Heughscar hill offers one of the very best views in the whole of the lake district. Looking South-West down the lake from an elevated position, you can the fells stretching out in front of you, all the way to the mighty Helvellyn. Summer evenings are my favourite time to visit although you’ll get a great view at any time of year. The walk starts at Pooley Bridge which is less than five minutes from the hotel by car. Then, allow one hour from the village to reach the top, or if parking is available at Roehead, allow forty-five minutes.


From swathes of daffodils in spring, made famous in Wordsworth’s poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud”, through to snow-capped peaks in winter, the area is rich with photographic opportunities year long. Ever changing light and atmospheric conditions make this a great place to get your camera and create some fantastic images. You just need to get out there and make the most of what’s on your doorstep!

About the author

Rod Ireland is a professional photographer living in nearby Askham. He runs photography workshops and courses and the Ullswater area is one of his main inspirations for his landscape work.


ullswater general
Duke of Portland
Ullswater boat fog
Ullswater water
Duke of portland
Ullswater clouds
Aira force