Howtown & Martindale

The Lake District

Ullswater's west side gets busy, but few people take the time to explore the lake's eastern side. The little hamlet of Howtown is perfect for an expedition into the nearby peaks, either an ascent of Hallin Fell, or the more challenging charge along the old Roman road of High Street.

It's worth venturing on to see the little church of St Martin's, overlooking the remote Martindale valley.

Sheltered under the boughs of a thousand year-old yew, the church has a flagstoned interior housing a 17th-century pulpit and a 500-year-old church bell.

It's worth noting that the narrow, twisty road winding along the lake's eastern edge to Howtown is best avoided if you're a bad reverser – it's single-track pretty much the whole way from Pooley Bridge, and passing places are few and far between. A better way to arrive is via the Ullswater Steamers, which call in at the Howtown jetty en route from Glenridding and Pooley Bridge.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Lake District attractions

1. Gowbarrow Park & Aira Force

2.77 MILES

This rolling park stretches out across the lakeshore between Pooley Bridge and Glenridding. Well-marked paths lead up to the impressive 20m-high waterfall…

2. Lowther Estate

5.54 MILES

This sprawling country estate once belonged to one of the Lake District's most venerable families and is currently undergoing a huge, multimillion-pound…

3. Dalemain

5.71 MILES

Driving southwest along the A592 road from Penrith, you can't miss the striking salmon-pink facade of Dalemain, a mile from Ullswater's northern tip. With…

4. Rheged

6.33 MILES

Cunningly disguised as a Lakeland hill 2 miles west of Penrith, this visitor centre houses an IMAX cinema and temporary exhibitions. There's also a large…

5. Penrith Castle

7.63 MILES

The ruins of Penrith Castle loom on the edge of town opposite the train station. Built in the 14th century by William Strickland (later Bishop of Carlisle…

6. St Andrews Church

7.95 MILES

Penrith's name derives from an old Celtic word meaning 'red fell', and the area's crimson sandstone is clear to see in many of the town's buildings,…

7. Rydal Mount


The poet William Wordsworth's most famous residence in the Lake District is undoubtedly Dove Cottage, but he actually spent a great deal more time at…

8. Castlerigg Stone Circle

9.75 MILES

Set on a hilltop a mile east of town, this jaw-dropping stone circle consists of 48 stones that are between 3000 and 4000 years old, surrounded by a…