Ullswater is the second largest freshwater lake in the Lake District at 7.5 miles long. It is on average 3/4 mile wide and has a maximum depth of 62m at Howtown. The lake has three distinct bends giving it a dog’s leg appearance. The lake can be cold and is very dark. Ulswater itself is 150m above sea level and is often accessed over high passes e.g. Kirkstone (450m), Shap (300m) or Materdale / Dunmail Raise (300m) so care should be taken to include a decent surface interval after diving. There are plenty of pubs and cafes in Glenridding or Pooley Bridge. Access often involves carrying kit down uneven ground to the lake and in places crossing a busy main road. If strong winds blowing on surface likely to be strong currents underwater. There are watercraft to be aware of.
Diving is suitable for all if depth and location chosen carefully. There are numerous laybys along the west coast of the lake anyone of them offering opportunities to enter the water. Boat diving is also possible opening up many more sites in the lake and onto the east coasts. Many walls and wrecks can be found. Regularly used shore dive sites include:
Suitable for all levels of qualified diver as it’s a gentle slope down underwater. Depths to suit most divers. Many other dive sites exist along the shore from most laybys and particularly by boat.
The car parking layby on the A592, just over half a mile north of Glenridding. GR 123 456. It is a popular parking spot for walkers and lake users particularly in summer and it fills up quite early.
Ullswater is an inland freshwater lake. It is 145 metres above Sea Level with a maximum depth c60m. It’s not an altitude site but not far off. But it is accessed by high mountain passes. There are cafes and pubs in nearby Glenridding.
Site Access: Kit up in car park alongside busy A592. Carefully cross the main road and follow a gentle grassy slope to a couple of stone steps taking you down to shingle beach. Entry into the water is from two large boulders to the southern end of the beach.
Diving: Swim out and down to 6m then south to the boulder slope. Follow these down to desired depth up to 40m and work your way across and back up the craggy / bouldery slope
The Wall – A second dive from the same location, heading north – 50m further north along beach enter water and descend gradually north/ north-west along shore. Stones and shale
give way to silty bottom. A wall will soon be encountered which varies in depth from 15-20m
The south facing the rock face attracts marine growth, trout, perch at 10 m – Sticklebacks and eels slightly deeper.
Large car park – permission required to dive from management – never refused
From shore three choices for dives from here with refreshment on site
There is a steep bank around the area of soft sand and silt which if disturbed can effect visibility
North to boat house interesting artefacts – pottery and bottles – waste from big houses and hotel over years – beyond boathouse gets rocky 11-15m
Out to Island and back – Wall Holm – max depth 22m
South to river mouth and pier beyond 11-15m (caution Boat traffic)
Interesting stone / rocky wash down from river and old sunken Austin A40 car which was driven onto ice plus other artefacts. Care of boat traffic.
Three laybys along west side of the Lake, south of Gowbarrow Hall. All three sites are fairly similar and there is an interconncting path along the beach. They are busy and soon fill up in summer.
Site Access: Is direct from the layby down steps or embankment to a shingle beach.
Diving: Initially a gentle firm shingle slope until about 40 ft. out where the seabed plunges to 25m before levelling out and gradually descending to 40m.
Parking at Park House campsite is paid for in advance on line and there is plenty of room near the shingle beach and slipway. Easy access and a gently sloping sea bed to 25m
Limited road side parking at Sharrow Bay. Easy access from gravel beach sloping to 25m then north towards hotel and return by jetties and spoil heaps.
Roadside parking at Howtown Pier and slipway. Easy access to two bays split by the pier itself gently sloping shingle beaches giving way to firm silt down to 30m. The pier itself which is regularly visited by the steamers. From the bay north of the pier heading up the lake descend to 22m turn right to find old bottle bank. Diving from pier itself and heading straight up the lake in a n/nw direction there is a steep rising mound up to 6m. Some believe there is a wreck there perhaps of the Enterprise – others believe this was scrapped as part of war effort. Others talk of potential mini submarines lost three too.
There are many opportunities for boat diving including a number of walls and wrecks to explore. Launching at Pooley Bridge, Howtown or Glenridding.
Extensive vertical / slightly overhanging rock face down to 25m.
The area does attract small boats so care on ascent and surfacing – some also may have fishing tackle deployed. Ferries and larger boats operate further away from the island so DSMB essential here.