01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk
We meet as strangers and depart as friends

Ullswater Way

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Why Book With Us?

  • Value for Money
  • Personal Service
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • No single supplement (UK only)
  • Flights from local airports (Europe only)

Make an Enquiry

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.


01694 723600

You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

The Lake District is England’s only true mountain area. It has the most beautiful scenery in the land, with its bewitching mix of rugged mountains, deep gylls, shimmering lakes, bouncing waterfalls and attractive stone-built villages. Our solos guided walking holiday introduces you to this spectacular countryside. This unique landscape, is one of National Geographic’s top ten ‘must-see’ destinations in the world.

We are specialists in designing guided walking experiences for solos and singles. We also specialise in creating bespoke holidays for specific groups.

  • Three and a half days
  • Refund guarantee
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Three nights
  • Location: Southern Lake District
What you get on a Secret Hills Break
  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite two nights/ three nights if the holiday falls on a Bank Holiday – Spring Bank or August Bank Holiday
  • Dinner- three course.
  • Lunch- except first day
  • Sole Occupancy
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding- friendly, local guides that know the area superbly well
  • Transport to walks start and finish as needed
  • Flexibility
  • No single supplement
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Full joining details prior to your holiday
  • Our administration support from the point of booking to you joining the holiday

Hotel and Meals

We stay at the George Hotel in Penrith –  5 miles from Ullswater Lake

Accommodation is single/double en suite rooms – no sharing. All our hotels have a bar, and a comfortable lounge.

There is plenty of parking available at the hotel.

Dinner is three course –  all part of relaxing in these hills. All our hotels excel in giving you value for money and very tasty evening meals – they pride themselves on their food, much locally sourced and grown. Dress code is smart casual.

Lunch on this holiday is packed.

We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.


Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the countryside but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We specialise in organising guided walking holidays for single and solos travellers
  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. 
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.


Penrith is situated two miles from Junction 40 of the M6 motorway. The George is in the centre of the town. Sat Nov CA117SU.

By train – Penrith is a main line station on the London to Glasgow West Coast line.

See National Rail


Walk around England’s most beautiful lake – this holiday takes in the whole of Ullswater’s beauty, hugging mainly the lake side but venturing off to gain the lovely panorama views that can be seen in this iconic corner of the ever spectacular Lake District.

We stay for 3 nights and walk for 3.5 days.

The Ullswater Way

The Ullswater Way is a very new 20 mile ( 24 mile if we add in two good viewpoints) walking route that circumnavigates the lake through a spectacular landscape rich in history and cultural heritage. The waymarked trail is undulating and the whole way offers the most splendid views across the lake which is surrounded by hills and mountains. The path is made up of a whole range of different terrains which adds to the variety but it’s predominantly all on good paths. The route varies from walking along the lakeshore with the opportunity to dip the toes in the Lake to ascending to around 500 metres on a couple of occasions. 

It really is an outstanding walk, it offers some of the best views in the Lake District and is achievable by anyone who is a good walker. To allow us to fully appreciate this beautiful walk we will walk the 24 miles over 2 days and walk it anti clockwise.

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the English Lake District, being approximately nine miles (14.5 kilometres) . Many regard Ullswater as the most beautiful of the English lakes, and it has been compared to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland and it is a popular tourist destination because of its outstanding beauty. 

The Ullswater Way Pin Badge

Having walked the Ullswater Way in all its splendour and variety we will present you with an ‘I’ve walked the Ullswater Way’ pin badge to celebrate! 

Grades and Difficulty

We walk between  10 and 11 miles per day.  We walk at a steady pace, we don’t rush.  We want you to enjoy our lovely scenery – these hills and valleys  are a walkers paradise with an ever changing landscape.

There are hills to ascend  – we go up to a maximum of 150 metres over two miles of walking, but the climbing is gradual and we won’t rush. What’s the point of huffing and puffing, being exhausted then not being able to enjoy this fabulous land.  

Paths on this Lake District holiday – Ullswater Way – are mostly well marked and walked but can have rough and uneven with stony parts to them. These we take carefully, bearing in mind your safety at all times.

You need good walking footwear, preferably waterproof walking boots with good soles for protection.

Whilst we do not ascend the high fells- we will ascend and descend on our walks.. So, there will be some short, sharp ascents and descents.


Sample walks

Day 1: Arrive and settle in, 2pm afternoon 5 mile walk from the Hotel in the hills around Penrith, notably Beacon Hill,

Day 2: Transport to Pooley Bridge then walk to Glenridding 

Day 3: Transport to Glenridding and walk to Pooley Bridge

Day 4: We walk one of the extension routes to the Ullswater Way- towards Lowther castle finishing at 3.30pm to allow you to get off home/catch trains etc.

Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking on Secrethills Walking Holidays. We don’t go in for discos, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities – but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

“Make new friends that turn into old friends” – that’s our motto.

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don’t worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday – its always a bit daunting – but we will look after you and ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again. Trust us to to get you back into the swing of things.

Oh – by the way – its not a dating agency – over the years we have had people meet and fall in love – but that’s just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends – just relax and enjoy.

Just arrive and enjoy.

How to Book

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  – once you have chosen your holiday, click on Proceed Booking and complete the online form. If you have difficulty reserving online, please  contact us (tel: 01694 723600, email: info@secrethillswalking.co.uk) and we will assist you to complete your booking.


Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone. You may pay by the following methods when you book online…

  • Paypal – if you have a Paypal account, simply click on the link to the Paypal website.
  • Credit / Debit card – we use Paypal to host our credit/debit cards facility because it is a very secure system. So if you want to pay with a card, simply click on this option which will take you to our page on the PayPal website. Check in there as a “Guest” to enable your card payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account for this transaction.
  • We will also accept a Bank Transfer – you will find our account details on the booking form.
  • Finally, we will also accept a cheque payable to Secret Hills Walking Holidays and sent to: Secret Hills Walking Holidays, 35 Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

Please note than an initial deposit is required with each booking regardless of which payment method you choose. Your booking will be accepted when your payment (deposit or full balance) is received. Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.


Ullswater is the most beautiful lake in England’s new World Heritage Site, and largest National Park, the Lake District – the most spectacularly scenic area of England.

The Lake District is in the Northwest of England, on the Scottish borders. Ullswater is easily accessible from the major road and rail routes that converge at Penrith – only 15 minutes from Ullswater’s Northern tip at Pooley Bridge. You can be here in around 3 hours from London by direct train.

Ullswater remains peaceful and unspoilt, retaining its history and heritage, but with all the facilities that a 21st century traveller requires. The surrounding countryside is unpopulated except for farms and wildlife, and there are only a handful of small villages along its 9 mile length, but these offer a welcoming taste of real Lake District life.

The valley offers an excellent choice of activities, attractions, and accommodation to suit everybody, of all ages, inclination and budgets. From outdoor adventurers, and culture seekers, to sophisticated travellers seeking relaxation and room to breathe – Ullswater is where you will find the Lake District you dream of, and the people to help you experience it.

Our landscape provides an unparalleled choice of outdoor activities from leisurely to demanding – all year round. Ullswater has hundreds of walking routes on its surrounding mountains and tributary valleys including Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain with its famously challenging Edges. The most epic mountain biking in the UK is found here too, particularly on Ullswater’s Eastern lake path and Boredale loop; and excellent watersports of all kinds.

A popular recent addition to our list of notable walks has been The Ullswater Way, a 20 mile circuit of the lake, and a heritage route, with sculptures celebrating notable points of interest. The famous Coast to Coast walk across England passes Ullswater at its Southern end.

Its history is stupendous, with ancient stone circles from the days of the earliest human occupation; the Roman Road High Street follows the valley along its East side; and over 1,000 years of farming history, still pretty much as it used to be.

England’s oldest herd of wild Red Deer, Cumbria’s native Fell Pony, and the famous smiley Herdwick sheep brought in by the Vikings; all live in the valley and on the surrounding fells.

Place names remain from both Viking and Scottish invasions. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned at Lowther Castle. The anti-slavery campaigner Thomas Clarkson lived at Pooley Bridge.

Links to King Arthur are strong in Ullswater – Aira Force, the National Trust owned waterfall and Arboretum, with nearby Llyulph’s Tower provided more inspiration for Wordsworth with his tragic Arthurian Somnambulist.

The Culture matches up, Wordsworth was inspired to write ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ here, inspired by its Springtime Daffodils. He attracted a following of creative souls like Coleridge and De Quincey, who came to live in the lakes so the magic could be theirs too. The Romantic and Picturesque Artistic movements were attracted to the sublime splendour of the landscape; JMW Turner, Constable, Gainsborough, Ruskin and Lear are amongst the most internationally known of these. Ullswater’s evolution has been hardworking and sometimes violent, but with a poetic soul – it’s no backwater.



3 Reviews
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Margaret Hill

Solo Traveller

 Our guides were very good and accommodating for the different issues posed in our group. Organisation: very good. The Hotel was very good. Friendly bar staff. Food and service were excellent.

September 22, 2021

Kay Gaitskell

Solo Traveller

I’ve enjoyed many holidays with Secret Hills, in the UK and Europe. On all holidays the information and service supplied is first class. The Skelwith bridge Hotel base is reliably good, excellent food and accommodation.  All walks were challenging in parts, but that scenery – Wow! Lead by knowledgeable leaders. Yes most definitely will be back. Thanks Kay

September 16, 2021

Sue Dewhirst

Solo Traveller

Guided walking, Yes, I really enjoyed it. Pre-holiday information was sent in good time and was clear and thorough. Our guides were excellent. Hotel excellent. I would recommend it to family and friends. The staff were friendly and helpful. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it. The restaurant staff did their utmost to provide a warm, safe and friendly atmosphere in challenging times. Booking was easy and the holiday itself was very well organised. Many thanks for a relaxing and excellent holiday. It was good to meet Alan too.

September 23, 2020