Lakes, fells, and local history

Greenbarn sits on the flanks of Little Mell Fell in Matterdale in the Unesco World Heritage Lake District National Park.

There is plenty to do in the surrounding area; walkers can climb Great and Little Mell Fells and Gowbarrow from the cottage, or enjoy the waterfalls at Aira Force, owned by the National Trust. The higher mountains in the Helvellyn range are just a short drive away and Ullswater is 10 minutes by car with lake activities available all year round.

The nearby towns and villages offer a look at Cumbrian life, and attractions such as the historic Dalemain, home of The World’s Original Marmalade Awards, is just 15 minutes away.

Lakes, fells, and local history

Greenbarn sits on the flanks of Little Mell Fell in Matterdale in the Unesco World Heritage Lake District National Park.

There is plenty to do in the surrounding area; walkers can climb Great and Little Mell Fells and Gowbarrow from the cottage, or enjoy the waterfalls at Aira Force, owned by the National Trust. The higher mountains in the Helvellyn range are just a short drive away and Ullswater is 10 minutes by car with lake activities available all year round.

The nearby towns and villages offer a look at Cumbrian life, and attractions such as the historic Dalemain, home of The World’s Original Marmalade Awards, is just 15 minutes away.

Bird
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Walking

There is plenty of walking from the cottage door or a short drive away. Little Mell Fell is just behind the cottage and is a fairly easy climb with the reward of breath taking views over Ullswater from the summit. Great Mell Fell is easily reached via a footpath across the valley. At the other end of the valley is Gowbarrow with the waterfalls at Aira Force on its flank. All three are Wainwright peaks.

For higher fells, the Helvellyn range, starting from Clough Head in the north, are within easy access of the cottage by car.

Looking for a flexible route? The Ullswater way is a circular route of 20 miles around the lake which can be done in sections and allows you to experience Ullswater at your own pace.

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The Lake

Sailing, kayaking and canoeing can all be enjoyed on Ullswater. We recommend Glenridding Sailing Centre which is 20 minutes away. There are various beaches around the lake. The easiest to access is Glencoyne with a National Trust car park. This is one of our favourite spots for an evening picnic and a dip.

If you would like an adventure on the lake, we recommend Reach Beyond Adventure which can arrange guided canoeing, kayaking, ghyll scrambling and bushcraft.

If you prefer to keep your feet dry, you can still enjoy the lake with Ullswater Steamers sail between Glenridding, Pooley Bridge, Aira Force and Howtown throughout the year.

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Martindale

For a walk, a picnic or some deer-spotting, Martindale is a great place to explore on the far side of Ullswater. It can be accessed by car via Pooley Bridge or by steamer to Howtown. There is a hotel with a tea room and walkers’ bar at Howtown or you could walk to the Lowther Tea Room near Sandwick (open March-November).

From Martindale, there are walks up Hallin Fell, Steel Knots, Beda Fell or Place Fell, to name but a few. In the autumn, you can hear and watch the deer rut on these fells. The ancient church of St Martin in Martindale is open to the public and well worth a visit. Look for the ancient yew tree in the churchyard which is known to have existed in at least 1220, but could be older. It is said that its boughs were used to produce longbows for Agincourt.

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Local Attractions

RHEGED
The visitors centre at Rheged is only 10 minutes’ drive away and a good option for a rainy day. There are shops, cafés, a wide-screen cinema and there is usually an exhibition.

DALEMAIN
The stately home and gardens at Dalemain are about 15 minutes’ drive from Greenbarn and are open Sun-Thurs, March to October. The house has been in the Hasell family since 1679 and was extended in Gerogian times, but parts of the Tudor house and the medieval pele tower still exist. Entrance to the house Sun-Wed is by guided tour from 10.30-2.30 which is thoroughly recommended to get the most out of your visit. From 2.30pm, it is possible to walk through the house unguided. There is a tea room in the medieval hall.

Where to eat

Greenbarn has a well equipped kitchen for self catering, as well as a charcoal BBQ for guests. If you would like to eat out, however, there are a whole host of lovely cafes and places to eat in and around Ullswater, and our nearby towns, Penrith and Keswick – we would recommend The Wild Strawberry in Keswick for delicious sweet and savoury crêpes.

The nearest pub to Greenbarn is The Royal at Dockray which is 2 miles away at the other end of Matterdale. There is also The Herdwick Inn at Penruddock and The Horse and Farrier at Dacre. All are within 10 minutes’ drive and provide pub meals. Heading west on the A66 are The Trout Inn at Troutbeck and The Horse and Farrier at Threlkeld. For a special pub meal, we would suggest the George and Dragon at Clifton or Dockray Hall in Penrith.

Emma's Dell
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Penrith

Penrith is only 15 minutes away and is offers a mixture of independent shops and supermakets. There is a Sainsburys, Booths, Morrisons, Cranston’s Food Hall and M&S Food Hall, but we would also recommend the butchers and fishmongers in Devonshire Arcade (next to The George Hotel) and the delicatessen, J&J Graham’s in Market Square.

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Keswick

Keswick is only 20 minutes away. It has a Booths supermarket and a whole host of outdoor clothing and gift shops. There is also an excellent theatre, Theatre by the Lake, which is well worth a visit. Boat trips on Derwentwater can be taken from the jetty near the theatre.