Ullswater is an enjoyable venue for Swallow Boats with accessible camping and launching facilities, lovely scenery, usually tranquil but occasionally exciting sailing and challenging winds from the surrounding mountains.

Hopefully these notes will give new visitors some useful guidance and prompt happy memories for those of us returning.

A clearer and printable copy of this useful map can be downloaded from:


Swallow Boat Meetings

Please see the forum posts for details of any Swallow Boat meetings this year at Ullswater, which may be headed “Ullswater” or “Lake District Meeting”. These notes are partly intended to avoid tedious repetition of fixed information in meeting blogs. Please feel free to add helpful notes.

For a flavour of Swallow Boat meetings at Ullswater see posts for previous Ullswater meetings and photos at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/80529710@N07/albums/72157652269415483        (thanks Graham)

Glenridding Sailing Centre (GSC)

GSC has proven to be a friendly and efficient host for Swallow Yacht meetings.  See  http://www.glenriddingsailingcentre.co.uk for details of location and contact.

If you are attending a Swallow Boats meeting at Ullswater then please book ahead and pay fees direct to GSC but let the Swallow Boats meeting organiser ( in my case “not-organiser” – see below) that you are attending.

GSC fees will vary so please check the current Ullswater meeting blog for this years costs and details.

Glen Ridding Sailing Centre’s require people to wear buoyancy aids on and around the water and boats have at least 3rd party insurance.

Ullswater sailing Club

USC has good facilities and is a successful club – which means it can be very busy particularly on race days.  Its a good idea to check with the club first well in advance.

Campsites and Accommodation

There are lots of local options.Campsites and B&B can be found at http://www.ullswater.co.uk/camping.html#Watermillock


See the Ullswater Users Guide at  http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting?a=254047 with safety advice and a map showing the main things to avoid.

Also please read the Events – READ THIS FIRST post at: http://www.swallowyachtsassociation.org/smf/index.php/topic,982.msg6347.html#msg6347

Note that if I’m the organiser that I’m not trained, not qualified and not insured to advise other people on risks for their sailing activities and:

–   I don’t know participant’s capabilities
–   I don’t know how good their equipment is for the conditions
–   I am unwilling to look after other people’s money

It is the boat skippers’ responsibilities to ensure their boat, crew and behaviour are safe for the conditions on the day.

No rescue boat service is available so it is up to skippers to look after their own boats crews and of course also have a duty of care towards other Lake users.

My unqualified risk assessment is:

Man-eating crocodiles, fire-breathing dragons, fire-quenching hippos, tsunamis, complicated tides and fierce currents are rare on Ullswater. Also rare are super-tankers with crews relying on radar to see your little boat and big catamarans speeding out to service wind farms.

On the other hand there are rather charming Edwardian lake cruisers (surprisingly fast), unstable dinghies with hydrofoils, lake swimmers, canoes, incompetents in small boats and me in BR20 Gladys (lookout for the warning bright red boot top) – all best given a wide berth.

Some Swallowboats have encountered centreboard-eating rocks but the areas they (mostly) lurk are shown on the map: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/visiting?a=254047 and marked in the real world with red-buoys or spindly beacons.  In common with any mountain surrounded water the wind can be playful, so reef early or be ready to swim.  For extra sport there may be a few irate land-owners and serious racing around Ullswater Sailing Club along some of the shore line – but again those areas are shown on the map.

Matthew Peacock – BR20 Gladys