In and around the surrounding area
Remarkable, that nearly two hundred years ago and a mere pleasant walk along the shores of Ullswater from Patterdale, Dorothy and William Wordsworth saw the daffodils from which William drew inspiration for what must be one of the best known verses of the English language.
Nestled between two mountain ranges the isolated, slate-grey village of Patterdale can only be reached by Kirkstone Pass to the south or alongside Ullswater to the North. Legend has it that in the 15th century St. Patrick, having been marooned on Duddon Sands, walked 30 miles overland to this valley and gave Patterdale it’s ancient name of St. Patrick’s dale. True or not, there is a well dedicated to the saint by the roadside at Glenridding and the pretty village church was built and named St. Patrick’s in 1853.
Remote though it may be, crowds of visitors dating back to the Victorians have always been drawn to the mountains.
The Wordsworths were influential visitors and regular guests at Side Farm. When Patterdale Hall was built in 1796 for John Mounsey, the so-called ‘King of Patterdale’ and a reputed miser, Dorothy disliked the colour of the exterior and so it was changed.
Wordsworth Cottage at Rooking was bought as a gift for William by Lord Lowther in 1806. The poet was not impressed by the high price paid for the property and apparently because of this abandoned plans to develop, instead selling to a local resident in 1834.
Current day Patterdale is little changed and is still made up of only a handful of cottages, The White Lion Pub, The Patterdale Hotel, a post-office, village school, the firestation and the church.
One addition is the YMCA at the southern end of the village and grand Patterdale Hall is today much extended as the YMCA outdoor activity centre.
What will always remain the same is the outstanding beauty of the surrounding fells and dales and for as long as the track along Striding Edge to Helvellyn begins in the village then Patterdale will remain firmly on the map.