William Wordsworth wrote back in 1802, “I wandered lonely as a cloud. That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills“. The opening lines from arguably his most famous poem. But did you know it was written about the Ullswater area? You too will have your moment to get lost in your thoughts as you get captivated by the extraordinary beauty of the Lake District. You’ll have one up on Wordsworth, with even better vista to enjoy, high up over the stunning and dramatic landscape.
From shimmering water to brooding fells, your flight with reward with a sense of freedom and peace that cannot be matched anywhere else. So let the breeze be your guide and balloon aloft on your flight of fancy over Dalemain and Ullswater. It’s as magical as it epic!
Manor in the Valley
This impressive and handsome house is one of the finest in the North West and a befitting location for your fine balloon flight! The house, of Palladian architecture, stands on a location that hosted a settlement since Saxon times; with the first recorded mention of a building here being that of a fortified pele tower. This tower would have been built during the reign of Henry II and would have been one of many that formed a defence wall, to keep out the pesky barbaric Scots.
The name Dalemain means ‘manor in the valley’ and it was in the 14th century that the manor hall was added along with a second tower. Fast forward a couple of centuries and two further wings – a kitchen and a living quarters – were added, one on each side the main building. The result of these additions is an intricate layout of winding passages, hidden rooms and charming staircases. What you’re left with is a fantastic place to explore before or after your balloon flight from Dalemain.
The Ullswater area in which Dalemain Mansion and Gardens are situated has been settled by man since prehistoric times. Nearby you will find three stone circles – one on Barton Fell, another on Swarth Fell and the third on Moor Divock.
You can also track human settlement through the hill forts at Ambleside and Brougham, which were connected by a paved road, known as High Street and built by the Romans.
Such are the glorious surrounds, that whilst the Romans were impressed by the strategic position and views, William Wordsworth was so enamoured with the beauty of the area – and in this case, by the abundance of daffodils, that he was inspired to write his famous ode which bears their name and which you read the well known opening too above.
You can also discover some of the more modern history with the industrialisation of the region, in particular the Greenside Lead Mine located at Glenridding. This mine, which operated for 140 years saw over 3 million tons of ore being extracted. One tangible remnant of this era can be found on the lake – the Ullswater Steamers, which today carry tourists but back in the day, transported provisions for the miners at Glenridding. With so much to see, do and discover, Dalemain is a fantastic spot for Lake District ballooning!