Lunch at Granny Dowbekins, Pooley Bridge, Ullswater

The Final Stop of The Holiday, Ullswater

We have an affinity with Ullswater, as it is the street name of our home, so decided to wild camp on our final night next to this beautiful lake.

Ullswater is the second largest lake in the English Lake District. It is about nine miles long and 0.75 miles wide. It has a maximum depth of slightly more than 60 metres!

Many regard Ullswater as the most beautiful of the English lakes – I for one happen to agree – as does my Chutty Pups!

It is a typical Lake District narrow “ribbon lake” formed after the last ice age when a glacier scooped out the valley floor.

When the glacier retreated, the deepened section became a lake.

Three separate glaciers formed the lake.

The surrounding mountains give Ullswater the shape of a stretched ‘Z’ with three distinct segments (or ‘reaches’) that wend their way through the surrounding hills.

For much of its length Ullswater forms the border between the ancient counties of Cumberland and Westmorland.

The village of Glenridding, at the southern end of the lake, is popular with tourists.

For mountain walkers, England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn and other challenging peaks are near the lake.

The village of Pooley Bridge is at the northern end of the lake and it was our decision to sit down overlooking the river Eamont and have a nice lunch before heading home.

The Bridge

As you can see I’ve pretty much just googled that to make myself look clever – however as we sat down we noticed that the 16th century bridge in which Pooley Bridge was renowned for was replaced by a temporary bridge now.

Storm Desmond absolutely ravaged the Lake District in 2015. The Environment Agency confirmed that the weather station at Honister recorded 341mm – more than a month’s worth of rainfall in just one day, and a record for the UK.

As you can see from the below video, the sheer power of that amount of water all at once – and sadly – Pooley Bridge did not survive.

A Community Rebuilds!

With fantastic resilience and a Dunkirk spirit the residents pulled together and made it work.  Here is a superb article by  Christopher Thomond and Matt Fidler showing the work they have done so far!

The Walk to Lunch!

I’ve started at the completely wrong point here – because I’m missing out my favorite bit of the day – the walk to the River.

Now I knew the Lake District had a lot of military action and low flying going on here and there – and it was Friday – so my ears were alert.

Unfortunately due to the rain and forecast of thunder it threw my sixth sense of plane spotting.

Anyway – long story short – pulled up in Pooley Bridge.  Walked around one minute and an RAF Tornado screeched over us at around 500 feet. I didn’t film or photo.  I wont lie.  There was a puddle beneath me.

Just had to add that anecdote for my plane spotter followers – yes i love planes! See previous here.

As Just Mentioned: Rain

It was raining – we had anoraks though – and it was really warm so it was no big deal.  We just needed a place for lunch.  Chris then put his foot down as we spotted Granny Dobekyns next to the River Eamont.  He commanded the family that we should sit next to the river, of the empty gardens of the restaurant as he kindly asked the waitress to borrow a squeegee and towel.

Well the sun shines on the just (Matthew 5:45 (i need to add a wink here)).

We wiped down and dried off the table and chairs in the best spot of the gardens and the scene was then set for a superb family lunch.  We were starved!


Well we couldn’t choose, it all sounded too good on the menu.

In the end after much deliberation Chris chose the Caesar Salad, I, the Ploughmans and the kids, Jacket Potatoes.  It came to £40 for the four of us including drinks.

Lets Eat!

After a short wait of chilling and people watching our lunch arrived.


***Please note that in no way am I paid to advertise here, I have made this page up on the sheer loveliness and warm feeling I got from this food.***

The kids and hubster agreed.  Absolutely Spot On!

Homecooked Ham, which fell apart when touched.  Beautiful local cheese.  Homemade coleslaw.  And a warm crusty roll to go with it.  Fantastic!

I present this photo with no comment. Except. ACE.

And Eva loved hers – Teddy’s was with Tuna.  Both £6 and were piled high with fillings.


We totally wolfed it down. Well we tried.  We were totally overfaced actually by the amount of food.  But that meant our lucky doggies got a treat of cheese, chicken & ham – and as we got back to the motorhome they were quite excited we’d fetched them back a treat!

Just like that!

And just like that – the rain began again and we were more than ready for home.

The end of a fantastic week around Scotland and I’m so glad we chose Ullswater to end it in.  Pooley Bridge is such a welcoming village – with plenty humour…

and to summarise – without a doubt – we will be back here again! It is fantastic! Get yersens over for a look!

Fran x






About Frances Stoner 29 Articles
Mum of "The Traveling Family UK" - here there and everywhere - love life and living. I enjoy the odd (bucket of) wine and love trying new food. My kids drive me mad but keep me driven. My husband comes up with the ideas - I execute them - and him. Oh and my babies forever! Love them!

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