The valley of Martindale is located in the Lake District National Park, between Ullswater and Haweswater. A narrow road runs through it, beginning at the hamlet of Howtown before ascending to a mountain pass, which provides incredible views across the region. The road then descends to the farm at Dale Head. Thanks to the area’s beautiful footpaths and close proximity to some of the park’s most beautiful lakes, self-catering holidays in Martindale are popular for hiking, sailing, wild swimming and other outdoor pursuits. Fewer than 100 people live in the parish of Martindale, making it ideal for getting back to basics and making the most of the Lake District’s unrivalled scenery.

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The valley runs for roughly nine kilometres, with its foot at the sleepy hamlet of Sandwich on the western shores of Ullswater, and its head on the slopes of a rugged fell known as Rampsgill Head. Several minor waterways meander through the valley including Bannerdale Beck and Rampsgill Beck. Towards the upper edge of the valley, around a towering fell called The Nab, there is a deer reserve which is home to England’s oldest herd of red deer. Walkers making the ascent to the summit of The Nab are asked to stick to the marked routes which avoid the herd. This strenuous hike is highly recommended during a stay in a holiday cottage in Martindale, with breathtaking views across the Lake District.

One of Martindale’s best-known landmarks is its beautiful church, which is believed to have been built in the 16th century. There is a reading desk dating back to 1634, and an ancient yew tree in the churchyard. Near Martindale, Ullswater is renowned as one of the Lake District’s most beautiful lakes, and just a short drive from holiday cottages in Ullswater. Stretching for seven miles and surrounded by wild countryside, it is a wonderful spot for a stroll, a picnic or a swim.