The duke of portland boathouse
Fiery Ullswater Sunrise.
Morning light reflecting off the clouds hitting the Duke of Portland Boathouse.
The Duke of Portland boathouse sits on the Pooley Bridge end of Ullswater and is possibly one of the most photographed boathouses in the country. With its ease of access and its stunning backdrop of the Eastern fells, its easy to understand why this little structure gets so much attention from landscape photographers! It's quite possible to get a good image here at both sunrise and sunset, but as the boathouse sits on the Western side of the lake, sunrise would be the most favourable of the two!
In terms of seasons, well, it's pretty much an all year round location! In the Winter months, you have the highly likely chance of a bit of snow on the fells and even ground level. In the Spring and Autumn, the sun rises at the perfect angle to give you some absolutely stunning light on the boathouse, not to mention the Autumnal colours! Summer time can be a little 'too green' for some peoples liking, but a bit of early morning lake mist, toppled with some mirror like reflections and you will have the perfect scene!
Autumnal Colours At Dawn.
A misty sunrise at the Duke of Portland Boathouse.
There's a small lay-by, just behind the boathouse with room for 3-4 cars. Once you're out of the car, the viewpoint can be found just a few yards down the road in the direction of Pooley Bridge. There isn't any pavement on the road, which makes it a little less than ideal to be stood up there. Instead there is a drop (around 1 metre high) which will take you to a more safer ground level. Depending on water levels, you may need to bring a pair of wellies and in some extreme cases of high water levels, this lower elevation may be completely inaccessible.
In terms of composition, there are a few different options to consider/explore. Where you stand and the angle in which you point the camera, will affect the look and feel of your image. Positioning yourself further away from the boathouse, to the left of this area, will put more emphasis on the foliage that surrounds the boathouse. So in the Autumn months, you may want to consider this as an important factor. Positioning yourself closer to the boathouse in the opposite direction tends -
to give more emphasis to the fells in the background and brings out the details of the exterior structure of the boathouse. At different times of year, and with periods of lower water levels, you can sometimes find the odd bit of foreground interest. Reeds poking out of the surface of the water can add a good element of interest to your shot. Try getting low and close to your subject to really accentuate the foreground but just be careful with your focal length. Remember, with ultra wide focal lengths, objects in your background will appear smaller.
Autumn Mist At Duke of Portland Boathouse.
Golden reeds adding foreground interest to a misty Autumnal morning.
Long Exposure At Duke of Portland Boathouse.
A Long exposure again using flooded reeds to add foreground interest to the frame.
Light On The Boathouse.
Golden light illuminating the boathouse at dawn.
A fairly easy location to get to, both in terms of driving and from car - location. If you are coming from the M6 (North & South Bound) and want the quickest option, then I would leave the motorway at J40. Take the first exit at the roundabout. Then at the next roundabout, take the second exit (signposted Ullswater & Stainton). This will eventually bring you to Ullswater lakeside, where you will want to take a right turn. The lay by for the boathouse will be on your right after around a minute of driving. If coming from Central Lakes then I would take the Kirkstone Pass route but be aware that in Winter months, this route can often be closed due to snow.
Nearest post code for lay by: CA11 0LL