Yes you'll have to take the road if you're in a car.
Not so sure myself. I've been up to Martindale a few times via Pooley Bridge. There are a few smaller roads that extend beyond Martindale but they are small and not really well made. It wouldn't surprise me if you could do it but I've generally just turned around by the church. The drive up is average except for the approach to Hallin Fell where it gets nice and twisty with some fabulous views across Ullswater.
There does seem to be a road from Patterdale to Sandwick but it looks like it stops about 100 metres before it meets the road to Martindale. I imagine if I was in an off-road vehicle I would be OK but not a car. Haven't been to Martindale for 32 years so I'm definitely looking forward to driving up from Howtown where the road becomes a series of hair-pins. I've discovered that my great, great grandfather used to work at the bobbin mill there so I want to see what's left of it.
Thanks, Marmot12 and pepperwhitemini.
I'm pretty confident in saying you can't drive from Patterdale to Martindale. You would have to access the area from Pooley Bridge by car.
However, there is a very popular walk from Patterdale to Howtown along the path which hugs Ullswater. Most people do it in reverse after taking the boat from Glenridding to Howtown and then walking the 7 miles back. Easy to do in a day. The boat trip one-way is not much more than £5 and well worth it.
I don't know what map you've got, but there's definitely no other way than via Pooley Bridge.
I'm using Google Maps and if you take a look you'll see that the road goes almost all the way to Sandwick. Zoom in and there appears to be a cart track which completes the route to the Sandwick to Martindale road. I'll post a link to the map when Google decides to play ball.Edited: 11 July 2012, 07:29
Here's the link: http://goo.gl/73dke
Strangely, I actually have a 4x4 but never thought to try and explore the smaller roads/tracks around there. My main worry being that even I might get stuck with regular road tyres and have to be pulled out by a tractor!
I really do think it might be possible to do it though. it's not one of those scenario's where I would say a definite no.
Good luck with your visit - I'll bet there probably hasn't been a huge change.
It may show as a "road" on the link you have posted but you need to look at it's status. I have the OS 1.25000 map in front of me which shows that the route you have according to google maps is actually a Bridleway which you can walk, ride a bicycle or ride a horse along but you cannot drive a car or a motor bike along. It's the route that is described in post 4.
I think we'll have to blame Google Maps in that case as I asked for directions by car and this was the route it gave me! It's actually not that far to take the northern route and turn right at Pooley Bridge although I might take a drive into Sandwick after I've been to Martindale and take a look for future reference!