Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

Route Summary:

A walk to the Lake District’s most famous waterfall – Aira Force. The walk then includes a hill for good measure – Gowbarrow Fell, but you can just walk to the waterfalls if you wished.

Distance
Ascent
Time
6.5 km 386 m 3 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Start and Finish: Aira Force Car Park

Facilities:

Nearest facilities will be in Glenridding or Pooley Bridge.

Hazards:

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Public Transport:

The 508 bus between Windermere and Penrith pass the Aira Force car park. The Ullswater Steamers also stop off at Aira Force, making the trip even more memorable.

Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): grid ref: NY400200

Aira Force National Trust car park

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Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell Route Map and GPX Download

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 Guidebooks:

Summits and Places on this Route

Places Nearby



Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell Details

The Aira Force Waterfalls near Ullswater are one of the best known falls in the Lake District. They are found on the Aira Beck and have a drop of around 20 metres. They are owned by the National Trust, as is most of the Wainwright hill of Gowbarrow, which is also visited on this reasonably short walk from the shores of Ullswater.

Wordsworth is thought to have been inspired by Aira Falls to write his famous ‘Daffodils’ and mentions the waterfalls by name in a few others. The falls are thought to be named from old Norse – with Aira being derived from eyrr and a – gravel bank and river respectively, and Force is derived from Old Norse for waterfall; fors.

This walk starts from the National Trust Aira Force Car Park on the shores of Ullswater and takes you first to Aira Force. This is an easy section of the walk, which is set up for non-walkers and can be busy in the peak season. It’s then on to a second waterfall, High Force – not to be confused with the other High Force on the River Tees. The walk then leaves the Aira Beck behind to ascend to the summit of Gowbarrow Fell – a 481m Wainwright with excellent views over Ullswater and beyond. Ullswater then dominates the descent route as you follow a good path along the hill’s eastern flanks, with the views being especially good from the viewpoint at Memorial Seat that take in virtually all of Ullswater.

Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell Route Description

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