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Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

By Dave Roberts   

on September 24, 2018    No ratings yet.

Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

Further Details

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.

This walk includes the Wainwright of Gowbarrow Fell (Wainwright summit)

Route Start Location: Aira Force Car Park

6.47 km 384 m 3 hours

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

Activivity Type: Moderate Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Nearest facilities will be in Glenridding or Pooley Bridge.


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.

Parking : grid ref: NY400200

Aira Force National Trust car park

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

Recommended Maps


Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk to Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

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

Click here to view the full description.

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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