If you’re looking to visit the beautiful Lake District and explore all that it has to offer you won’t be disappointed. With lots of quaint villages and towns such as Penrith, Keswick and Kendal just to name a few alongside some great walks for all abilities, some world-class hotels and some great places to dine at you could plan an entire staycation in this glorious part of the world.
If you’re into serious hill walking or rambling then there’s Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Skiddaw to explore and climb. If perhaps nigh on 1,000m elevations aren’t for you, but you’re perhaps looking for a walk to experience true nature then National Trust site Aira Force should certainly be high on your list.
Aira Force & Ullswater
Located in Ullswater, a 15-minute drive from Penrith, Aira Force is a perfect place to escape the ordinary. For over 300 years visitors have been drawn to this impressive waterfall. Rainwater which has run through the fells into Aira Beck thunders over a 65-foot leap into the falls. However, Aira Force is far more than just the waterfall that people climb man-made stairs and paths to see.
If you’re spending a day or two in Ullswater you’ll certainly want to make the most of the network of trails which weave their way from the lakeshore at Ullswater to the Gowbarrow summit (481m). Set your eyes on Himalayan firs and see if you can spot the rare red squirrels on your walk.
With many picnic spots with sensational views, you can truly make a full day of it. Take the boat to Glenridding where your eyes will feast upon the Ullswater Valley on the way then enjoy heading back through Glenridding through Glencoyne Park. Where you can enjoy the beautiful lake nestled amongst the towering fells overhead.
The Valley is incredibly beautiful and it’s my favourite part of the entire Lake District (closely followed by a trip to Grassmere or Grizedale Forest) for it’s secluded and tranquil feel.
More things to do in The Lake District
- Visiting Keswick in the Winter
- Lingholm Estate in Keswick
- Things to do in Penrith: Football Golf for stag parties and families
Visiting Aira Force
If you’re not up for a full day of walking and exploring then you can see Aira Force in as little as 10 minutes, however, we like to set aside a minimum of an hour to climb up and around the waterfall. With onsite car parking (£5 cash charge) and a National Trust Tearoom and visitor centre, the amenities are great to plan the beginning of your adventure.
Head up along the path and into the fell as you trip-trap over your first bridge and make your way towards the cascading waterfall. The path is relatively steep and rugged and the waterfall is not accessible by wheelchair. Clamber up the steps as the water swells below you and the sounds of the crashing waterfall become louder.
Once you’ve made the 10-minute walk to the waterfall you can ogle at its natural beauty, which for many has an enchanting and calming effect. With great viewing points from the bottom and the top (as well as half-way up), there are lots of opportunities to take photos, although admittedly it is more impressive in real life than through a lens.
Do make sure, if you are able to that you head higher up the waterfall and check out the journey that the water makes before it gets to the waterfall as this too is beautiful and the sound of the water is really calming. From the top point, here you can head to the different walks we have already outlined.
Aira Force is a great adventure come rain or shine, and to be honest, it’s mostly going to be rain as the Lake District is notoriously wet! Prepare for all eventualities and if you’re a novice walker ensure you wear comfortable trainers or walking boots with plenty of support. Take a jacket (I love my Lighthouse Clothing Florence dog walking jacket in Night Sky) and a towel if you’re walking your dog as they may get filthy.
Dogs are allowed up to Aira Force, however irrespective of how well trained you think your dog is, do take a lead just for near the waterfall for your own peace of mind.
Have you visited Aira Force? Have you got any tips for anybody visiting? Any other walks that you would recommend in the Lake District? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. As always, if you’ve thought that this article was of value we’d love you to share it across your social media.