Aira Force: A Walk with a Waterfall

There are many walks to enjoy throughout the Lake District. However it can be difficult for beginner walkers to choose one that won’t prove to be too demanding. There’s also the question of not getting lost!

To this end, Aira Force is a great starter walk. Located on the northern bank of Lake Ullswater, Aira Force is a National Trust attraction. There is a small charge for the car park (unless you are an NT member) but you can see the waterfall and enjoy a nice walk for free.

A nice walk for newcomers to the Lake District (and everyone else)

The walk from the car park to the waterfall itself is around a mile in length. You can take a circular route there and back, so you never pass along the same path more than once. There are beautiful views of the waterfall, but you’ll hear it before you actually get there. It’s worth waiting for though, particularly as there are two viewing points you can make the most of when you finally reach the falls.

Most people take around an hour to complete the walk. This takes into account an easy pace and time to appreciate the sights around you. Do make sure you wear proper walking shoes or (ideally) boots.  The paths can be steep in places and there are steps involved as well.

Take in the surrounding area with a variety of other walks too

If you feel you want to try a more challenging walk, the area around Aira Force offers a few other possibilities as well. One of them is the Gowbarrow Trail. This is around 4.5 miles in length and takes in Aira Force as well as enabling you to see out over Lake Ullswater.

Another possibility is the Aira Force Glenamara Park trail. This is an easier walk lasting for about two miles and around an hour. You’ll need to head out to the Patterdale Hotel to start this one. You’ll see Gowbarrow mentioned in the first walk and have the chance to see deer grazing as well.

You can get directions for these and other walks from the National Trust website entry for Aira Force.

Take the time to enjoy a drink and a snack at the Aira Force tearoom

There are plenty of lovely tearooms dotted all around the Lake District. One of them happens to be located near the Aira Force car park. Once you’ve parked and enjoyed a walk to the falls, you can take a short detour to the tearoom before returning to your car and leaving the car park. It’s always best to do this after your walk, as you won’t feel so bad about munching on a lovely slice of cake with your tea!

It’s hard to find a walk in the Lake District that doesn’t inspire you or leave you impressed in some way. But as a beginner and a first-time visitor it’s hard to know where to begin. However if you are staying in a Lake District B&B near Lake Ullswater, the opportunity to visit Aira Force shouldn’t be missed. There are enough walks in this area alone to keep you busy for days on end, without venturing any further afield.

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