Saturday, 12 October 2013

Aira Force and Ullswater.

Peter worked out a circular walk from Aira Force, past Gowbarrow Park, Little Mell Fell and Little Meldrum, through the woods, past a bit more of Gowbarrow Park and back to Aira Force.  

As usual, (cos we don't like getting out of bed in the mornings), we didn't arrive at the car park until gone midday. The weather wasn't brilliant, the sky was overcast and a bit moody,  but the weatherman said it would be dry all day, and we believed him. 

Aira Force is a bit touristy, loads of people were out wandering about the paths near the car park.  There is plenty to see, with Aira Force the main focus of attention, but as you walk on,  Aira Beck is full of little rushes and gushes and little waterfalls.  We wandered this way and that, admiring and photographing, and took ages to get to the gate where we left the National Trust owned land and start on the rest of the walk. (Click on the pictures to get a larger version).

Our first crossing of Aira Beck.  I couldn't resist the gorgeous colours of the autumn bracken

Aira Force.  There were a lot of people out for the walk, including japanese tourists, complete with cameras.  I had to wait a while as they all took turns in posing in front of the falls before I could take this picture.  

This pretty little bridge was built and dedicated to an ambassador of the first world war.

This tree deserves a special mention.  Look at the bottom.  It grows out of the rock and then up at right angles. Amazing!

High Force............ but not THE High Force
So eventually, we got out into the fields are started to make our way north, with Gowbarrow Park on our right. The photo below is looking south, back along our route, so Gowbarrow is on the left.
Looking back, I think that's Place Fell, on the other side of Ullswater. 
We walked on around the craggy rocks of Gowbarrow, following the pleasant grassy path towards Ulcat Row, where we would join the road.  It was just before the road section that we sat and tucked into a late lunch amongst a field of sheep.  The sheep stared, and obviously thought we were a bit weird, but to be honest, we thought the guy that passed us was even weirder.......   (And there you go! Proof that we make snap judgements based on a person's appearance, and despite all advice to the contrary, still judge a book by it's cover.  It seems thousands of years of survival instincts can't be wiped away by a few hundred years of civilisation, or even several hours of management training.)

But back to lunch and our lunchtime views, too our left, Great Dodd and Clough Head, and to our right Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell.

Great Mell Fell. 
We stayed on a the road for a while
Mungrisdale and Blencathra
Until we finally came to a path on a right which would take us Little Meldrum and then Great Meldrum. It was only now that I started to see Ullswater properly.  I never realised how long it is.

It took me a while to work out, but the little white house is Leeming Cottage,  with Barton Fell and Loadpot Hill on the other side of Ullswater. .........   I've never heard of Loadpot hill before?  But that's what the OS Map says. 
With Ullswater on the left, the path gently arcs around Swinburn's Park into a managed forest.  All the time, more and more of Ullswater was appearing to me and I kept taking pictures.  Sadly though, I realised the views I was enjoying wouldn't be there forever, as you can see in the photo below, many trees have been planted, and it won't be long before the lake would be obscured.
Ullswater from above Swinburn's Park.  Hallin Fell, Sleet Fell and High Dodd (amongst others) on the other side. 

Ullswater from Collier Hagg

Ullswater again.  This time from Hind Crag.  I love the colours of the Bracken in this picture. 

A really nice afternoon's walk and we were back in time to watch a bit of Strictly.

Our route, just short of 8 miles with 1650ft of upping and downing.

Oh!  And we were right to believe the weatherman (this time).  It was dry all day.  


  1. Hi Tracey
    Really enjoyed this, many thanks. I've still not visited this area, and to be honest I do like your route so I will save the idea.
    "There were a lot of people out for the walk, including japanese tourists, complete with cameras"
    I think I'll wait till there's much snow though ;)

  2. Enjoyed that Tracey. i haven't been round there and it looks like a good way to spend a few hours. Colours are great and waterfalls really come to life after rain.