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Exploring the Majestic Aira Force Walk in the Lake District

Embarking on the Aira Force walk is a journey through the heart of the Lake District’s natural beauty, leading adventurers to the renowned Aira Force waterfall and offering breathtaking views of Ullswater.

This comprehensive guide provides all the information needed to make the most of this unforgettable walk.

Getting Started: The Aira Force Walk

The Aira Force walk is a popular route in the Lake District National Park, known for its stunning scenery and the impressive Aira Force waterfall.

The walk is accessible from the National Trust car park near Ullswater Lake, making it an ideal starting point for visitors looking to explore the area’s natural beauty.

Steps (Including Detailed Steps from Start to End Point)

  1. Start at the Aira Force National Trust car park: Begin your adventure here, where facilities and a café are available for last-minute preparations.
  2. Walk past the Welcome Building: Follow the path through the picnic area until you reach a stone wall gap leading to the Glade.
  3. Bear left at the Glade: Keep Aira Beck on your right as you follow the path through the pinetum, where the trail begins to steepen.
  4. First glimpse of Aira Force: As the path levels out, look left for views across the Ullswater Valley before the trail bends right towards the upper waterfall bridge. Optionally, detour to the lower bridge and viewing platform.
  5. Continue with Aira Beck on your right: Pass the High Force bridge and falls until reaching the High Cascades. Cross the wooden bridge and follow the path out of the woodland onto the open fell.
  6. Ascend to Gowbarrow Fell: Follow the path up to the summit for panoramic views, then retrace your steps slightly to continue the circular walk.
  7. Descend towards Lyulph’s Tower: Follow the path down, keeping right at the junction for Pooley Bridge, and continue around Gowbarrow’s eastern flank.
  8. Return to the car park: The final stretch takes you back through woodland to the Glade and the starting point.

How Long is the Walk to Aira Force?

The circular walk around Aira Force and Gowbarrow Park typically takes between 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours to complete, covering a distance of approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km).

This duration allows walkers to fully enjoy the scenic views and the majestic waterfall.

Preparation: Equipment and Planning

Proper preparation is key to enjoying the Aira Force walk.

Essential items include:

  • A map and compass for navigation.
  • Waterproof clothing to stay dry.
  • A whistle and torch for emergencies.
  • Grippy shoes to handle slippery paths.

Prepare for Unpredictable Weather

The Lake District is known for its changeable weather.

Waterproofs, warm layers, and sun protection are essential to adapt to varying conditions.

Trail Information Summary

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Distance: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
  • Dog-friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on a lead.

Terrain and Elevation

The trail features a mix of woodland paths, steep inclines, and open fell, offering varied terrain that provides both challenges and rewards in the form of stunning views.

Getting There

The Aira Force walk starts at the Aira Force National Trust car park, located near Ullswater Lake.

The car park is accessible by car, with parking fees contributing to the conservation of the area.

Facilities

The National Trust car park at the start of the walk offers toilets and a café, providing convenience for visitors before and after their walk.

Access

The walk is accessible to most, with some challenging sections. The path is well-maintained, but visitors should be prepared for steep inclines and potentially slippery conditions.

The Aira Force walk is a must-do for anyone visiting the Lake District, offering an opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the area.

With the right preparation and an understanding of the route, walkers can enjoy a memorable experience exploring one of the UK’s most stunning landscapes.

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