The Lake District: Aira Force

Last Saturday I wrote about our trip on Ullswater on a grey, overcast morning, a couple of weeks ago. That same day the the sky cleared, and the sun shone as we went to see Aira Force, below Gowbarrow Fell above the shores of Ullswater.  You wouldn’t have thought it was the same day, as the extra layers of clothing had to come off!

Aira Force (from ‘fors’ the Viking word for waterfall) is a beautiful, wonderful place – a series of waterfalls, cascading down a fracture in the ancient volcanic rocks in a deep gorge. People have been visiting Aira Force for about 250 years. This is the plan of Aira Force on the National Trust board at the entrance to the Glade (with my added notation):

Aira Force plan P1010130

 From the Glade you start to ascend the waterfall walking through the Pinetum, which includes firs, pines, spruces, cedars and yews planted in the 19th century. The photo below shows the trunk of a Monkey Puzzle tree, the top way above me:

Pinetum P1010133The paths are circular, most of them dating back to the early 19th century when visitors were escorted by tour guides. There are three bridges across the Aira Beck – the first reference to a bridge was by Wordsworth in 1787. Below is a view of one of the bridges:

Bridge P1010140There are also several sets of steps:

Steps P1010144and of course, the cascades, falling 66 feet from the top to the bottom:

Waterfall P1010149I managed to snap a rainbow:

Rainbow P1010148

For more Saturday Snapshots see Melinda’s blog West Metro Mommy Reads.

13 thoughts on “The Lake District: Aira Force

  1. Enjoy your photos of this historical forest. The stone bridge and the steps are so unique. And Wordsworth was there, seeing the same sights. Like when I visited Bath some years ago, was totally impressed by the fact that Jane Austen had walked on the same streets. Thanks for sharing.


  2. That looks beautiful. My husband and me were talking about possibly going to the Lake District next year, and this has made it even more likely.


  3. Margaret – Oh, what lovely ‘photos! So glad you got to see such a beautiful place on a sunny day. And very grateful you shared it with us!


  4. Beautiful! I’m going to have to find out more, though yes to Judy’s comment about the steps. A photo moment rather than a walking one, perhaps.


  5. Oh, what a magical place. I love the bridges and steps and canyons and rainbows and history. I’ve never heard of a Monkey Puzzle tree, so I had to Google it and read a bit about it.

    Great post!


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