It's November and Autumn has announced its arrival in the Lake District in spectacular style. Today has been wet to say the least. And that means that our waterfalls are once again in full spate.
You can't help but be entranced by waterfalls. Such an exhilarating sight as the water crashes on rocks before cascading down into the pools some way below. In truth, you'll come across a waterfall of some description on most rivers in the region, but if you're looking for something a little more spectacular, a little more exhilarating, here are five Lake District waterfall walks that you should do if you get the chance.
Aira Force is arguably one of the best known of our waterfalls. It's also one of the easiest to get to, especially if you're staying in one of our Ullswater Cottages. Make your way to the National Trust car park (just off the A592, halfway between Glenridding and Watermillock), park up and follow the circular footpath which leads through peaceful woodlands to Aira Force. If you're really lucky, you may even spot a red squirrel.
For more information about Aira Force, it's history and what to expect when you get there, click here.
Stock Ghyll Force
About 15 minutes on foot from Ambleside, Stock Ghyll Force is perfect for guests staying in our Windermere Cottages. The walk takes you through a classic woodland setting until you reach the falls, which fall around 70 feet in two distinct steps, forming a lovely 'V' shape when they meet.
Along the way, there is a series of mini falls to whet the appetite (pardon the pun). And once you're at the main attraction, there are several viewing platforms, including special viewpoints for those with wheelchairs or pushchairs.
Another waterfall relatively close to our Windermere Cottages is Skelwith Force, easily reached from the village of Elterwater in the stunning Langdale Valley. At around 15 feet in height, it's may not be one of the highest falls in the Lake District, but that doesn't mean it's any less dramatic.
From Elterwater, follow the path alongside the River Brathay, through the fields bordering Elter Water and into the woods towards Skelwith Force. The bridges criss-crossing the River Brathay offer the best views of the falls.
Lodore Falls is about an hour in the car from our Windermere Cottages and slightly less from our Ullswater Cottages. They are situated at the southern end of Derwent Water, where the pouring and roaring, whirling and curling falls inspired Robert Southey's famous onomatopoeic poem 'How does the water come down at Lodore.'
The falls are formed by the beck from Watendlath Tarn cascading over huge boulders and can be accessed by a roadside path. The nearest place to park is the National Trust's Kettlewell pay and display car park. From there it's quite a short walk but with dramatic results, especially after a period of rain.
The last of the five Lake District waterfall walks on our list is Rydal Falls, which are located just a short walk from William Wordsworth's home at Rydal Mount.
Parking is available along the lane leading off the A591, or in busier times in a small car park just south of Rydal Mount. Take the lane leading to Rydal Mount, passing the house on your left, and keep following the stone wall through the woodlands to the waterfall.
And do make sure you visit 'The Grot' at the base of the waterfall. Built in 1668, this small stone hut is considered to be Britain's first purpose-built viewing station.
As we said at the beginning of this post, you'll likely come across some kind of waterfall on most rivers, but these are five of our favourites and you don't need to spend hours in the car to reach them.
Of course, if you need more information, please do get in touch.