Tag: aira force

Waterfalls in the Lake District

Waterfalls in the Lake District

After a wonderfully warm Summer, Autumn has arrived in the Lake District and with it a change in the landscape. The colours are changing, the skies are growing heavier and our waterfalls are once again in full spate.

Thanks to its many rivers and just a little rain from time to time, the Lake District has an abundance of waterfalls. You’ll come across a waterfall of some description on most rivers, but if you’re looking for something a little more spectacular, a little more exhilarating, we’ve highlighted a few of our favourite waterfalls in the Lake District in this post.

Aira Force and High Force

Arguably the best known of our waterfalls is Aira Force. It’s also one of the easiest to get to, especially if you’re staying in one of our Ullswater cottages. There is a National Trust car park off the A592, halfway between Glenridding and Watermillock, and from there a circular footpath leads through peaceful woodlands to Aira Force.

If you want to make a bit more of your visit, why not take one of the paths which lead beyond the falls to Yew Crag, where you’ll find excellent views east towards Ullswater. Or you could continue uphill from Aira Force until you come to High Force. High Force might not be quite as spectacular as Aira Force, but it’s usually less crowded.

Lodore Falls

Lodore Falls is about an hour in the car from Windermere and slightly less from Glenridding, but well worth a trip if you have time. Situated at the southern end of Derwent Water, 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, which are formed by the beck from Watendlath Tarn cascading over huge boulders, 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.

Rydal Falls

Rydal Falls are located just a short walk from William Wordsworth’s home at Rydal Mount and surely one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Lake District.

There is parking along the lane leading off the A591, or in busier times 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.

Make sure to 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.

Stock Ghyll Force

Stock Ghyll Force is about 15 minutes on foot from Ambleside. 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.

There are a number of mini falls along the way to whet the appetite, and once you’re at the main attraction, there are several viewing platforms, including special viewpoints for those with wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Skelwith Force

Another waterfall relatively close to our Windermere Cottages is Skelwith Force. At around 15 feet in height, it’s certainly not one of the highest falls in the Lake District, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t lack drama. The combination of the waters from the River Brathay and Langdale Beck mean the word ‘force’ is an apt description, especially after a period of heavy rain.

This is another waterfall which can be easily reached. We like to approach it from the village of Elterwater, following 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 give you excellent views of the falls.

The stunning views of the Langdales are an added bonus on this short walk.

Tom Gill Falls, Tarn Hows

We often mention Tarn Hows. It really is a beautiful spot and one of the most easy-access walks in the Lake District. But if you choose an alternative route, you could walk alongside Tom Gill, a tumbling stream boasting a stunning waterfall.

Instead of heading straight to Tarn Hows, park at the Glen Mary Bridge car park, just off the A593. From here, follow the signposted route alongside Tom Gill. After about a quarter of an hour you’ll reach the first waterfall, with the second, more impressive fall a little further along.

Having passed the waterfalls, you’ll come out at Tarn Hows, where you can enjoy a picturesque walk around the tarns.

Scale Force

No round up of waterfalls in the Lake District would be complete without mentioning Scale Force. It’s about an hour or so in the car from our Windermere and Ullswater cottages, but if you’re looking for a day out exploring the lakes, it’s well worth the excursion.

Scale Force is the tallest waterfall in the Lake District, located next to Crummock Water. It’s easily accessible on foot from Buttermere village. If you park in the National Trust car park, the round trip distance is about 2.5 miles (good waterproof footwear is essential).

With so much to see and do, we are truly spoilt, but a visit to one of the wonderful waterfalls in the Lake District is a must, especially at this time of year.

If you need more information, please do get in touch.

Our Favourite Lake District Cafés

Our favourite Lake District cafés

 

Did you know it’s Sourdough September? Well, nor did we until recently, and while we are no baking fanatics (apart from being partial to the odd sweet treat), we did think it was a rather good excuse to round up our favourite Lake District cafés.

The Lake District has become synonymous with fine dining, a true foodie destination. But alongside the gastro pubs and Michelin-starred restaurants, we are lucky to have some fantastic local cafés. Somewhere to grab a cup of coffee and a slice of cake with a friend, or a quick work lunch with colleagues.

So, in the unlikely event that you find yourself at a loose end while staying in one of our Matson Ground cottages, why not try one of our favourite Lake District cafés?

Homeground Coffee + Kitchen, Windermere

Homeground Coffee + Kitchen in Windermere is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. Located right in the heart of Windermere, this is a great spot for brunch. Or just a seriously good cup of coffee.

Blackwell The Arts and Crafts House Tea Room

Blackwell’s charming Tea Room serves delicious light lunches, cakes and an array of tempting treats. The outdoor terrace boasts amazing views of Lake Windermere and the Lakeland fells beyond. And wherever possible they use the finest locally sourced ingredients. Well worth a visit, especially on a sunny day.

The First Floor Café at Lakeland

Whether it’s a hearty Cumbrian breakfast, a quick coffee and a slice of cake or their new Cumbria Posh Dog, there’s something for everyone at the First Floor Café at Lakeland. As the name says, the café is located on the first floor, above Lakeland’s flagship kitchenware store. So once you’ve finished in the café, why not pop downstairs and have a serious browse?

The Café at Brockhole

Just outside Windermere is Brockhole with its stunning house, amazing gardens and wealth of activities for the whole family. There are also a number of dining options where you can enjoy anything from a tasty treat to a delicious BBQ. And all with fantastic views of Lake Windermere.

Windermere Jetty Café

Fancy lunch with a view? The Windermere Jetty Café sits right on the lake shore, so whether it’s breakfast, lunch or just a coffee, you can be guaranteed some of the best views in the Lake District.

Our Favourite Ullswater Cafés

Of course, if you’re staying in one of our Ullswater cottages, Windermere is a bit of a trek. But don’t worry, there are plenty of options in Ullswater. Here are a few of our favourites.

The Secret Garden at Pooley Bridge

Behind the Village Stores and Post Office in Pooley Bridge you’ll find the Secret Garden, a lovely riverside venue offering homemade meals, cake, coffee and a fully licensed bar. The perfect way to finish a day on the fells.

Fellbites Café

Located at the bottom of Helvellyn in the picturesque village of Glenridding, Fellbites is a small café by day and restaurant by night.
It’s within walking distance to steamers, shops and is the start or finish to many walks. Absolutely perfect if you fancy a snack before a walk or maybe some lunch after.

Aira Force Tearoom

If you’re visiting Aira Force, why not pop into the tearoom where there is a range of hot and cold drinks, home bakes, sandwiches, hot pasties and ice-creams to enjoy?

Ramblers Bar and Candleroom at the Inn on the Lake

The final recommendation in our favourite Lake District cafés is the Ramblers Bar and Candleroom at the Inn on the Lake. It’s situated within the hotel’s grounds and is a popular choice whether you’ve just scaled Helvellyn or are simply passing through. Children, dogs and boots welcome!

Sourdough – who knew?

Sourdough was enjoyed by the ancient Egyptians in around 1500BC. In fact, it was the only form of ‘leavened’ bread until commercial yeast became available a few hundred years ago.

During the Gold Rush of California in 1849, sourdough bread became a staple in the area around San Francisco. Miners liked it because it was durable and the bread went on to become very popular in the newly settled state.

In 2013, Sourdough September was born. This was the brainchild of the Real Bread Campaign in an effort to spread knowledge of all things bread. The main purpose was to help households across the globe rely less on factory made and processed loaves (i.e. filled with preservatives).

By spreading their love of sourdough, it’s hoped to get more and more people baking. And if baking isn’t your thing, then hopefully you will appreciate locally baked bread and artisanal loaves which are often a lot healthier than shop-bought options.

Our Favourite Lake District Photography Spots

Lake District Photography Spots

On August 19th, we’ll be celebrating World Photography Day and it got us thinking – where are our favourite Lake District photography spots? Where would we go to get that stunning shot?

A lot of visitors to the Lakes are keen amateur photographers. Others simply use their phones to capture the moment. The results from both can be amazing. But if you really want to capture the perfect shot, a lifelong memory of your stay in the Lake District, here are a few locations where the natural surroundings, the light and the colours lend a helping hand.

Brant Fell

We’ll start close to home, on the doorstep of our Windermere cottages. You are guaranteed some spectacular views of Lake Windermere and the Lakeland fells from Brant Fell, no two days are the same. Come sun, rain, wind or snow, the photo opportunities are endless. The sunsets are particularly impressive.

Ullswater and Aira Force

For those staying in our Ullswater cottages, you will not be disappointed. Widely considered the most beautiful of the Lake District lakes, Ullswater throws up photo opportunities galore. Climbing the likes of Hallinn Fell, Gowbarrow Fell or Silver Crag will give you great views of the area, but with rocky outcrops, trees and stumps on the lake shore, there are some fantastic compositions to be found at the water’s edge.

Alternatively, you could venture to one of the best known waterfalls in the Lake District, Aira Force, where the waterfall cascades twenty metres through a narrow gorge below a stone arch bridge. And unlike so many walks, the more rain, the better the results. Catch it when the sun is shining and at its highest and you may even be lucky enough to capture an Aira Force rainbow!

Tarn Hows

Located between Coniston and Hawkshead, Tarn Hows is a firm favourite for visitors to the Lake District. Not only is it a relatively easy walk for all ages – it takes about an hour to walk around the tarns – it also offers stunning views. Arguably, the best view is from the east side (near the Scott memorial), where the tarns are laid out before you with the Lake District mountains providing a stunning backdrop.

Coniston Water

Take a drive along the eastern shore of Coniston Water, through Nibthwaite, and you’ll come across several spots where you can get out of the car and explore. There are a couple of classic jetty shots and the view across the water towards Coniston Old Man can provide some excellent opportunities.

Elterwater and Blea Tarn

The path from Elterwater to Skelwith Force is another relatively easy walk and one packed with photo opportunities along the river. The view towards the Langdale Pikes is nothing short of spectacular.

A little further on from Elterwater is Blea Tarn, in the heart of the Langdales, which has become an iconic viewpoint. We can’t guarantee calm, still water, but if you’re lucky enough to visit when there is very little breeze, the reflected views towards the Langdale Pikes are breathtaking.

Wastwater

The view down Wastwater has been voted the UK’s best view several times and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking up towards Great Gable and Scafell Pike, or down the lake from the lower slopes of the aforementioned, the views are as dramatic as they are stunning.

Buttermere

If you were to google ‘iconic Lake District images’ the row of shoreline pines reflected in the tranquil waters of Buttermere would be right up there, as would the lone, spindly tree at the village end of the lake.

Whatever the weather, if you’re heading to Buttermere for the day, take your camera.

Derwentwater

We’ll finish the roundup of our favourite Lake District photography spots with Derwentwater. Located close to Keswick, Derwentwater is one of the most popular lakes in the Lake District. And another one with photo opportunities aplenty. Visit on a still, cool, misty morning, find a jetty (for example Ashness Launch) and the results can be breathtaking.

Picnic Spots in the Lake District

Lake District Picnic Spots - Fell Foot Park

July is National Picnic Month, so what better reason to share our favourite picnic spots in the Lake District? Picnics are one of the UK’s favourite traditions and the Lake District provides some fantastic places to throw down the rug, tuck into some fabulous food and soak up the amazing scenery. Below are a few of our favourites.

Brant Fell – a Lake District picnic spot on your doorstep

If you don’t fancy venturing too far from your Matson Ground cottage in Windermere, Brant Fell is perfect. Lying at the heart of the estate, you can be at the summit in no time at all, enjoying stunning views of Lake Windermere and the Lakeland fells.

Orrest Head

Staying close to home, Orrest Head is short walk up from the centre of Windermere. But the climb is worth the effort. So pack up a picnic and head for the summit where you are rewarded with amazing views of England’s largest lake with the Langdale Pikes, Scafell Pike, Coniston Old Man and Morecambe Bay as a backdrop. This is the spot where Alfred Wainwright first fell in love with the Lake District and once you’re there, it’s easy to see why.

Fell Foot Park

Fell Foot Park, at the southern end of Lake Windermere, is less than half an hour in the car from our Windermere cottages and a fantastic spot to enjoy a picnic. No need for a long hike, or even a picnic rug. Facilities at Fell Foot Park include picnic benches, toilets and a café (just in case you didn’t pack enough food). There’s an adventure playground for the children and boats for hire if you fancy splashing about on the lake. Parking in the pay and display car park is free for National Trust members.

Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater

Guests staying in one of our Ullswater cottages are also spoilt for choice when it comes to picnic spots in the Lake District. Just a mile from Glenridding is Glencoyne Bay, made famous by William and Dorothy Wordsworth as it was the inspiration for one of the most famous poems in English literature – “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. Obviously summer is not the time to admire daffodils, but the pebble beach is the perfect picnic spot, with views across the lake to Place Fell and down to Barton Fell.

Aira Force

Another must visit for our Ullswater guests is Aira Force. These spectacular falls, tucked away amongst ancient woodland, provide the perfect backdrop for a picnic. Arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in the Lake District, there’s plenty of space to enjoy a picnic, although the area directly by the waterfall gets very busy. However, you’ll easily find a more sheltered spot in extensive woodlands.

Buttermere – what a fantastic spot for a Lake District picnic

Finally, if you want to make a day of it, then a trip to Buttermere will not disappoint. The four-and-a-half-mile circular walk is easily accessible and will take about three hours to complete. However, factor in a little more time as the lake shore is dotted with little beaches you can make your own, so you can while away the time enjoying some al fresco dining. If you’re after some beautiful scenery and a bit of tranquility, Buttermere is the answer.

There are so many fantastic picnic spots in the Lake District, but we hope that we have given you a little inspiration. And it goes without saying, please always take you rubbish home with you, don’t light barbecues on the ground, and please, please don’t build bonfires.

Bon appétit!