Tag: tarn hows

National Walking Month

The view from Brantfell - a fantastic walk for National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month, as if we need an excuse to get out and enjoy the stunning Lake District. But to celebrate National Walking Month, we thought we’d share a few of our favourite Lake District walks we’re enjoyed with our children.

From little hills to England’s highest mountain, there’s something for all ages and abilities. And we’re going to start very close to home, Brant Fell.

Brant Fell

Brant Fell sits right at the heart of the Matson Ground Estate, so it’s perfect for anyone staying in our Windermere Cottages. From the centre of Bowness, it’s a relatively short stroll to the summit, and the reward on reaching the summit is well worth the effort, with views across the lake to Grizedale Forest, the Langdale Pikes and the Coniston range.

The walk begins in the centre of Bowness where you can grab a bite to eat before setting off up Brantfell Road, leaving the hustle and bustle of the town behind you. The early part of the walk takes in the Dales Way, before passing Post Knott viewpoint on your way to the summit of Brant Fell.

At the top you’ll see a rocky crag, only a few feet high, but another exciting adventure for the children. You’ll also come across a pair of heavy stone gateposts which were once part of a viewing platform. Sadly, it’s long since gone, but rest assured the inspiring views remain.

Gummers Howe

At the southern end of Lake Windermere is Gummers Howe, a mini mountain which has long been a firm family favourite. It feels like a mountain and there’s even a scramble to the summit should you decide to veer from the path.

The beginning of the walk is a gentle climb through fields and woodland before becoming a little steeper en-route to the summit.

This is a walk that will make your little ones feel like mini-mountaineers.

Tarn Hows

When you see Tarn Hows laid out before you, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually man-made. It looks as though it’s been part of the landscape for thousands of years.

This is one of the most popular spots in the Lake District and a fabulous place for those with young families. The circular path is just under two miles and is ideal for pushchair and wheelchair users. Small beaches add to the excitement, the perfect spot for a picnic, or simply stop at one of many benches are take in the views.

Aira Force

For anyone staying in our Ullswater Cottages, this is an absolute must.

Aira Force is arguably the best-known waterfall in the Lake District, as well as one of the easiest to get to – there’s a National Trust car park off the A592, halfway between Glenridding and Watermillock.

The circular route is another great walk for the youngsters. It could take just under an hour, but by the time they’ve hidden behind trees, marvelled at the 65-foot waterfall and spent time trying to spot red squirrels, it could be almost double that.

Catbells

At 451m, Catbells is not the highest mountain in the Lake District. But it’s a fantastic walk for children.

Located on the western shore of Derwentwater, this will feel much more like a mountain – challenging at times, with a few steep scrambles, but nothing too technical.

Parking can prove a little tricky, especially at the height of summer, so why not take a Keswick Launch to the Hawes End Jetty and start your walk from there?

Scafell Pike

We’ll finish at the top of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. This is not a walk for really little legs.

There are a number of routes to the summit, but if you take the direct, shortest route from Wasdale Head, the trickiest part of the walk will be crossing the river shortly after setting off, where big boulders act as large stepping stones.

The path to the top is pretty obvious, although it becomes more of a boulder scramble as you approach the summit. This can be tricky to navigate, especially in cloudy conditions, so we would advise that you are accompanied by someone with experience of the Lakeland fells, and in particular, Scafell Pike.

But the sense of achievement on reaching the summit is immense. You’re literally on top of the world – well England anyway!

If you’re planning a trip to the Lake District and want to be part of National Walking Month, then hopefully there’s something here for you – from the complete novice to the more adventurous, from little legs to experienced hikers. But whatever your level of expertise, please remember to pack appropriate clothing and equipment. Walking boots, waterproofs, layers of warm clothing, a rucksack, a first aid kit, snacks, a mobile phone in case of emergencies and, of course, a map and compass. And a camera – make sure you have memories of your day in the fells.

For more information on what clothing and equipment to take with you, click here.

And don’t forget, if you’re staying in one of our Ullswater Cottages, we can offer private guided walks. Click here for the walk from Elm How or Cruck Barn, and here for the walk from Eagle Cottage.

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 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.