Aira Force

Aira Force is a well know waterfall on the north side of Ullswater in the Lake District.  The main fall drops 22m into a rocky pool, and is nicely framed by a stone footbridge at the top of the falls.  In addition to the main fall, there are numerous other cascades and rapids along the Aira Beck for just over a mile upstream of the main fall, and these can be explored by paths through the woodlands on both sides of the beck.  The entire area is owned by the National Trust, and does get rather busy in the peak seasons.  All our photographs were taken in September, but this would be a good location slightly later in the year for the Autumn colours.

Location and Parking

Post Code: CA11 0JS

There are three National Trust car parks, the main one being at the bottom of the falls on the A592 which runs along the north side of Ullswater.  There is also a cafe and facilities here.  The other two car parks are half way up and at the top of the falls area, and can be reached by taking the A5091 towards Dockray.  As this is a popular location, all the car parks can become full, however it is also possible to park on the roadside at either of the two upper car parks.

Aira Force

Aira Force plunges 22m down a rocky ravine and is only a short walk from the bottom car park. It is possible to look directly down on the falls from the stone bridge at the top, however this does not give a particularly good viewpoint for photography, and setting up a tripod here would create an obstruction.  Better views are to be had looking up from the bottom of the falls, and from a viewing platform at about mid height.  When we visited the falls in September 2020, trees were growing up below the mid station, obstructing the view of the lower part of the falls. Hopefully these will be cleared away at some point.

Aira Force From Below

Aira Force From The Viewing Platform

Aira Beck

Continuing up the path on the right side of the beck gives the best view of the numerous cascades and rapids. At one point there is another fine waterfall where the beck drops into a narrow ravine.

Cascades on Aira Beck

Aira Beck

Waterfall On Aira Beck

At the top of the walk, there is another large waterfall, however this is mostly hidden from view by rock walls. Just above this fall, the beck is crossed by a footbridge for the return walk.  It is best to do the walk in a clockwise direction, as this gives the best view of the cascades when ascending on the right side of the beck.

The Top Waterfall at Aira Beck

Footbridge Over Aira Beck

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