One damp, windy day we decided to drive to the Lake District and use our National Trust cards for the first time by visiting Aira Force. We didn’t really know what to expect other than it was a waterfall and we were going to climb one of the nearby fells whilst we were there.
After a early start we had a lovely scenic drive along the waterside of Ullswater before arriving at Aira Force carpark (after a slight detour after driving past the entrance!). We used our member cards for free parking and noticed the tearoom, shop, toilets and snack kiosk for our return.
The walk started in the woodlands where we spotted a red squirrel running across the grass before heading up some steps where we got our first view of Aira Force. It was larger than I thought and a lot more exciting. We walked down the steps to the base of the waterfall before heading back up a different set of steps to a bridge that crosses the top of the waterfall allowing you to look down it from above.
There were lots of paths to follow taking you on various different routes but we continued up the path by the river past smaller waterfalls before getting into open countryside ready to reach the summit of Gowbarrow.
Heading up Gowbarrow was pretty simple following a stone/grass path despite it being a bit muddy in places. If you ever do this walk, always stop to look back at where you walked as you get amazing views over Ullswater.
We eventually arrived at the summit and we were the only people there. We had a quick stop and took in the views before heading down as it was rather windy up there. The walk back was pleasant and also had some great views over Ullswater. We also found several inspirational plaques along the way, no idea who put them there or why but they certainly made us smile.
Once back at the car park we headed to the tea room for some well deserved lunch and a sit down.