Come rain or shine, Aira Force in Ullswater is a mighty sight to behold. Various walking routes lead to the waterfall, each weaving through beautiful scenery towards spectacular viewing points.
From Aira Force car park, there is a smooth path that follows the course of the beck to the top of the fall, but a longer, lesser-known route begins at Dockray, near the Royal Hotel. It leads down a farm lane from the village and then along the side of Gowbarrow Fell. Upstream from Aira Force, there is another dramatic but less-touristy waterfall called High Force, which is well worth a stop en route.
A path follows either side of the falls, and a dramatic hump-back bridge spans the very top. Steps lead to a further bridge, which is a magnificent viewing point to see the falls crashing over the rocks and into a clear pool - magical.
Follow the path downhill to the main car park, then continue uphill through woods and onto Gowbarrow Fell: a simple little climb. There is a triangulation pillar at the highest point and a lovely view of Blencathra and Ullswater.
To make your way back down to Dockray, simply follow the wall, keeping it on your right, along the side of the fell to rejoin the farm track to the village. There is a pub called the Royal Hotel in the village, serving bar meals at lunchtime and meals during the evening.
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