Ullswater & Aira Force.

Our last visit to Aira Force Waterfall near Ullswater in the Lake District was not very successful photo wise….as it was both tipping it down with rain and howling a gale!  Happily on our return yesterday, the weather was a lot kinder. We decided to park in the lake shore village of Glenridding and take the steamer the short 20 minute journey to the newly erected Aira Force Pier.  The steamers themselves have been pleasure cruising along and around Ullswater for 150 years, and weather permitting , operate 363 days of the year.

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Waiting for the boat at Glenridding Pier.
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One of the beautiful vessels, The Lady Wakefield.
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Stack on The Western Belle.
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Glenridding Pier House.

We bought return tickets from Glenridding Pier House for £8 each and sat and waited with a nice warming brew. There is a coffee shop and gift shop in the pier house as well as lots of local information. Presently our steamer, The Lady Dorothy , arrived to take us to Aira Force.



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We sat out on deck and admired the passing scenery. Ullswater is the Lake District’s second largest lake and the daffodils that grow on the bank at Glencoyne Bay are said to have inspired Wordsworth’s poem ‘Daffodils’.  The mighty Helvellyn mountain range provided a magnificent backdrop and the waters were tranquil and deep.

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The Lady Dorothy.
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Aira Force is looked after by the National Trust.

Aira Force Waterfall  tumbles a lengthy 65ft and can be reached via a stroll through pretty woodland. There are wooden walkways, gravel footpaths and ornate stone bridges. We looked out for the many different trees on the tree trail and Hugo enjoyed dipping in and out of the babbling brook. 🙂

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Herdwick Sheep.
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Ancient trees along the trail.
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Woodland paths.
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Aira Force.
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Aira Force Platform.

The name Aira comes from the Old Norse ‘ river at the gravel bank’ and Force is a derivation of the Old Norse word ‘ fors’ meaning Waterfall.  So Aira Force is apparently a waterfall on the gravel-bank river. Head further into the woodland to discover the less dramatic High Force.

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Money-tree stump.
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Wet Doog!

There is a National Trust shop and tea room on site. We had a spot of lunch and another walk before heading back to catch the steamer. 🙂

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The Ullswater Way ( a 20 mile walk around Ullswater) takes in the waterfalls.
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Inside the cafe. Hugo eyes up dinner.
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Pretty window box.
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Wildflowers on the banks of Ullswater.
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Big skies and Aira Force Pier.
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Back in Glenridding. Can’t help taking pictures of these beautiful steamers!
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Have to have cake in the Lakes!

Thanks for joining me in the lovely Lakes. 🙂



27 thoughts on “Ullswater & Aira Force.”

  1. Fantastic pictures!! How strange we were both in the same area. I was slogging it out on the fells above Ullswater while you were relaxing and taking in the sights at lower level! My swim in Ullswater last year almost caused me to lose my underwater camera, the wake of the steamers is immense. Thankfully it was a happy ending. Love the pictures of Hugo, he seems so happy. I hope his joints are feeling better? xx

    1. You don’t see me slogging it out on the fells very often. But Wil and Hugo wouldn’t mind! We did see a wild swimmer in Ullswater, all wet suited up. Hugo is fighting fit these days.:) x

  2. Looks lovely , even though we lived in Settle we didn’t go to the lakes very often, we spent more time at Morecambe. Great photos and Hugo looks to be having fun in the water.
    Amanda xx

  3. Ullswater is my favourite Lake, Shazza. I never seem to have much luck with the weather when I go there and because I travel everywhere on public transport I sadly don’t have the option of jumping back into a car when the heavens open! I remember once spending about three hours on the steamer, waiting for the rain to stop! Still, I can think of worse ways to spend a morning. The views are gorgeous, but not as much as Hugo! 🙂

    1. Ullswater is not to far from where my Mum lives so I have been quite a lot over the years. It is a beautiful lake, but I agree about the weather. We were exceptionally lucky on this visit! I too don’t drive and I do tend to rely on my other half, who luckilly loves finding new places to visit etc too. I know I am very fortunate. So well done on getting to so many fab places. X

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