Goosemire Cottages Blog

Aira Force Waterfall Walk, Ullswater

Date: 31st January 2012
Filed under: Things To Do, Uncategorized
Tagged: aira force waterfall, dockray, lake district cottages, ullswater, walks

Aira Force close to the shores of Lake Ullswater and Pooley Bridge, is the most famous waterfall in the Lake District. The waterfall drops an impressive 65ft, and can be reached by strolling through ancient woodland. If your lucky you may spot a red squirrel.

In the 1870s the Howard family of Graystoke Castle landscaped the area around the waterfall and used it as a pleasure garden, planting over half a million trees and forming a network of footpaths, tracks and bridges. The land is now owned by The National Trust.

There is a car park (situated on the A592 2 1/2 miles North of Glenridding on the lake road, just after the turning for Hollin How in Dockray) tea room and toilet facilities. Unfortunately the ground is not really suitable for pushchair or wheel chair access. 

William Wordsworth spent a lot of time visiting the area around Aira Force, Glencoyne Bay and the shores of Ullswater, and it is said this is where his inspiration came from to write his most famous poem - Daffodils. Aira Force is mentioned in three of William Wordsworth’s poems, the most famous which is based on The Legend of Aira Force - The Somnambulist:

Wild stream of Aira, hold thy course,

Nor fear memorial lays,

Where clouds that spread in solemn shade,

Are edged with golden rays!

Dear art thou to the light of heaven,

Though minister of sorrow,

Sweet is thy voice at pensive even.

And thou, in lovers hearts forgiven,

Shalt take thy place with Yarrow.

The Legend Of Aira Force:

Many centutries ago a castle was situated near Aira Force and the Lord had a beautiful daughter called Emma. She was engaged to Sir Elgamore a knight who was away fighting in the East. His long absence cause Emma many sleepless nights which in turn effected her mental state and health. One night she fell into a deep trance and sleepwalked along the paths near to the Waterfall. It so happened that on this very night Sir Elgamore was returning from battle to be by her side, spotted her and made the terrible mistake of touching her. As Emma woke from her trance, he startled her and she slipped on the wet rocks and fell to her death, drowing in the  icy waters below. It is said that Sir Elgamore lived out the rest of his days as a hermit in a cave close to Aira Force.


If you are looking for lake district cottages in the Ullswater area please visit the main Goosemire Cottages website.