A new beginning at Aira Force

The glade is a perfect spot for a picnic © National Trust Images / Paul Harris

The glade is a perfect spot for a picnic

Latest update 07.08.2014 13:28

Aira Force, on the shore of Ullswater, is one of the Lake District’s best loved waterfalls and now, thanks to the significant financial support of many members, more of its historic landscaping can be enjoyed by many more people.

Major project

Over the winter, we’ve been completing a major project to renew paths and bridges and create a new visitor welcome building. There are also new paths around the woodland glade and a new off-road footpath between Aira Force and Glencoyne Bay.

“It’s a fantastic low-level walk”, says Ranger Steve Dowson, “perfect for families with small children in pushchairs.”

New jetty

We’re also working to build a new jetty on Ullswater, in partnership with the local steamer company, Ullswater Lake Steamers will allow visitors to leave their car behind at Glenridding, enjoy a cruise up the lake, a walk around Aira Force, or onto Gowbarrow Fell beyond, before returning to Glenridding by foot.

By making it easier for people to get to Aira Force - by foot, by boat or by car, we hope that more people will enjoy this special place in a way that suits them, whether they are planning a family day out, a long fell walk or exploring the area around Ullswater.

A dramatic 'experience'

Aira Force was originally designed in the 18th century as a dramatic ‘experience’. Visitors walked out of the shade of the valley floor into the light above the falls. The trails were intended to be an exciting glimpse of nature and, for those who climbed further, their reward was breathtaking views of Ullswater.

Aira Force was originally created for very few people to enjoy and now, thanks to the Trust, over a quarter of a million people can share in its special qualities.

As well as support from our members, we’ve also been helped by the Cumbria Waste Management Environmental Trust, who’ve helped us build a new bridge over the beck and Natural England has supported the creation of the new footpath to Glencoyne Bay.