Description: A 4.5-mile circular walk taking in the summit of Gowbarrow Fell, via Aira Force waterfall.
Parking Information: National Trust car park just off the A592 – £5 for 2 hours, £7 for 4 hours.
I was look for a fairly easy Wainwright to tick off during my visit to the Lake District (well, you have to, don’t you?) and as I was planning a visit to Aira Force anyway, Gowbarrow Fell seemed like an obvious choice. It’s a fairly steep pull up to the summit, and the path (at least on the lower section) was not great, but it’s not a huge fell so the climb was over fairly quickly. From the car park, go through the picnic area behind the ‘welcome centre’ and follow the path up to ‘the glade’. From there, turn left on a grassy path through the arboretum and then take the steps down to view Aira Force.
Continue along that path, crossing the beck and climbing steeply on the path with the river now on your left. This is a nice wooded stretch of path along the Aira beck.
Eventually, the path comes out into the open after passing through a gap in the wall. Before reaching the next wall, turn right, following the track up the fell, sticking close to the wall as best you can.
As you climb higher, the path improves and leads you to the summit.
From the summit, follow the good path heading east, which then turns south and leads around the flank of the fell.
Keep following the path. The views over Ullswater open up:
Finally, go through a small gate on the left, which takes you back over the beck and into ‘the glade’ again, from where you can retrace your steps to the car park.
Buy the OS map covering this route: