Ullswater from Gowbarrow Fell

Gowbarrow Fell

Route: Gowbarrow Fell

Area: Eastern Lake District

Date of walk: 9th September 2020

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly 

Distance: 5.0 miles

Ascent: 1,200 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells

It’s been over two years since we were last on Gowbarrow Fell, and a return visit was overdue. As on the last occasion we parked in the main National Trust car park below Aira Force and followed one of the paths up Aira Beck. In normal times it’s possible to follow paths on both sides of the beck, but Covid restrictions were in force, and we had to follow a one way system along the left bank. We’d made an early start as Aira Force attracts large numbers of visitors in the summer – a good choice as the car park was full when we arrived back at the end of the walk

We passed by Aira Force and once beyond it we continued to follow Aira Beck and the upper falls, eventually emerging onto open fellside

After an easy climb beside a dry stone wall we reached the summit of Gowbarrow Fell. The views from here are extensive, but pale in comparison with those of Ullswater from the terraced path above the lake – one of the best miles in lakeland – and which we’d saved for last by walking the circuit in a clockwise direction

We passed by Yew Crag, from where there is a fabulous panorama towards the head of Ullswater. By a stroke of good fortune the grey clouds disappeared briefly and were replaced by blue skies and sun which showed the scenery at its best. We then made the gentle descent back to the Aira Force visitor centre, enjoying the view for most of the way back

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