Top 3 Lake District Waterfalls You Need to Visit in 2021

The Lake District is a popular staycation destination known for its beautiful, natural lakes. However, you can also find a wealth of stunning Lake District waterfalls. Visiting a waterfall is a popular activity for families on UK walking holidays, as they provide the best views of Cumbria.

In the Lake District, there are thirteen natural waterfalls near Cumbrian villages to enjoy. To help you narrow down your choices, here are the top three best waterfall walks in the Lake District which are guaranteed to impress. 

Aira Force Waterfall

Lake District Waterfall

One of the best Lake District waterfalls is the Aira Force waterfall near Ullswater in the village of Glenridding. Aira falls, as it is known locally, has been a popular destination for over 300 years. The ‘Aira Force Loop’ is a one mile walk that was the main inspiration in William Wordsworth’s Airey-Force Valley. As a result, it is considered one of the most romantic waterfalls in the Lake District UK for couples. Aira Force in Ullswater is maintained and owned by the Lake District National Trust, ensuring the walk is pleasant and beautiful throughout.

How to get to Aira Force Waterfall in the Lake District

Aira Force is situated on the A592 adjacent to the Keswick & Dockray junction. Travel around 2 miles down the lake road from Glenridding or around 5 miles along the lake road from Pooley Bridge.

Car Parking at Aira Force

For nearest car park access to Aira Force, visit post code: CA11 0JY. The car park is a National Trust pay & display car park, which is free for members. There are toilets and tearooms next to the parking area

How long is the Aira Force walk?

The ‘Aira Force loop’ is 1.3 miles long (2.1km) and can take you approximately one and a half hours to complete, making it a fairly relaxing and easy walk. However, some steeper sections cannot be accessed by pushchairs, so if you are taking younger children, make sure you bring a carrier with you.


Scale Force Waterfall


The Scale Force falls are found in Buttermere town near the banks of Crummock Water. This Buttermere waterfall is a concealed oasis hidden halfway up Scale Fell within a deep gorge surrounded by illustrious trees. However, it can easily be accessed from several walking trails heading toward Crummock Water and Red Pike.

The highest Lake District Waterfall

Scale Force is the highest Lake District waterfall, with a single drop of over 170 feet and two other smaller falls with a 20ft drop.

This is one of the more popular waterfall walks in the Lake District National Park. The path is about 4 miles long and typically takes four hours to complete. This will, of course, depend on the route you take. Some may prefer to tackle the harder paths which require more concentration due to the scattered rock scree, while beginners tend to stick to the bypasses for an easier walk.


Stock Ghyll Force Waterfall

Ghyll Waterfall Sign

Stock Ghyll Force is one of the smallest falls in the Lake District National Park at just 70ft. This natural beauty is buried amongst the Lake District’s wonderful woodlands as a tributary to the River Rothay. From the river, the Ambleside waterfall runs down the Waterwheel and ends at Bridge House, which is one of the most famous relics in Cumbria.

This is a favoured Ambleside waterfall walk for visitors staying at the head of Lake Windermere. It is also an ideal choice if you are looking at Lake District walks for beginners, as the route from Ambleside to Stock Ghyll Force only takes around ten to twenty-five minutes, depending how many stops you make to absorb the impressive landscape.

Now you know where some of the best waterfalls in Lake District destinations are, you can start planning your waterfall walks in the Lake District, with your family, friends or significant other. If you are planning a long break, then there are also plenty of other amazing sights to explore such as Rydal waterfall, Whorneyside Force and Tarn Hows waterfall, to name a few which are all free to explore. 


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