21st May 2011

Ahead of the rain on Gowbarrow


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 14.30
Duration 5 hr
Distance 8.9 mile
Ascent 2100 ft
Walking with Neil Haslewood
Parkgate Brow - High Force - Gowbarrow Fell - Great Meldrum - Little Meldrum - The Hause - Little Mell Fell - The Hause - below Priest's Crag - Swinburn's Park - Shooting Lodge - Memorial Seat - Aira Force - High Force - Parkgate Brow
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Aira Force, Parkgate Farm

This is what I always call the top Aira Force car park and for no particular reason this is the one I prefer to set out from. This is the car park where you're most likely to get a parking space during the busier times of year.

Parking is free.


Route Map

The forecast was less than good for us today so we chose an area with lots of options to shorten or lengthen the walk depending on the conditions. Fortunately for us the rain arrived a little later than expected so we kept adding bits on as we went along eventually doing a walk of almost nine miles.

Once out of the woods at Aira Force Place Fell comes into view.


It may have looked brighter on the fellside below Great Dodd, but it must have been blowing a gale up there. I'm at the stage now where I just don't need to knowingly head up those heights to get battered by the wind. Particularly when there are plenty of alternatives, such as this walk.

Approaching Gowbarrow Fell summit.

Looking back to Gowbarrow Fell.
So far so good, and it was across to Great Meldrum we went.

Ullswater in front of Hallin Fell and Place Fell. In the middle distance is Steel Knotts, Beda Fell and The Nab. The high ridge behind is Loadpot Hill, Wether Hill and High Raise.

A picture of The Hause, taken from our quick up and down walk on Little Mell Fell.

Little Mell Fell summit.

Best make good of this view; once those trees are a few more years old the view will disappear.

Walking through Swinburn's Park.

Walking through Swinburn's Park.

It looked like the rain was going to hold off for a while longer so we took the longer route back around the eastern and southern side of Gowbarrow Fell.


The path around from the hunting lodge may be pretty easy going but there are some quite big drops along the way. Not somewhere I'd like to trip and go flying head over heals.

From the viewpoint above Yew Crag, looking northwards up Ullswater to Hallin Fell, Bonscale Pike and Arthur's Pike.

And turning around, you get this view down towards the Glenridding end of the lake.

One of the Ullswater steamers.

Before loosing to much height on the walk down to Aira Beck, I took this picture looking down Ullswater.

Walking through the woods near Aira Force.

Aira Force.


We followed the path next to the beck as far as this waterfall before turning left and crossing the fields back to the cars.

"What happened to the top of your head"
"Nothing, it's supposed to be that shape"

David Hall -
Lake District Walks