Jo’s Monday walk : Aira Force

Beautiful Aira Force

Beautiful Aira Force

You have no idea how delighted I was to be able to visit Aira Force!  The forecast wasn’t great and, as we approached the English Lake District, a swirl of damp cloaked the mountains.  But a waterfall’s no good without the water, is it?  And in Autumn, the canopy of leaves radiates!  Driving through a tunnel of flame and gold, the senses are filled with wonder.

I had planned to walk to the falls from the nearby village of Glenridding, our base for the evening, but the road south from Pooley Bridge bypassed them.  Carpe diem had never seemed so appropriate.  A pocket of opportunity, as the drizzle ceased momentarily.

The National Trust car park

The National Trust car park

The car park was not as deserted as I might have expected, though the picnic tables were definitely unoccupied.  There were just enough people to exchange smiles with, in a ‘good to be alive’ sort of way.  A celebration of our good fortune.

Those coins get everywhere!

Those coins get everywhere!

Treading carefully on the damp leaves underfoot, I could hear already the gurgle of water.  The stream chuckled merrily on its way to the lake.  Not far to go!  But for me, it was upwards by a series of steps, pausing often to admire my beautiful surroundings.

Onwards and upwards!

Onwards and upwards!

I was eager for my first sighting of the waterfall.  Suddenly, through the trees, I caught a glimpse of its magnificense.

It looked wonderful!

So alluring!

Just a little more bracken

But first a little more bracken

And a few steps

And a few more steps

Beneath the bridge

And we’ve reached the bridge

The sound of rushing water has reached a crescendo.  Steps lead down to the bridge and I cannot stop myself from descending.  I lean over and gaze in worshipful awe.  From beneath me, the falls tear away to join the calm of the lake.

The falls tear away to the lake from beneath me

Leaping joyfully down to Ullswater

Leaving the lower bridge behind, I head on up to the top of the falls, the water my constant companion.  That and the moss and leaves. It’s possible to continue up to Gowbarrow Fell and the trig point for views all along the lake, but on a murky day like this the visibility would be poor.  And I’m so loath to leave the water behind.

My constant companion

My constant companion

And always the water

Chirruping water

And my other companion

And my other companion

The air feels increasingly damp and we decide to retrace our steps and cross over the upper bridge.  The descent on the other side of the falls is down yet more steps, but they are well spaced, and not too slippy in stout shoes.

We can now look back at the full 65 foot height of the falls, which I found very difficult to photograph.  My little camera has its limits, and I most certainly do.  I have too much ‘white light’ in the shot.  I tried different angles but it didn’t help.  I’m sorry!

But I was much taken with this aged log

But I was much taken with this aged log

A certain person was getting rather impatient.  I suspect you might be ready for a seat somewhere too.  I spotted a lovely one but it was a bit damp.

What do you think?

What do you think?

He's wondering when we're going to get to cake!

He’s wondering when we’re going to get to cake!

I think we’ve had enough exercise, don’t you?  I hope you enjoyed it, despite all those steps.  This link will give you clearer guidance on how to negotiate the various paths, and National Trust can help you to get here.

walking logo

Many thanks to so many of you who have again contributed to making my Monday walks a great place to be.  Shall we get the kettle on, ready for a good read?  If you’d like to join me you’ll be made very welcome.  Full details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo above.


Introducing Phoebe, in the lovely South of France, with not a drop of rain in sight.  Please say hello :

Coast Walk : the Cap d’Antibes

Tobermory says Scotland to me, but this one’s equally beautiful.  Thanks, Violet Sky!


Sounds like a good book?  And you’ll enjoy Anabel’s company, in Scotland!

Two Towers

Amy has something pretty spectacular for you this week :

Monday Walk : Cascade Caverns

The cutest giraffes!  Thanks for taking us to the zoo, Jackie  :

The Living Desert, Palm Springs CA

Photos do not come any more beautiful than this first one!  Many thanks, Lucile :

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge : Nature

Jesh always has an interesting take on life.  And there’s an apple cake recipe too!

Apple Hill

I know you’ll all be waiting for Part 2 of Rotterdam.  I was!  Bring on the windmills, Elena!

Rotterdam in a Day (part 2)

Denzil finds some strange things in the Belgian countryside :

Outrelouxhe : Just because… I like the name

If you’re seeking entertainment you can’t do better than join Badfish!

Treats and Tricks in Oman

And as I’ve pointed out before, Tobias has a very different take on life :


Wonderful variety again this week so thank you all very much.  It’s going to be a wild one, I think, so hang onto your hats!  Have a happy one and I’ll see you all soon.


    1. I’ve thought of you too, Pauline. Has your wonderful month come to an end? I know you’ll have come back with a big sackful of lovely memories. 🙂 Thanks for thinking of me.

  1. What a beautiful walk Jo – the autumnal colours are so pretty and I can almost smell the damp bracken and hear the rushing water. Wouldn’t mind a spot of cooler weather – it’s rather hot here at present but mustn’t complain as we do live near the sea and benefit from the afternoon breeze! Have loved looking through your photos and reminiscing about English autumn days. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  2. How lovely – and what a coincidence that I’ve just posted a photo of a waterfall on my blog too! I’ve never visited the Lake District (I know!) crazy that someone from England hasn’t visited such a beautiful part of the country. Great photos, Jo.

  3. un luogo magico! sono veramente convinta che lì abitino gli Elfi e le fate, e magari ti hanno fatto dispetto e si nascondevano perché tu non riuscissi a fotografarli, gelosi che hai fatto immagini strepitose del loro habitast

  4. I’m a bit late joining in with this walk, but it was definitely worth it! Although it was a dreary day (here in the UK we have to go on our walks regardless, don’t we?) it looks lovely – so much to see with little paths, steps, bridges and of course the fabulous waterfall.

    1. You know what they say, Elaine. Much better late than never 🙂 Thank you for making the effort. I’ve had a thoroughly traumatic morning, locking us out of the car with the keys still inside and quite a long way from home. 😦 Survived to tell the tale, fortunately. 🙂

  5. The weather definitely seems to have cooperated for the day. The colors were bright and it really is a little slice of paradise! Those stacked coins are really interesting, Jo! What an appealing walk this was. 🙂

  6. What would our beautiful Lake District be without fog and rain? Such a glorious, November walk this Jo…and such a wonderful waterfall. There’s something quite magical about them isn’t there? I am now breathing deeply…thank you lovely lady 🙂 xx

    1. Always be prepared, Sue! 🙂 I was prepared to dazzle in my yellow kagool but it wasn’t needed, thankfully. I have been accused of looking like a fallen leaf in it (a large one 🙂 )

  7. These scenes really look like something out of the Middle Ages, Jo. The photos are great and I love the ‘seat for one’. I’ve got a stump in the yard that would be perfect for just that! 😀

  8. I’ve never heard of Aira Force, what a brilliant name and place. Is it the same bridge in all the photos? It’s very pretty, but even with my good head for heights I wouldn’t want to lean too far taking pics there! So that’s where you had your scones with the bucket of cream, I hope his nibs had his cake x:-)x

    1. There are two bridges, Gilly, but both in the same stone. I was seriously envious of the colour in your Stourhead shots. The Lakes were stunning but I haven’t managed to capture the radiance. The Inn on the Lake is in Glenridding, just up the road. 🙂

  9. What a stunning walk Jo, wild and unlike your often gentler ones. I didn’t realise I was yearning for a Tuesday morning waterfall till I read this. I love the stump seat and the colours and the steps … And everything!

    1. It’s a beautiful and wild place, Meg, but the National Trust have done their best to civilise it a bit 🙂 🙂 I really loved it and it was the highlight of my birthday (closely followed by the scones 🙂 ). Thanks, darlin’!

  10. I’m still getting my head around chirruping water! Thanks for all the detail of this walk, I must say it is probably a good thing we didn’t do it as I think those steps and heights might be a bit much for the OH and his vertigo. He doesn’t balance well on slippery slopes either and when we almost went there it had been raining the previous day. Oh, well, I have seen it now thanks to you and I didn’t even get wet!
    My Spanish trees was a walk for you: but I have a walled garden for you later on in the week if you prefer 😀
    Stay warm and dry Jo, I have heard you are in for stormy weather ‘oop north’

    1. Blown inside out this morning, Jude, but I survived. 🙂 You don’t think water ‘chirrups’ as it navigates the stones? I’m daft enough to talk back to it. 🙂 Thanks for the trees. You can have two next week if you want? Not sure yet if there’ll be a walk on 23rd because I’ll be in the Algarve. I hadn’t thought about it until your comment. I might schedule one if I have time but we’re going down to Leeds to stay with James on the Saturday (very early morning flight, Sunday 😦 ). Too much excitement, huh? 🙂

      1. Babbles. I’d accept babbling… 😉
        23rd is my daughter’s birthday, I’m sure she would love to join you in the Algarve! Take some time out? You have done a lot of walking this year – I’m sure you could do with a week or two off 🙂

      2. A babbling brook it was not! I’m sticking with chirrups 🙂 I’ll probably have to, Jude, because I can’t reply to comments over there without t’Internet cafe. Not what I go there for (unless it’s raining 🙂 )

  11. Such wonderful scenes, Jo. I can almost smell the dampness of those leaves underfoot as your stout walking shoes squeeze the breath out of them. The waterfall is breathtaking indeed. I also wouldn’t have sat on the damp bench. Hope your companion was duly rewarded with delicious cake. 🙂

  12. Gosh you really captured the damp moist feel of the season, along with all the glorious colours. Wonderful waterfall shots, I just hope you and the camera didn’t get too wet in the process 🙂

    1. My little camera is intrepid, Seonaid. 🙂 It has to be, keeping me company! It’s been the most beautiful Autumn and I just wished I could bundle the Lakes up and bring them home with me. This was the best I could do. 🙂 Thanks a lot!

    1. Many thanks, Karin. 🙂 Some of the colours were so vibrant and I was disappointed that the photos don’t have the same zing, but it is only a point and shoot camera. The place made me very happy 🙂

  13. Looks like a lovely walk, with all those wonderful stone bridges and gorgeous autumn browns in the bracken. It couldn’t be more different to around where I live which is part of the fun of this link up. Thanks for hosting and sharing my post!

  14. It looks like it was a beautiful walk, Jo! I love the waterfall and all the foliage falling away. I always have trouble getting good pictures of waterfalls too. I wonder what the trick is, with all that white light. I’ve been taking many walks these days with wet and slippery leaves underfoot. I’m always afraid I’m going to go slip-sliding away. I’m glad you stayed safe and had a fun birthday! 🙂

    1. I was out slip sliding away this morning too, Cathy, with my walking friends. It’s really windy today so those leaves won’t last long.
      I’m hoping Jude knows a trick or two for waterfalls, but she has a proper camera (as do you 🙂 ) I’ll pass it on if she comes up with the goods. 🙂 I did have a lovely birthday, thanks, hon. The jam and cream scones that followed this walk were heavenly. 🙂

      1. You have to get the exposure right so use aperture settings to let less light in, or use a filter over the lens – a bit too complicated for me yet Jo. One of the things I hope to learn and improve on as I get used to the ‘proper’ camera 😉

  15. What a beautiful walk Jo – the colour of the foliage definitely adds a certain beauty to the views.
    As for that bench – I could not help but think of Jude 🙂

  16. Beautiful walk – and interested to see another coin tree on a path to a Lake District waterfall, as we found a similar one earlier in the year. Thanks, as always, for the mention. Something else almost ready for you, so watch this space…

    1. Glenridding is the perfect village for walking, Anabel. There were signs pointing every which way, including one up Helvellyn. Wish I’d been there a little longer (never satisfied! 🙂 ). Many thanks- will look forward to it.

  17. What a lovely atmospheric walk and you’re right, no point in visiting a waterfall if it’s dried up! I’m thinking you must be very fit doing all these long walks, I’m glad though as they’re a joy to read. I love the coins in the logs and think they must be particular to the North as I’ve never seen them anywhere else.

    1. This was quite a short one, though you could have made it a lot longer, Annika. 🙂 I’m not as fit as I’d like to be but real fitness takes effort. 😦 I just love to be out and about. In the comments Gerry says he saw a coin tree in Dartmoor, so I guess it’s just a matter of luck. This one was enormous- you couldn’t miss it! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  18. Oh, I did enjoy this Jo but without all the effort involved again 😉 It really does look a treat with the Autumnal foliage and undergrowth – I can smell that mossy dampness .
    As we’ve said … waterfalls are thrilling and this one is a great cascade ,you’ve certainly caught that sense of its rushing power with your pictures!
    The weather may not have been as you wished but perhaps that would have been outweighed by having it all to enjoy by yourselves 🙂
    Have a beautiful Monday !

    1. Thanks, Poppy 🙂 Just back from a slippy and windy walk in the woods with ‘the gang’. You’re very kind about the photos. I do struggle to inject enough colour. It was absolutely scintillating in places, and I really didn’t want to come home, but my photos are an embarrassment compared to yours.

      1. You daftie Jo x 😉 I spend a lot of time with photography , photos , colour and post processing Jo – way too much I expect . There’s sure to be a time when the sun comes out and you’ll catch those colours as you’d like . Still leaves on the trees down here . Just . It’s a bit wild out there today 🙂

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