Pooley Bridge to Aira Force

Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.7km

Terrain: Undulating walking through woodland and fields.

Map: Download an OS map here

From Pooley Bridge the Ullswater Way takes you on paths through woodland and fields to Maiden Castle. Once a defended settlement, it is now hidden by grass, but from this raised vantage point you have spectacular views down the Ullswater Valley, and also to the Pennines to the east and Blencathra to the north.

The Way continues on to Bennethead and then on quiet roads to the beautifully situated Watermillock Church, before leaving the road to join a track through the quiet woods of Swinburn Park (once one of five medieval deer parks surrounding Ullswater).

Option: Leaving the woods there is a choice of paths: walk round and over the summit of Gowbarrow to enter the upper reaches of Aira Force, or continue along the path shouldering Gowbarrow, where the views open to the whole of Ullswater and the rising mountains ahead.

Take a rest on Memorial Seat and enjoy the panorama from this grand balcony. In the distance you will see Lyulph’s Tower – a sixteenth century castellated tower, before reaching the spectacular waterfalls of Aira Force.

Pooley Bridge to Aira Force Images

Places to Eat and Drink

Sights to See

  • Deer Park
  • Another attraction
  • Ullswater Steamers