Aira Force walk and the flooding in Keswick

The day after my mountain walk around Esk Hause, the weather was slowly taking a turn for the worse, we decided to make the most of the next day of maybe some drizzle but mainly low cloud. Aira Force is always a great outing for bad weather days, plenty of waterfalls and a nice loop up one side of the river before crossing at the top and descending the other side. We waited until the mornings rain had cleared before we headed across to Ullswater arriving around midday to full car parks, rookie mistake (although I’ve probably been here at least half a dozen times now so it makes it worse that I didn’t predict the crowds). We got lucky in the lower car park and we were booted up and off. At the time of this visit a tree has fallen over the bridge below the main Aira Force waterfall (where they are building a viewing platform) and it has meant seeing the waterfall from below isn’t possible currently. No doubt the health and safety police will be wetting themselves over this, although two rangers with chainsaws at night would probably have it cleared in a few hours, however it wouldn’t surprise me to still see this in place and the paths still closed when we next come up in April. It doesn’t really spoil the walk however and I like the higher path back towards the lower car park. The bottom photos so a few views of what happened after this walk at Aira Force. We went out on the Thursday to see what was going on, getting drenched on a walk to Friars Crag, the weather was brutal even at this low level as the water poured off the fells.

Place Fell on the left as I look out over Ullswater and into the misty clag
This is about as close as you can get to the waterfall unless you are above it. The National Trust have cleared some of the trees to give you a look at the main waterfall
The channel which leads to the waterfall
Aira Beck
As you climb you pass a bridge which marks roughly the halfway point on the route to High Force
High Force, the bridge to cross is just above the waterfall
Yours truly with the bridge behind
Returning downhill back to the car park
The beck cutting its wat through the cliffs
Above the waterfall on the bridge, looking down at the cascade
The higher path (detour) gives a good view to Place Fell which is just out of the clouds
Back near the car park now and one last bridge over Aira Beck
Autumn in The Lakes
Some colour in the trees and bracken but not in its full autumn cloak yet.
Now this was 2 days after the last photo. We had already had two full nights and a whole day of heavy rain and this was the afternoon of the second day. We had been to Ambleside the day before and got drowned (ironically I picked up some waterproof over trousers) the waterfalls around Thirlmere were in spate as was the River Rothay which had burst its banks near Rydal. Another day later and the water rose into Hope Park as Derwent Water attempted to join Lake Bassenthwaite further north.
the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th all have a water feature now. The pitch and putt beyond the trees is flooded as well
Near to Friars Crag now the path around Derwent Water is usually to the right of the trees however that has disappeared, two days ago the water was around a metre lower and there was a bit of a sandy beach to walk across over there
Not the easiest place to stand, the wind was whipping along Derwent Water from Borrowdale and the rain was pounding down. As you can see the lake is very high
The National Trust pull a vehicle out from the flooded shed, they’ve also lashed the skip to the tree to prevent it floating away
The jetties at the back are underwater and flood defences are at the door of the ticket office with the water already past the building and rising. There’s a video online somewhere that someone took from the top of Dodd showing Derwent Water meeting Lake Bassenthwaite, the fields normally in between are flooded by the extensive rain water. For us we had planned a day in the Lakes on the Friday as well, however the rain was still falling and we just wanted out so we headed to Rheged for breakfast before a horrid 9 hour journey home

4 thoughts on “Aira Force walk and the flooding in Keswick

  1. There have been some extraordinary images of the Lakes from those few days. Hard to imagine how much it must have rained. Shame about the flooded pitch and putt. I’ve spent many a happy hour, often in the rain, playing there

    Liked by 1 person

    • Played that pitch and putt in the summer with the boys. Think the lack of breaks between the rain was the strange part. We’re used to heavy rain in this country but after a few hours it eases a bit then comes back. This was just heavy rain for 2 days without any let up


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