Lake District Waterfalls To Visit

Known for its lakes and fells, Lake District waterfalls provide another attraction and source of scenic beauty. It is reported that there are over forty named waterfalls in the Lakes [1], with many more among the gills and streams of the fells. Here is our short-list of the most impressive waterfalls in the Lakes.

This Way To The Falls [2]


Aira Force, Ullswater


Aira Force, Ullswater
Aira Force, Ullswater [3]

Aira Force waterfall on the Aira Beck in Ullswater has a continuous twenty metre drop. The falls are on land owner by the National Trust. The main car park (postcode CA11 0JS) is at the bottom of the falls where there is also a tearoom. There is also a car park at the top of the falls. Charges apply for both car parks.

The waterfall, it's beck and enclosing valley, are the subject of two of William Wordsworth's poems: The Somnambulist and Airey Force Valley. There are two stone bridges, one above and one below the falls, which commemorate the former diplomat Sir Cecil Spring-Rice (author of I Vow To Thee My Country) and his son Stephen Spring-Rice.


Colwith Force, Brathay

Colwith Force, Brathay
Colwith Force, Brathay [4]

This pretty waterfall on the River Brathay, located between Little Langdale Tarn and Elterwater, has twin divided falls that drop 17 m into a pool. The upper falls, known as t"the cascade", is more than half the total length of the falls. The water of the lower falls is divided by large rocks from which the water gushes, foaming an frothing, in to a picturesque glen.  The waterfall is on National Trust land and the nearest car park, approximately half a mile from the falls, is at the postcode LA22 9NU


Lodore Falls, Borrowdale

Lodore Falls, Borrowdale
Lodore Falls, Borrowdale [5]

The Lodore Falls or Cascades are situated behind the Lodore Hotel in Borrowdale and best visited after a heavy rain when the falls are in full flow. The stream passes through a chasm between the imposing cliffs of Shepherd's Crag and Gowder Crag. The Lakeland Poet Robert Southey described the mighty roar of the falls after heavy rain in his poem Cataract of Lodore. In calm weather it is reputed that the chasm produces a fine echo. Parking at the hotel is restricted to guests and there is no car park in the immediate vicinity. The nearest car park is below Grange Crags at post code CA12 5UY. 


Moss Force, Newlands Hause


Moss Force, Newlands Hause
Moss Force, Newlands Hause [6]

This waterfall is a must see after a heavy fall of rain, otherwise the falls are of little impact. Unlike other waterfalls which are hidden in valleys and clefts in the rock, Moss Force is situated high on Newlands Hause and plain to see by all. Considerate roadside parking allows the visitor to enjoy the beauty of the falls - the nearest car park is at postcode CA13 9XA.


Ritson's Force, Wasdale Head

Ritson's Force, Wasdale Head
Ritson's Force, Wasdale Head [7]

Ritson's Force on the Mosedale Beck is approximately half a mile from the Wasdale Head Inn. The waterfalls are named after the one time proprietor of the Inn - Will Ritson. Parking is just prior to reaching the Inn at post code CA20 1EX. 


 Scale Force, Crummock

Scale Force, Crummock
Scale Force, Crummock [8]

Scale Force at Crummock has the longest drop, 38 metres, of any Lakeland waterfall. So impressive are the falls that William Wordsworth described the falls as "... a fine chasm, with a lofty but slender, fall of water." There are several car parks in the village of Buttermere, post code CA13 9XA, from where it is a reasonable walk along the western side of Crummock Water. 


 Skelwith Force, Skelwith Bridge

Skelwith Force, Skelwith Bridge
Skelwith Force, Skelwith Bridge [9]

Situated on the River Brathay, these falls are located just above Skelwith Bridge. Though a small water fall in terms of the drop. it is impressive in its width. When in full flow the cataracts provide a fine spectacle of raging water.


Sourmilk Gill, Easedale


Sourmilk Gill Force, Easedale
Sourmilk Gill Force, Easedale [10]

These falls on Easedale Beck were referred to as Churnmilk Force by the Wordsworths. Parking is available in Grasmere, post code LA22 9SJ. From the car park walk through Grasmere village and along a well defined track towards Easedale Tarn during which you will encounter the falls. 


Stanley Ghyll Force, Eskdale

Stanley Ghyll Force, Eskdale
Stanley Ghyll Force, Eskdale [11]

Hidden in a steep and wooded ravine, Stanley Ghyll Force, also known as Dalegarth Force, falls an uninterrupted eighteen metres in to a deep pool. It is romantically situated in a thickly wooded ravine, approximately half an hours walk from the village of Boot in Eskdale. Parking is offered by the Boot Inn, post code CA19 1TG, where non-patrons are requested to make a charity donation. 


Stock Ghyll Force, Ambleside

Stock Ghyll, Ambleside
Stock Ghyll, Ambleside [12]

Stock Ghyll Force can be found in the woodland behind the Salutation Inn approximately half a mile from the centre of Ambleside. With water tumbling down the rocky face and framed with trees and ferns, Stock Ghyll Force is a very atmospheric waterfall. A footbridge above the falls provides an excellent view of the cascading water, dropping 27 m in a series of falls. Various car parks in Ambleside, post code LA22 9AN. 

Named Lakeland Waterfalls

  • Aira Force, Glencoyne, Ullswater - see above for details
  • Barrow Falls, Borrowdale - cascades on Barrow Beck at the rear of Barrow House Independent Hostel - Grid Ref NY269200
  • Birker Force, Eskdale - waterfall on the Low Birker Pool - Grid Ref SD188999
  • Buckstones Jump, Rydal - waterfall on Rydal Beck - Grid Ref NY378078
  • Cam Spout, Eskdale - secluded waterfall in a deep fissure on the north side of Cam Spout Crag - Grid Ref NY217060
  • Colwith Force - see above for details
  • Dalegarth Force or Stanley Force, Eskdale - 18m waterfall dropping in to a deep wooded ravine - Grid Ref SD174995
  • Dungeon Ghyll Force, Langdale - one of several falls on Dungeon Ghyll, has a drop of 18m - Grid Ref NY290066
  • Esk Falls, Eskdale - several spectacular waterfalls on the upper Esk - Grid Ref NY226037
  • Force Jump, Kentmere - waterfall on the River Kent at Kentmere - Grid Ref NY460044
  • Fordingdale Force, Bampton - waterfall on Measand Beck below Force Crag - Grid Ref NY478158
  • Galleny Force - waterfall with wild swimming pools two miles south of Rosthwaite, Borrowdale - Grid Ref NY272131
  • Lodore Falls - see above for details
  • Moss Force, Newlands Hause - see above for details
  • Ritson's Force, Wasdale Head - see above for details
  • Rowantree Force, Waberthwaite - double waterfall in deep ravine on Rowantree Beck - Grid Ref SD145937
  • Rydal Falls, Rydal Beck - see above for details
  • Scale Force, Crummock - see above for details
  • Sourmilk Gill Force, Easedale Beck - see above for details
  • Spout Force -also known as Force Spout, a 13m waterfall on Aiken Beck in Whinlatter Forest Park - Grid Ref NY182262
  • Stanley Force, Eskdale - see Dalegarth Force
  • Taylor Gill Force, Borrowdale - spectacular fall in Taylor Gill over which Styhead Gill drops 43m from a hanging valley - Grid Ref NY230110
  • The Forces, Patterdale - pair of waterfalls on Deepdale Beck 
  • The Forces, Bampton - spectacular waterfalls over Measand Beck from a hanging valley leading to Haweswater - Grid Ref NY485156
  • Thornthwaite Force, Bampton - described as a fine cataract, water tumbles into a deep pool on Haweswater Beck - Grid Ref NY511160
  • Throng Force - waterfall on Tarn Beck in a narrow valley - Grid Ref SD240985
  • Tonguegill Force - a picturesque waterfall on Tongue Gill above Wet Sleddale Reservoir - Grid Ref NY528099
  • Vicar Swa, Eskdale - one of a series of waterfalls with Vicar Swa being just below Lingove Bridge - Grid Ref NY227036
  • Whorneyside Force, Oxendale-  spectacular waterfall below Hell Gill - Grid Ref NY261054

Sources And Credits

  1. "The Lake District - The Ultimate Guide", Gordon Readyhough, 2004, ISBN 1-904524-11-7
  2. Photo by Mark Fosh licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  3. Photo by Mark Hughes licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  4. Photo by Andrew Bowden licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  5. Photo by Allan Harris licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  6. Photo by Allan Harris licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  7. Photo by Steve Bayley licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  8. Photo by Colin Gregory licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  9. Photo by Lorna Mitchell licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  10. Photo by Graeme Churchard licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  11. photo by Claire Rowland licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
  12. Photo by Carl Hinde licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0