3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

6 beautiful waterfalls in the Lake District

PUBLISHED: 17:09 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:31 21 February 2018

Rainbow Light at Aira Force by Stephen Bell

Rainbow Light at Aira Force by Stephen Bell


There are many forces of nature to witness in the Lake District, we pick six of our favourite waterfalls.

Aira Force by Chris NewmanAira Force by Chris Newman

Aira Force

near Ullswater

Aira Beck is tributary of Ullswater and the most dramatic point of course is undoubtedly the 60 ft drop over the rocks at Aira Force. The site is run by the National Trust and you can view the waterfall from the bottom or there is a small bridge from which you can witness the cascade from above.

Lodore Falls, Keswick by Chris EvansLodore Falls, Keswick by Chris Evans

Lodore Falls

near Keswick

A beck from from Watendlath Tarn flows north and along the way cascades down 100 ft in the area behind the Lodore Falls Hotel on the sourthern tip of Derwentwater. Parking at the hotel is for guests only, so the majority of people park a mile north at the National Trust Kettlewell Car Park and walk through the woodland, the falls are within private grounds and an honesty box is provided.

The Grot and Waterfall, Rydal Hall by Deborah FordThe Grot and Waterfall, Rydal Hall by Deborah Ford

Rydal Falls

near Ambleside

The Grot, a small viewing hut at the foot of Rydal Falls is one of the most famous landmarks in the Lakes, the hut has been here since 1668 and is thought be Britain’s first ever ‘viewing station’ that has inspired poets and artists for centuries. Sadly the building is no longer open to the public but you can still view the falls which are to the north of Rydal Hall in Ambleside, a must see when exploring the wider area of Rydal.

Scale Force Waterfall, Buttermere by Antony RowlandsScale Force Waterfall, Buttermere by Antony Rowlands

Scale Force

near Buttermere

There a bit of a debate about the actual height of Scale Force, many people believe it to be 170 ft, making the highest in the Lake District. You can see Scale Force while exploring the area around Buttermere and Crummock Water, you can try this walk from nearby Buttermere.

Skelwith Force by Chris EvansSkelwith Force by Chris Evans

Skelwith Force

nr Elterwater

At just 16 ft, Skelwith Force may not be the highest of falls within the lakes, but that does not mean it isn’t as dramatic as some of the other waterfalls mentioned. In this case, the name force is particularly descriptive here as the River Brathay and Langdale Beck combine to create a dramatic, fast moving flow that is especially powerful after rainfall. The falls are just a short distance from the Skelwith Bridge Hotel, and you can also visit Elterwater and Tarn Hows nearby.

Stock Ghyll by Antony RowlandsStock Ghyll by Antony Rowlands

Stock Ghyll Force 

near Ambleside

Another waterfall near Ambleside is the 70 foot waterfall at Stock Ghyll Force, it is part of Stock Ghyll which is a tributary of the River Rothay, draining eventually into Windermere. The waterfall is a short walk away from the centre of Ambleside and can be viewed safely from a railed viewpoint.


There are many other waterfalls within the Lake District, and professional photographer Mark Gilligan shares reveals his favourite waterfalls as well as some handy tips for capturing them on camera.


We would love to see your photos of waterfalls across the Lake District, all the images featured in this article were uploaded to our reader photo gallery.


More from Out & About

Friday, September 21, 2018

The first ever National GetOutside Day takes place on Sunday 30 September with the aim of getting 1 million people active outdoors across the UK.

Read more

Meet some of the devilishly successful people who make this glorious Ribble Valley town tick.

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

The site was designated Lancashire’s first ever ‘Local Nature Reserve’ in 1968 and is also designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A striking sculpture attracts John Lenehan to this circular walk through some oustanding scenery.

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

This varied selection of walks are all within ten miles of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Natural Beauty.

Read more
Arnside Silverdale
Monday, September 10, 2018

Making a television programme about the Lakes has re-affirmed Paul Rose’s deep affection for the area

Read more
Lake District
Friday, September 7, 2018

A succesful application could see the restoration of the Japanese Gardens and the creation of a water sports centre.

Read more

Is it a village? Is it a town? Who cares when the locals take such a pride in making this such a lovely place to visit

Read more
Thursday, August 30, 2018

A new survey method could unlock the secrets of the bog bush cricket in Lancashire following their discovery on Little Woolden Moss, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Ellie Sherlock joins the search.

Read more
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Heritage venues across the region – many of them not normally open to the public – will welcome visitors this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It’s officially England’s favourite flower and if you want to see some beautiful examples, follow Linda Viney to Mawdesley

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A circular walk which skirts the Lune estuary and takes in the Lancaster Canal and the railway line.

Read more

Behind the ancient sandstone facade of Browsholme Hall is a remarkable ethos of 21st century sustainability and care for the environment.

Read more
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keswick really is a gem of a town – just ask anyone from jeweller Brian Fulton to mountaineering legend Sir Chris Bonington

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search