You might think that the rainy season of January does not lend itself to great days out in the Lakes and it might well have you all reaching for the Monopoly set on a Sunday afternoon. However, one thing rain does bring is running water and running water makes for wonderful waterfalls. Whilst we love the sunshine at our Windermere Guest House, we also cherish the rain as it give us an opportunity to see the Lake District’s spectacular waterfalls in all their glory.
Waterfalls are fascinating, romantic, adventurous, majestic, exciting, picturesque and enchanting all in one. The Lake District might not have the world wonders of Niagara or Victoria to its name but our National Park does have some beautiful falls none the less. From our Windermere Guest house you do not have far to go to enjoy the finest Lake District waterfalls in all their splendour. This walk will detail a splendid circular route that visits the two cascading forces of Skelwith Force and Colwith Force.
The walk incorporates a chance to take in the pleasant Elter Water as well as a short fell climb to High Hacket; it is not too challenging and should be OK to take on whatever the weather. Indeed, the walk never rises above 200 metres meaning it should not being too difficult for all levels of fitness including senior walkers and families. As mentioned, the waterfalls are at their best after a downpour so the rain will never be an excuse to stay in! A good bit of rain will mean you will hear the falls from some distance, revving up your anticipation before you see them for yourself.
The First Fall
Our route begins in Elterwater Village but with it being circular could quite easily be rearranged to start at Skelwith Bridge or Little Langdale. Either way, it’s not far from our Windermere Guest House and there is a car park closeby to a bridge that spans Great Langdale Beck allowing you to park up and set off on your watery adventure. At this point it’s not the time to realise you haven’t packed your waterproofs so make sure you’ve got some appropriate clothing and a change of clothes for when you get back to your car!
Set off eastwards on Cumbria Way which runs alongside the River Brathay and Elter Water. If the clouds have cleared, the view back to the Langdale Pikes from Elter Water is stunning but if the clouds are still lingering around you might have to make do with imagining the view. After all, we’re setting off to see the waterfalls, all else is a bonus!
From our starting point in the village of Elterwater to Skelwith Bridge, the route boasts fantastic scenery throughout; winding through fields alongside River Brathay to Elter Water and then through beautiful woodland dripping wet and alive with the smell of a recent rain. The closeness of the woodland is heightened by the intensifying and anticipatory sound of crashing water that informs you that you are close to your first waterfall of the day. Skelwith Force is a small but impressive fall, particularly so after a rain. The Brathay narrows as it comes to the fall allowing for a funneling and powerful performance that you can sit and enjoy.
The Second Fall and Fell
From Skelwith Force head into Skelwith Bridge and don’t miss the Kirkstone Slate Galleries. There is some really impressive pieces of work and it is well worth checking out as one of our Windermere Guest House recommendations. From Skelwith Bridge it is time to head west towards Colwith Force for our second fall of the day.
Pass Park Farm and emerge from the fields crossing the road to enter Tongue Intake Plantation. The woodland is delightful once again but it is not long before the sound of falling water revs up the anticipation once more.
Colwith Force is somewhat different to Skelwith Force as it is a series of falls with an impressive height totalling 40 feet. Each stage is more spectacular than the last and the double spout at the bottom is the most stunning aspect of the feature. The surrounding woodland provides perfect solitude for you to take in the fall in all its beauty.
From the fall it’s northward bound back to Elterwater Village via the fell of High Hacket and through Fletcher’s Wood. High Hacket is not strenuous and should be the icing on the cake to this picturesque walk before you head back to our Windermere Guest House for some Winter warming food and drink!