Gowbarrow Fell Via Aira Force | Walking Route - Outdoors Magic

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Gowbarrow Fell Via Aira Force | Walking Route

Joy Dutch headed out on International Women's Day to explore a route with waterfalls, sweeping views and the chance to see a red squirrel or two

We arrived in the Lake District to a wet drizzle and grey skies which didn’t bode well for our hike the following day. Despite this, the whole team was thrumming with enthusiasm to get out there and explore.

We were a mix of people, a real melting pot of different experiences and backgrounds, but we had two crucial things in common: we were all women and we all had a shared love of the outdoors.

The occasion had been arranged by Swedish outdoor brand Haglöfs as a way of marking International Women’s Day 2020. Our plan was to walk to Aira Force waterfall and then up to the summit of Gowbarrow Fell before circling back round.

The perfect place to view Ullswater.

As we got out of the cars in the morning the wind was blowing a hooley and the rain was tipping down, but spirits weren’t deterred. As is often the case in Cumbria, the weather was unpredictable during our circuit, but this gave us the best mix of conditions to really put the L.I.M clothing and equipment Haglöfs had equipped us with through its paces.

Best Lake District Walks

Along the way we all swapped stories, span yarns and made friends with likeminded people. As we approached the 481 m summit of Gowbarrow Fell, the ground was littered with patches of snow and the wind started getting stronger. At the top, we had an incredible view of Ullswater with the Eastern Fells, including High Dod, Place Fell and Loadpot Hill, all looming over it

Aira Force in full flow. Photo: iStock
The gorge and its waterfalls is only a short walk from the National Trust car park.

It was the windiest and coldest it had been all day and I was genuinely impressed at how well our gear managed to block out the worst of it despite how lightweight it was. After a short stop to snap a few pictures we were back off and started heading down.

The rain and snow gave way to boggy mud and I was expecting to get soggy feet but the L.I.M Mid Boots passed the test with flying colours. We stopped for a quick picnic lunch overlooking Ullswater and made our final descent.

We arrived back at the car park looking slightly worse for wear thanks to the erratic weather, but we’d all had a fantastic day. We were tired, muddy, wind-blown and happy.

Thanks to Haglöfs for bringing us all together, it was truly inspiring.

Our crew of women, all brought together by Haglöfs
Aira Force is one of only a handful of places where red squirrels can be spotted in England.
Our writer Joy on the top of Gowbarrow.

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