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Aira Force at Christmas

Date & start time: Christmas Day (Sat) 25th December 2010, 2.30 pm start.

Location of Start : Aira Force car park, Ullswater, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 400 200 )

Places visited : Aira Force and High Force

Walk details : 2 mls, 350 ft of ascent, 1 hrs 20 mins.

Highest point : Aira Beck's High Force 750 ft - 230 m.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Cold and dry. High cloud but a little sunshine to the west by the end of the day.

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]

Aira Force at Christmas at EveryTrail



After a leisurely morning and a light snack at midday

we take a drive out to Aira Force,

the waterfall along side Ullswater.

The weather has been freezing for so long

that there should be a good display of ice

around the falls.

Low cloud over the western fells today which extended onto the Helvellyn range

but gaps in the cloud to the east meant we had a very pleasant start to the walk.

Aira Beck with a good covering of ice

Ann stops to look at the Money Tree.


- - - o o o - - -


The strange look to the bark

is due to all the old coins that have been

hammered into the tree trunk


This could be a work or art, but the history of these money trees

which feature in several popular visitor areas around the UK

probably has origins in people placing a coin and making a wish,

a bit like throwing coins into a pool.


- - - o o o - - -

The ice encrusted river and fallen trees as we make our way up to the falls.

Looking across from the top path.
The steps are covered in thick ice.

Looking down on Bethan and the lower bridge.
The falls from below.

Can you tell it's Christmas Day ?
A close up of the falls from below.



After crossing the bridge we climbed the bank on the opposite side until we reached the top bridge from where we look up-stream (above)

and hold our breath as we look over the parapet and down the full height of the ice covered water fall below us (right).

[ Hear and see the falls by clicking start on the photo above. ]

Continuing upstream from the main falls we take the path along the right hand bank.

Steep undercut cliffs with rather fine icicles.

A weak sun reflects in the pools as we walk up alongside the river.

Harry and Bethan . . . fitted with automatic crampons for the ice covered paths.

High Force, Aira Beck.

Father Christmas goes over to photograph the winter scene, his reindeer looks on !

Sitting quietly above the lower pool at High Force.

A slight rise in the water level due to the start of a possible thaw meant there was water flowing over the top of the pool's icy covering.

Several weeks of hard frosts have left a thick covering of ice on the waterfalls.

The river just upstream from the falls.

This was our turning point as we started to make our way back down the valley.

Fast flowing water under and through the ice sculptures.

from the top pool . . .
. . . to the bottom.

The afternoon sunshine is taking on a yellow hue as sunset approaches.

The icicles we looked down on earlier.
Ann crosses the wooden bridge.

Smile . . . it's Christmas !

Harry looking rather anxious after crossing the incredibly scary (not) wooden bridge.

More icicles on the sides of the valley . . .
. . . and sunshine on the pools in the river.

The colour comes from the reflection from the high clouds as they catch the afternoon sun.

Distant Ullswater through the trees.
A study in wood.

Back down to the upper bridge over Aira Force . . .
. . . and a final look down over the bridge.

Returning through the woods.

Sunset just before 4 pm

looking across the fields to Ullswater and snow covered St Sunday Crag.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the thought of a hot Christmas Dinner at home this evening.

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Previous web page - 25th December 2010 Christmas Greetings

A previous time up here - 14th June 2006 Gowbarrow and Aira Force