To illustrate the point that when it comes to waterfalls, size is certainly not everything, here are half a dozen of the finest falls to be found in The English Lake District. Each one not only has a unique charm, but is also easily accessible.
You can access the falls by either parking in Kettlewell Car Park (National Trust) and following the well signed footpath to the falls, a woodland walk of approx. 1/2 mile, or you can take the boat from Keswick and alight at Lodore and follow the path from the Lake shore, past the hotel and up to the falls.
What Skelwith Force lacks in height, (it is just 25 feet high) it more than makes up for in noise and volume. Created by a narrowing of the rivers that drain the Langdale Valley, and all the fells surrounding it, Skelwith Force is also the most accessible of Lakeland's waterfalls. If you park close to the Skelwith Bridge Inn and follow the course of the river upstream along a well made footpath you will soon come to the falls. The only word of warning would be to beware of the rocks as they tend to be very slippery, however, you don't need to get too close to enjoy Skelwith Force in all it's glory.
For a video of the Slater's Bridge and Waterfalls walk, which can be done from Elterwater, click here.
Located in woodland just off the road to Little Langdale, this is surely one of Lakeland's best kept secrets. Access to the falls is along a clear woodland track, part of the Cumbria Way long distance footpath, so easy to follow. Not so easy for motor based tourists is parking, but one good option on a fine day is to park at Skelwith Bridge and take in both Skelwith Force and Colwith Force. They are linked by the Cumbria Way footpath. (Note, stout boots and a good level of fitness will be required for this walk, which is along a wide stony track, but has wet sections).
Check out a video of Colwith Force here ...
Stock Beck Park and Falls
A beautiful woodland park and waterfalls on the edge of Ambleside, Stock Beck Park and Falls is also accessible to most people. In Victorian times the park was a major tourist attraction, and visitors had to pay to enter. One of the old turnstiles used by the owners can still be seen today, restored to working order and now used as an entrance to the park..
The waymarked paths lead the visitor on a circular walk around the park, the highlight of which are the falls. At the top of the cascade is a bridge from which the views of the park and town beyond are only spoiled by the rich foliage of the trees.
For a video of Stock Beck Park and Falls, click here
The paths around the falls were laid out many years ago and those at the bottom of the cascades are well maintained, making access very easy. However, if you follow the course of the river upstream to where the series of cascades starts you will find that the paths get rockier, and in icy weather can be very slippy. The main falls are not particularly high, but after wet weather they are truly spectacular. Because they drain pasture land they are also less likely to dry up than falls that drain rocky areas.
For a video of Aira Force after rain, click here.