After the noise and bustle of visitors to Aira Force, the quiet path to Gowbarrow Fell alongside the river is perhaps a welcome contrast.
It is worth making the effort to visit both Gowbarrow and Green Hill for the views down to Ullswater and to the surrounding hills.
Parking is at the National Trust car park at the bottom of the falls, or alternatively there is a parking area on the Dockray road.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Gowbarrow Fell (Wainwright summit), Gowbarrow Fell, Gowbarrow Park, and Green Hill - Gowbarrow Park; and includes 1 Wainwright, 2 Birketts, and 1 HuMP.
If you need accommodation we have details of 20 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Head up through the car park to the information boards, go past and bear left onto graded the path. Go through the gate, and the next gate onto The Dell. Turn left to climb through the Pinetum. The path to the lower bridge from this side is currently closed (Sept 2012) due to a landslide. Continue to the upper bridge. Cross over, and immediately turn left onto a rough path alongside Aira Beck. The return path rejoins here so you don't need to drop down to the lower bridge for photos.
This path meanders alongside the beck for quite a while. Ignore any side turnings or bridges. The path is very rough in places with a few patches of stone pitching. The slopes to your right covered with bracken. Reaching the obvious wall, go through the gap signposted Dockray, and continue through the gate shortly after. The views open out now.
At the next gate, do not go through, but turn right to climb alongside the wall. A makeshift sign here painted on the other side says "Gowbarrow hill" and points up hill.
Climb up to a gate, go through, and continue on the path with the wall to your left. Bear left as the wall does.
The slopes gradually change from bracken to heather. The path now floats across the top of the peat bogs, a delight to walk on.
Follow the path to the summit trig point.
Green Hill now lies roughly south, or as you look down to Glenridding and Patterdale, just left of the 'knee' of Ullswater. The path, marked in Wainwright as 'intermittent', continues just to the right of the summit area as you approached it and drops down left to skirt a similar height knoll. Meander along following this slightly wet and often boggy path.
There are two faint junctions you can bear left at to get to the cairn on Green Hill. Either of them will do. The second is more obvious as the cairn is in sight. You'll start wondering how you get there when the junction appears.
Having admired the views bear right away from the summit, dropping down through bracken and crags, aiming this time for slightly right of Ullswater's 'knee'.
This path again meanders, and the bracken encroaches the path in summer, but should be easily followed.
As you drop down further the path swings right slightly to intersect the gill. Go through the kissing gate and bear left to the top bridge. Drop down to the lower bridge, signposted "steps to lower bridge".
Continue on the path dropping down alongside the beck. Cross the bridge into The Dell. Join the main path bearing left to return to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|A short walk to Hart Side from Park Brow||0.5km (0.3 miles) away|
|Greenside Mine and Glenridding Beck Circular Stroll||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|Lanty's Tarn, Birkhouse Moor, Red Tarn, Catstycam||3.5km (2.1 miles) away|
|Glenridding Dodd||3.5km (2.1 miles) away|
|Lanty's Tarn, Keldas, and Patterdale Circular||3.5km (2.1 miles) away|
|White Side and Raise, from Glenridding||3.5km (2.2 miles) away|
|Helvellyn, The Classic Ridges of Striding and Swirral Edge||3.5km (2.2 miles) away|
|Glenridding Dodd, Heron Pike and Sheffield Pike||3.5km (2.2 miles) away|
|A Fusedale Round: Steel Knotts, Loadpot Hill, Arthur's Pike, Bonscale Pike||3.6km (2.2 miles) away|
|Beda Fell from Martindale||3.6km (2.2 miles) away|
|Steel Knotts - Pikeawassa||3.6km (2.2 miles) away|
|Hallin Fell||3.6km (2.2 miles) away|
|Place Fell and a stroll alongside Ullswater||4.1km (2.5 miles) away|
|Little Mell Fell||4.1km (2.6 miles) away|
|Birks and Arnison Crag||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|A visit to Place Fell overlooking Ullswater||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|St Sunday Crag and Grisedale Tarn||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|Great Mell Fell||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011