Gowbarrow Fell is a fell in the Lake District and is an outlier of
the Eastern Fells, standing to the north of Ullswater above the famous
Aira Force waterfall.
The fell stands at the end of a short ridge
ascending slowly to the north east towards Little Mell Fell. This ridge
runs parallel to the middle reach of Ullswater, providing fine views of
There are a number of intermediate tops along the way,
including Great Meldrum (1,433 ft) Little Meldrum (1,325 ft), and
Gowbarrow Fell is the high point of
Gowbarrow Park formerly a medieval deer park.
To the west of Gowbarrow Fell, separating it
from the foothills of Hart Side is Aira Beck. This flows down from the
rolling fells of the Dodds passing through the village of Dockray,
before turning south toward the shore of Ullswater.
waterfalls, High Force and Aira Force are within this final stretch as
the water drops over 200 ft in total.
The Aira Force attraction
is blessed with two stone bridges at the head and foot, making it one of
the most photogenic sites in the District with easy access from a main
The bridges are of particular interest: the lower is made
of vertical stones, not traditional in these parts, while the higher has
horizontal stones, more in keeping with the dale customs. The falls and
the main body of the fell are owned by the National Trust.
Gowbarrow Fell's northern boundary is formed by a wide bowl, across
which is the domed form of Great Mell Fell. This basin drains to the
north via Thackthwaite Beck and Dacre Beck, ultimately swinging around
to the east to join the River Leven.
The southern slopes of
Gowbarrow Fell are wooded, providing a picturesque backdrop for views
Above this is a fringe of rock, the main feature
being Yew Crag at the south eastern corner of the fell. The woodlands
and crags continue eastwards beneath Great and Little Meldrums, a rocky
spur jutting out from the latter toward the lake.
The summit of
the fell is set back to the north, whilst a second top, generally known
as Green Hill (1,522 ft), is nearer to the lake.
There are many
small knolls spread across the wide plateau, but the prevailing
landscape is of tough heather and bog.
The top bears a
triangulation column with a National Trust plaque and provides good
views down Patterdale but better views of Ullswater can be derived from
The most usual routes of ascent begin from the Aira Force car park.
Green Hill can be climbed from near to the waterfall, followed by a
traverse northward across the summit plateau.
route follows a terraced path around the south of the fell to Yew Crag
and then ascends northward to an old shooting box. The final climb to
the summit is very marshy.
Access from the north can be gained at
Todgill or Dockray and a longer walk can be made by traversing the full
ridge from The Hause.
routes near Gowbarrow Fell