Situated in the most beautiful woodland setting among lush towering trees and the prettiest gorge, Aira Force falls 70 feet in total. The little bridge at the top of the fall is especially exciting, it arches over just where the water launches itself into a free fall off the rock plunging into a pool at the bottom, it is a little dizzying looking over the edge. The walk up to the falls are an enjoyable stroll, perfect for the family, there are steep drops in places so caution is needed. Aira Force is the site of a local folklore tale that you can read below.
‘The Legend Of Lady Emma And Sir Elgamore’
The legend goes that there was once a young man & lady named Emma and Sir Eglamore, who were in love and they were betrothed. Sir Eglamore was told he had to leave and go to war leaving his darling behind at home. Shortly after, Emma received a letter that delivered heart breaking news, the man she loved so much had died in battle. She fell into a deep depression and she began to sleepwalk, having visions and dreams of her beloved. Sir Eglamore, had not actually died and he returned home one evening and went looking for her. He found Lady Emma at the top of the force that night sleepwalking. He approached her not knowing she was asleep and unaware of the news she had been given about his death. He called out to her and she awoke, but she was so startled at the sight of what she thought was her lovers ghost that she slipped on the bank and fell off the waterfall, he rushed to save her but sadly dying in his arms a short time later. Heartbroken, Sir Eglamore spent the rest of his days living as a hermit in a cave by the pool of the waterfall. The famous poet William Wordsworth wrote a poem about the tale called ‘ The Somnambulist ‘
Getting To The Waterfall
You can park in the main National Trust car park at the bottom of the force, follow Post code: CA11 0JS, from here there are signs to the waterfall & there is a small cafe and public toilets. You can also park at the side of the road up the hill to the left of Aira Beck and follow foot paths to the waterfall from here.
Photo Credits: Emily Barnes – George Bannister – Ian Cylkowski