Scale Force
Scale Force

Scale Force is a very attractive waterfall located part way up Scale Fell, on the south-western banks of Crummock Water. The waterfall is located just off several popular walking trails and can easily be fit into a longer walk around Crummock Water or to the summit of Red Pike above. This is the tallest waterfalls n the Lake District, with three distinct falls measuring 170, 20, and 20 feet respectively.

The best way to access the falls is to park in Buttermere village. There are several parking areas, including one just west of the village run by the National Trust (free to Trust members). Warning - parking in Buttermere is at a premium during the summer months, so it may be advisable to arrive early in the day. Or just take your chances!

Scale Bridge
Scale Bridge

From the Bridge hotel, follow the signposted way towards Scale Force. The path splits just outside Buttermere; be sure to take the right fork towards Crummock Water. You will shortly come to Scale Bridge, an attractive old humpbacked bridge across the Scale.

Cross the bridge and follow the path parallel to the shore of the lake. There are several options at this point, and it can be difficult to tell which way to proceed, but as long as you keep heading north along Crummock Water you will be fine.

The lower falls
The lower falls

You will eventually come to a stone wall. Just follow the path uphill and you will find yourself at the falls. There are two falls, a tall, thin plume of an upper fall, and a wider, attractive lower falls. Access to the falls is easy; there are no restraining fences, so you can climb right to the base of the falls for a good - if wet - view.

Or, you can take things a bit further - on our last visit another visitor decided he wanted to see what lay atop the lower falls, so he shinnied up the slippery rocks to the top of the falls - not something I'd recommend.

Total round trip distance from Buttermere is about 2 1/2 miles, and the going is fairly easy. Good waterproof footwear is pretty much essential, but that is true of everywhere in the Lake District!

About Scale Force Waterfall
Address: Buttermere, Buttermere, Lake District, Cumbria, England
Attraction Type: Countryside - Waterfall
Location: Park in the National Trust car park in Buttermere. Take the path from the Bridge Hotel signposted Scale Bridge and Scale Force. Total roundtrip distance 2.5 miles, fairly easy going.
Website: Scale Force Waterfall
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
Location map
OS: NY 150171
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


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Victorian (Time Period) -


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

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