Scale Force waterfall – Lake District

scale force waterfall

We love a good water fall, and Scale Force waterfall in the Lake District is well worth the walk to go find it. It’s the highest single drop waterfall in the Lakes set in some beautiful surroundings.

So where is Scale Force and how do I get there?
It’s just west of the lower part of Crummock Water in the beautiful Lake District, and the closest place to park and walk is from Buttermere village.

>> Buttermere, Cockermouth, CA13 9XA
>> Scale Force Grid Reference: NY 150171





When you arrive at Buttermere, there are signposts for the official council parking. However, it was full when we got there but a space did become available. It’s not cheap either, £8 over 4 hours and there is no concession for blue badge holder either. Fortunately the Croft House Farm Café has opened up it’s field to carparking for half the price, so we paid our £4 (gates close at 5.30) and headed to the café for a drink before our walk. I strongly recommend the ‘Buttermere Butterbeer’, a butterscotch based hot drink topped off with marsh mallows and cream.

Anyway back to the walk, which is relatively easy and is about 3.2km or 2 miles. Allow yourself a couple of hours to get there and back as the views are amazing and there is no need to rush. Back at the field where we parked the car, we found the large path at the end furthest away from the Café. There is a signpost for Scale Force, so head along that path. Soon you will come to a stone bridge crossing Buttermere Dubs, cross over then head right towards Crummock Water.
After a couple of wooden bridges, the path starts to lead inland away from Crummock water and you keep to the left path heading towards Scale Beck (stream).

Then all you need to do from here is follow the stream and it will take you right up to Scale Force.

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The view from the foot of the water fall looking up into the tree lined gorge is very impressive, but if you want something a little extra, you will notice a rope on the left hand side. Scale Force is set back into the gorge, so if you want to get closer to it, you need to climb up to the next level and use the rope to pull/walk yourself up approximately 8 foot. Although there is no need to climb up as the view is already stunning, the option is there for you.

We must stress that is it your responsibility to make sure the rope is in a safe condition to use and is secured properly. We cannot accept any responsibility for any injuries incurred as it’s not like it’s an official path. I am told that back in the 60’s there was a ladder there, but it was taken down because people kept hurting themselves, so be warned. I’m no agile spiderman but I did go up there for a closer look, proceeding with caution as I had my cameras but more importantly I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time getting rescued because I had acted like a donkey.

Now if you do go ‘up the rope’, be careful and please be respectful to nature. Don’t go disturbing or damaging anything - Try to leave no trace, so the beauty can be left untouched for the next person to come and enjoy.

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We took a slightly different route back, using the path immediately to the left of Scale Force as you look at it. This path eventually carries you down to Crummock Water and you will rejoin your original path and head back to Buttermere.

We used the Ordnance Survey mobile app as we always do. It costs about £20 per year, and stops us from getting lost. We find it helps us enjoy our walks more too as you can look up place names too which is rather cool. OS MAPS LINK

We have added some Scale Force waterfall videos to our YouTube channel, so please subscribe here > TentLife on YouTube