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Photo: © National Trust

Aira Force, Ullswater

‘When all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils’... Perhaps William Wordsworth’s most beloved poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud was inspired by a trip made by William and Dorothy Wordsworth to Ullswater in April 1802, during which they came across a mass of tiny daffodils fluttering in the lake-shore breeze at Glencoyne Bay. They can still be seen today if you visit the area at the right time. However, Daffodils is not the only work inspired by Ullswater and Aira Force. With family and friends in the area, William Wordsworth was a regular visitor to Aira Force and Glencoyne, and his writings make many references to the area.

One autumn morning, he and Samuel Taylor Coleridge witnessed a ghostly image of Lyulph’s Tower appear in a lake reflection, and in his Guide to the Lakes, Wordsworth described the russet and grey of Autumn Oaks in Gowbarrow Park, the fern and hollies of Aira beck. And Aira Force itself will be forever haunted by his Emma, the ill-fated sleepwalker who fell and vanished in the torrents of Aira Beck in the 1828 poem, The Somnambulist.

Useful Information

Aira Force, Ullswater
Near Watermillock,
CA11 0JS

Telephone: +44(0)17684 82067

Aira Force is open to visit all year round; for the welcome building and tea room please check the website for seasonal opening times.

Organisation: The National Trust