Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls: Your Guide to the Most Stunning Sights To See

7 months ago   •   15 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls

Nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, you'll find an array of mesmerising waterfalls waiting to be discovered. These natural wonders are not only a testament to the region's rich history but also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. As you journey through this picturesque area, you'll get to experience, first-hand, the breathtaking beauty of the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls.

Each waterfall offers a unique charm, with many being steeped in history and local folklore. For instance, the famous Janet's Foss is a small plunge waterfall where Gordale Beck enters the enchanting Wedber Wood. As you explore further, you'll come across other impressive waterfalls such as Cotter Force and Hardraw Force, each with its own captivating story to tell.

When planning your visit to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, there are over 20 incredible waterfalls to choose from. Be it for a day out in the wild or a leisurely countryside walk, these waterfalls are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for nature's marvels.


Overview of Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls

Exploring the Yorkshire Dales, you'll encounter some of the most stunning and diverse waterfalls in the UK. The region is home to a high concentration of falls within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, providing picturesque landscapes and hidden, mystical beauty waiting to be discovered.

During your visit, you'll have plenty of opportunities to capture mesmerising photos of these natural wonders. Each waterfall has its distinct charm, whether it's nestled in a remote corner of the park or easily accessible for all visitors.

One such example is Cotter Force, an accessible waterfall with a specially graded path suitable for pushchairs and wheelchair users. Rest on the bench near the falls to appreciate the delightful scenery surrounding you.

For those who fancy a scenic walk, the Ingleton Waterfalls Circular is a popular trail that offers breathtaking views as you stroll through woodlands and along the river. Another idyllic walk to consider is the Cray Waterfalls Trail in upper Wharfedale, which showcases stunning cascades and impressive gills.

To make the most of your Yorkshire Dales waterfall experience, visiting during summer is ideal as it tends to be the best time for waterfalls. However, other seasons also offer their unique beauty, with cascading waters and lush greenery complementing the landscape.

In summary, a visit to the Yorkshire Dales provides an unforgettable opportunity to witness some of the most beautiful and diverse waterfalls in the UK. Your photographic memories will serve as a lasting reminder of the region's stunning landscapes and natural wonders.


Highlight: Ingleton Waterfalls

Yorkshire Dales is home to many stunning waterfalls, and one of the highlights you must experience is the Ingleton Waterfalls. Set within the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail takes you on an impressive walk along the Rivers Twiss and Doe where you'll witness breath-taking gorges and waterfalls.

Embarking on the Ingleton Waterfall Trail, you'll encounter a variety of fascinating geological features and spectacular sights. The walk is easy to follow and showcases a range of stunning waterfalls, including Pecca Falls, Hollybush Spout, Thornton Force, Beezley Falls, Rival Falls, Baxenghyll Gorge, and Snow Falls. As you progress, you'll also marvel at the ancient oak woodland and the characteristic Yorkshire Dales scenery.

Not only will you admire cascading waterfalls, but the trail also offers views of Ingleborough, one of Yorkshire's famous Three Peaks. The Ingleton Waterfalls Walk is an ideal tourist attraction, providing you with an immersive and memorable experience within the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

The Ingleton Waterfall Trail is managed and owned by the Ingleton Scenery Company and sections of it pass through a nature reserve, further preserving the stunning environment for visitors to enjoy. Keep in mind that there is an entrance fee for accessing the trail, but it's a small price to pay for the unforgettable walking experience.

Visitors consistently give positive reviews for the Ingleton Waterfalls, praising their beauty and the well-maintained trail that makes it easy for walkers of various abilities to navigate. So, during your visit to the Yorkshire Dales, be sure to include the Ingleton Waterfall Walk in your itinerary. With its captivating sights and serene surroundings, it's a gem you won't want to miss.


Memorable Waterfalls in Dales

As you venture through the Yorkshire Dales, you'll be mesmerised by the wide array of picturesque waterfalls. Each with their unique charm and appeal, these are some of the most memorable ones:

Aysgarth Falls

A beloved trio of small waterfalls along the River Ure, Aysgarth Falls is easily accessible from the village of Aysgarth. You'll likely have seen this beautiful spot on social media, with many visitors every year.

Linton Falls

Another captivating waterfall within this enchanting national park, Linton Falls is a powerful, cascading force on the River Wharfe. The sight and sound of these crashing waters will leave a lasting impression on your memory.

Catrigg Force

Nestled within a wooded gorge, Catrigg Force is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Its secluded location makes it a cherished spot for everyone who happens upon it.

Janet's Foss

This fairy-tale-like waterfall is situated amidst trees on the footpath from Malham Village to Gordale Scar. Its plunge pool offers the perfect opportunity for a delightful splash or a tranquil rest stop.

Thornton Force

One of the highlights of the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Thornton Force boasts a dramatic 14-metre drop. The surrounding woodland offers a serene environment for picnickers seeking to soak in the fall's beauty.

As you explore these captivating waterfalls, don't forget to have your camera at the ready to capture their unique beauty. The Yorkshire Dales' unforgettable water features promise to create lasting memories of your time spent amidst nature's wonders.


Photography and Scenic Spots

Yorkshire Dales National Park is filled with stunning waterfalls, offering numerous opportunities to capture breathtaking photos. When exploring the park, make sure to have your camera ready to photograph the picturesque landscapes.

Ribblehead Viaduct is a remarkable structure that presents excellent photo opportunities. This 400-metre-long viaduct with its 24 magnificent arches frames the backdrop of the park's beautiful scenery. As you venture through the area, capture the grandeur of this iconic landmark as it perfectly complements the surrounding rolling hills and valleys.

The Valley of Desolation is another fantastic spot for keen photographers. As a peaceful and serene location, you can document the contrast between its sombre name and the lush greenery adorned with various waterfalls. This area offers a unique ambience, allowing you to create distinctive and memorable images.

Mallerstang Valley provides yet another exceptional location for photography enthusiasts. Framed by Wild Boar Fell and Swarth Fell, the valley is home to numerous waterfalls, including the stunning Hell Gill Force. Venture into this secluded area and appreciate the captivating beauty of the cascades, while capturing the essence of the valley.

Remember to take advantage of benches strategically placed throughout the park, which offer not only a spot to rest but also the chance to frame your shots. These benches provide vantage points to sit, relax, and fully appreciate the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls while carefully composing your images.

By exploring the park's picturesque locations, you'll find endless opportunities to hone your photography skills and create a visual story of your experience at Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls.


List Of All Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls

As you explore the Yorkshire Dales, you'll come across a variety of stunning waterfalls worth visiting. Below is a list of some of the most popular and picturesque waterfalls in the region:

Aysgarth Falls

These falls are a stunning set of three waterfalls—Upper, Middle, and Lower Aysgarth Falls—over which the River Ure flows. They are characterized by their wide, step-like limestone shelves, which become particularly impressive after rain when the river is in full flow.

Hardraw Force

Accessible through the Green Dragon Inn in Hardraw, this is a spectacular single-drop waterfall which falls over a limestone cliff. The surrounding area is rich in vegetation, adding to the picturesque nature of the location.

Pecca Falls

Part of the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Pecca Falls consists of a series of five waterfalls with a combined height of around 30 meters, offering a stunning example of natural water erosion in limestone country.

Thornton Force

The most famous waterfall on the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Thornton Force plunges 14 meters over a limestone cliff into a deep pool below. It's a favorite spot for geology enthusiasts due to the visible rock strata.

Beezley Falls

Also on the Ingleton Trail, Beezley Falls is a beautiful cascade that drops into a series of clear, rock pools known as the "Black Hole" and "Pluto's Bath."

Snow Falls

Situated near the end of the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Snow Falls is an impressive limestone cascade, which is particularly beautiful when framed by the surrounding greenery and rock formations.

Janet's Foss

This small but enchanting waterfall flows into a plunge pool surrounded by lush woodland. Local legend has it that the pool is home to Janet, the queen of the local fairies.

Cautley Spout

Towering above the valley, Cautley Spout sends water cascading down over a series of rocky outcrops, making it the highest waterfall above ground in England, offering a breathtaking sight, especially after heavy rainfall.

Catrigg Force

This is a secluded waterfall nestled in a wooded gorge near Stainforth. The River Ribble provides its waters, which drop dramatically into a deep pool, making it a serene spot for nature lovers.

Gaping Gill

Not your typical waterfall, Gaping Gill is a large pothole where a stream falls into a massive underground chamber. The chamber is large enough to fit a cathedral and is a popular destination for cavers.

Wain Wath Force

This is a shallow waterfall near the village of Keld on the River Swale. Despite its modest height, it stretches impressively across the river and is set against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales.

Kisdon Force

Close to Keld, Kisdon Force is a spectacular series of two main waterfalls with several smaller ones nearby. Surrounded by wooded gorges, it is a popular stop for walkers on the Pennine Way.

West Burton Falls (Cauldron Falls)

Set on the edge of the village of West Burton, these falls are picturesque and easily accessible, tumbling gracefully into a below pool, they are named after the cauldron-like plunge pool at their base.

Linton Falls

Located near Grassington, Linton Falls is a powerful set of waterfalls where the River Wharfe tumbles over limestone ledges, creating a dramatic scene, especially during high water levels.

Posforth Gill Waterfall

This tall and slender waterfall is situated within the tranquil Valley of Desolation, which is part of the Bolton Abbey estate, and offers a lovely woodland walk leading up to it.

Hull Pot Beck

Image Source: one-foot.com

In the Yorkshire Dales' limestone country, Hull Pot Beck sometimes creates an impressive waterfall as it plunges into Hull Pot, one of Britain's largest natural holes.

Mossdale Falls

Image Source: Andy Killingbeck Photography

On Mossdale Beck, these falls are more of a series of small cascades and are known for their serene setting and as a starting point for challenging caving systems underneath.

Mill Gill Force

A picturesque and multi-step waterfall located just outside Askrigg, it provides a pleasant walk and is a favorite with families and photographers.

Whitfield Gill Force

Image Source: walkingenglishman.com

A quieter and more secluded waterfall compared to its nearby cousin Mill Gill Force, it's found within a wooded area and provides a peaceful spot for contemplation.

Rainby Force

Image Source: photohound.co

Situated on the River Swale, Rainby Force is a lesser-known fall but offers a beautiful natural setting and is worth the detour for those seeking tranquility.

Hell Gill Force

Image Source: paulbeal.com

This is part of the dramatic Hell Gill gorge, which contributes to the River Eden, and presents a raw aspect of the Dales' landscapes, with water forcefully cutting through the rock.

Swinner Gill Waterfalls

The gill features a series of waterfalls that cascade through the narrow limestone ravine, providing a dramatic scene especially after periods of heavy rain.

Uldale Falls

Found in the Rawthey Valley near Sedbergh, these falls are off the beaten track, offering a sense of discovery for those who venture to find them.

East Gill Force

This picturesque waterfall is a short walk from Keld and features several small cascades that culminate in a larger drop into a pool, popular among walkers and families.

These waterfalls offer fantastic photo opportunities, as well as a chance to enjoy nature and engage in outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming. It's worth considering guided walks that visit multiple falls, like the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail or the Malham circular walk, taking you to Malham Cove, Janet's Foss, and Gordale Scar.

Whether you're an avid hiker or simply want a leisurely day out in nature, the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls will not disappoint. Take the time to explore and experience the beauty and serenity of these natural attractions as you immerse yourself in the wonders of the Yorkshire Dales.


Impact of Rainfall on Waterfalls

Rainfall plays a vital role in the beauty and power of waterfalls found in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The amount of rainfall heavily influences the flow of water cascading over the cliffs, creating mesmerising and dynamic spectacles.

During periods of heavy rain, the waterfalls in Yorkshire Dales, such as Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove, become more significant and more forceful. The increased water flow can make for some truly unforgettable sights and dramatic photo opportunities. If you plan to visit Yorkshire Dales waterfalls during wet seasons, make sure to pack appropriate waterproof clothing and safe footwear, as the terrain can become slippery and muddy.

In contrast, during drier periods, waterfalls may appear calmer and less intense. However, this can provide a tranquil setting for visitors to simply relax and enjoy the charm of the countryside. Some smaller waterfalls, such as those found at Cray Gills and Aysgarth Falls, might have a reduced flow during times of low rainfall, making it easier for those seeking a gentle ramble through the countryside.

It is essential to check the weather forecast before setting off on your adventure, as sudden rainfall can cause unexpected changes in waterfalls' behaviour and surrounding areas. This can sometimes lead to limited access or closures of certain trails for safety reasons.

Keep in mind that with heavy rain, there may be an increased risk of flash flooding in some areas. Being aware of local weather conditions and planning accordingly ensures a safe and enjoyable trip for everyone.

Visiting the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls during different seasons or rainfall conditions allows you to experience these natural wonders in unique and contrasting ways. As long as you're prepared and informed, you'll be able to appreciate the lasting impact of rainfall on these awe-inspiring waterfalls.


Walking and Other Activities

Embarking on a walk in the Yorkshire Dales is a fantastic way to explore the beautiful landscape and visit some of the best waterfalls. When setting off on one of the many circular routes available, ensure you wear proper walking boots to provide support and grip, as the terrain can be uneven and slippery.

You may decide to join guided tours or even organise your own group to explore the Dales. There are an array of tours designed to suit all fitness levels and interests, and these can offer local knowledge and insights that enhance your experience. Tours may even include other activities, such as wild swimming near a waterfall, which can create unforgettable memories.

Aside from walking, there are numerous other activities to enjoy in the Yorkshire Dales. For the more adventurous, why not try abseiling down a waterfall? This is an incredible way to experience the waterfalls up close and challenge yourself in a new way. Alternatively, you could indulge in some photography, capturing the stunning scenery and tranquil beauty of the waterfalls in their natural surroundings.

No matter your interest or fitness level, the Yorkshire Dales offers an array of exciting experiences that cater to all. From walking and wild swimming to photography and abseiling, there is something for everyone to enjoy while discovering the splendour of the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls.


Parking and Accessibility

When planning your visit to the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls, it's essential to consider parking and accessibility. There are a few options available for parking near these stunning natural attractions.

One considerate option is Grassington car park, located just a five-minute walk downhill from Linton Falls. This car park offers convenient and easy access to the falls, allowing you to reach the stunning site with minimal effort. To navigate to Grassington car park, use what3words address: ///extend.paving.protected.

Another popular location is Aysgarth Falls, a series of three waterfalls on the River Ure in lower Wensleydale. To find parking for Aysgarth Falls, head to Aysgarth Falls car park with the what3words address: ///acquaint.fairly.qualify.

There are also other car parks available for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Here are some options:

  • Buckden: ///inhabited.gullible.trend
  • Clapham: ///outnumber.swim.bravest
  • Hawes (Dales Countryside Museum): ///bespoke.handrail.gripes

Keep in mind that accessibility may vary depending on the waterfall you choose to visit. Some waterfalls, like Cautley Spout, involve a challenging climb to reach the top, while others, like Aysgarth Falls, are more accessible with well-maintained pathways and nearby facilities, making them suitable for all ages and abilities.

In summary, parking and accessibility are crucial aspects to consider when visiting Yorkshire Dales waterfalls. With several car park options and various degrees of accessibility at each site, you can plan your visit to have an enjoyable and memorable experience with these breathtaking natural wonders.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find Aysgarth Falls?
Aysgarth Falls are located in the heart of Wensleydale within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To reach them, head to the village of Aysgarth and follow the signs to Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre. The Falls are nearby, with access via well-maintained paths.

What is the highest waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales?
Scaleber Force is one of the highest waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales, with a drop of 40 feet (12 metres). It can be found on Stockdale Beck, nestled in a wooded gorge. However, it's worth noting that access to the waterfall can be challenging particularly in damp or wet conditions.

Are there any hidden waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales?
Yes, there are some hidden waterfalls that can be found in the Yorkshire Dales. These lesser-known waterfalls are often tucked away in secluded areas and can make for a delightful surprise during your visit. However, revealing their exact locations might take away some of their secret charm!

How do Linton Falls compare to other waterfalls?
Linton Falls is an impressive sight within the Yorkshire Dales, showcasing the power of the River Wharfe. Although not the highest, it is one of the most accessible waterfalls in the region, with nearby car parks and footpaths. This makes Linton Falls a popular destination for visitors of all ages and abilities.

What makes the waterfalls in Yorkshire famous?
Waterfalls in Yorkshire are famous for their picturesque beauty and contrasting with the surrounding rugged landscape. They offer a tranquil and serene atmosphere, providing visitors with a sense of awe and wonder. Moreover, the waterfalls in Yorkshire Dales contribute to its diverse ecosystem, supporting various species of plants and animals.

Are there any waterfalls near the caves in the Dales?
Yes, there are waterfalls located near some of the caves in the Yorkshire Dales. Often, these waterfalls have been formed due to the erosion caused by the water flowing through the limestone landscape over time. For example, Janet's Foss, a captivating waterfall, is situated near Gordale Scar and Malham Cove – both geological wonders with notable cave systems nearby. Exploring the area, you may discover more waterfalls in close proximity to caves in the Dales.

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