Mastodon Mastodon

The Best Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales

When it comes to natural beauty, the Yorkshire Dales National Park is a treasure trove of stunning landscapes. One of the most captivating features of this area is its collection of beautiful waterfalls. From cascading falls to impressive single-drop waterfalls, the Yorkshire Dales offers a plethora of options for waterfall enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore some of the top waterfalls in the area, popular waterfall walks, and the prettiest waterfalls in Yorkshire you should visit.

A waterfall flowing over rocks in the Yorkshire Dales.
Wain Wath Force

Yorkshire is my favourite place in England and I have travelled all over the County. Yorkshire folk are incredibly friendly, the food and farm markets are superb and the landscapes are out of this world. Yorkshire is the perfect place for wandering in the Dales the Fens, and Wolds. And according to locals some of the best waterfall trails you can hike are in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. These include the Malham Landscape Trail: Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove. Many of the waterfalls in Yorkshire are called “force after the Old Norse word foss, which means “waterfall”. 

Xyuandbeyond is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commissionYou can read my privacy policy here.

Best waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Janet’s Foss Waterfall

Located near the village of Malham, Janet’s Foss waterfall is an enchanting natural wonder surrounded by lush woodland. It is named after Janet, a fairy queen from local folklore. The waterfall is known for its picturesque cascade and the small cave behind it, adding to its mystical charm.  A small cave behind the waterfall is reputed to be the home of Jennett, Queen of the fairies. The walk to Janet’s Foss is relatively easy and starts from a car park close to the village.

A waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales is surrounded by trees and rocks.

How to plan your trip to the UK and Ireland

Waterfalls at Gordale Beck

Gordale Beck is home to a series of breathtaking waterfalls that cascade down limestone cliffs. The most famous of these is Gordale Scar, a dramatic gorge with waterfalls flowing through it. This stunning location has inspired many artists and writers over the years. The hike to Gordale Beck is an adventure in itself, offering incredible views of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

One of the stunning waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales, nestled amidst a rocky area.
©Nilfanion-CC-BY-SA-4.0

Aysgarth Lower Falls

There is a regular bus service between Leyburn and Hawes to the village of Aysgarth. The Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre and Falls are a 10 minute walk away from the bus stop. Located on the River Ure, Aysgarth Falls is a collection of three waterfalls: Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Lower Falls. The Lower Falls is the most accessible and offers a beautiful sight with its cascading waters. There is a national park center nearby where visitors can learn more about the falls and the surrounding area. Aysgarth Falls is a popular destination for nature lovers and provides a lovely setting for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.

A serene waterfall nestled among the lush greenery of the Yorkshire Dales. There is an ancient church in the background.

Thornton Force

Tucked away in the secluded valley of Kingsdale, Thornton Force is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales. This single-drop waterfall plunges approximately 46 feet (14 meters) into a pool below, creating a mesmerizing sight. The hike to Thornton Force takes you through picturesque countryside and is a must for anyone seeking a tranquil escape.

East Gill Force

East Gill Force is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Swaledale. This beautiful waterfall is tucked away in a peaceful woodland setting, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and reflection. The walk to East Gill Force takes you through rolling hills and scenic countryside, showcasing the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

Catrigg Force

One of the North Yorkshire waterfall hidden gems is Catrigg Force in the quaint village of Stainforth. Located near the village of Stainforth, Catrigg Force is a lovely waterfall that can be accessed through a short hike from a pay and display car park.

A waterfall cascading through a lush green forest in the Yorkshire Dales.

The waterfall flows through a narrow gorge and drops into a pool below, creating a picturesque scene. Catrigg Force is an ideal location for photography enthusiasts looking to capture the beauty of Yorkshire’s waterfalls.

Linton Falls

Situated on the River Wharfe, Linton Falls is a charming waterfall located in the village of Linton. It is an excellent spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic by the riverbank. The sound of the rushing water combined with the scenic surroundings creates a peaceful and idyllic atmosphere.

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

The Ingleton Waterfalls walk is a must-do for hiking enthusiasts and waterfall lovers alike. This 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometer) trail takes you through a stunning landscape, passing by a series of impressive waterfalls. From Pecca Falls to Thornton Force, each waterfall along the trail offers a unique and captivating view. The trail is well-maintained and provides an opportunity to witness the beauty of Ingleton’s waterfalls up close.

A captivating waterfall nestled in the heart of the enchanting Yorkshire Dales.

Cautley Spout Waterfall

Located in the Howgill Fells, Cautley Spout is England’s highest cascade waterfall with a single uninterrupted drop of approximately 650 feet (198 meters). This impressive waterfall is a sight to behold and can be reached via a challenging hike to the top of the waterfall but the view from the top is more than worth the climb. The journey to Cautley Spout may be demanding, but the reward of witnessing such a natural wonder is undoubtedly worth it.

A small waterfall nestled in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.
©Darren-Copley-from-Sheffield-CC-BY-2.0

Hardraw Force Waterfall

In Wensleydale, the Hardraw Force dramatic waterfalls are a captivating sight to behold. With a single drop of approximately 100 feet (30 meters), it is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Yorkshire. What makes this waterfall even more special is the fact that visitors can walk behind it, experiencing its power and majesty up close.

A waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales with a wooden gate.

The Force is tucked away behind the Green Dragon Inn and there is a small entry fee of £4.00. This is the highest single drop waterfall in England and this Yorkshire Dales waterfall is famous for several other reasons too, not least because of Kevin Costner’s bathing scene in the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves where Maid Marion spies Robin Hood bathing under the waterfall. 

Sheepshaw Beck Waterfalls

Located in the beautiful village of West Burton, the Sheepshaw Beck waterfalls are a hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales. This series of small waterfalls creates a picturesque scene, enhancing the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. The walk to Sheepshaw Beck is both peaceful and refreshing, immersing you in the tranquility of nature.

Wain Wath Force

Flowing through the village of Keld, Wain Wath Force is a delightful single-drop waterfall that can be admired from a stone bridge. Surrounded by stunning scenery, this charming waterfall provides a serene and idyllic setting. The village of Keld itself is worth exploring with its traditional Yorkshire charm and picturesque countryside.

A stunning waterfall nestled within the picturesque Yorkshire Dales.

Mill Gill Force

Mill Gill Force is located near the village of Askrigg and is a perfect example of a small yet stunning waterfall. With its picturesque surroundings and delightful cascade, Mill Gill Force offers a peaceful spot to enjoy the beauty of nature. The walk to the waterfall takes you through scenic woodlands, adding to the overall charm of the experience.

Pecca Falls

Pecca Falls is another gem nestled within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This delightful waterfall follows a meandering course, creating a beautiful scene as it cascades down in multiple streams. The peaceful atmosphere and the surrounding lush greenery make Pecca Falls an ideal spot for a peaceful retreat.

A picturesque waterfall nestled in the tranquil woods of Yorkshire Dales, enveloped by lush moss.

Posforth Gill Waterfall Bolton Abbey

Located in the charming village of Bolton Abbey, West Yorkshire Posforth Gill Falls offers a tranquil escape from everyday life. This lovely waterfall can be reached via a scenic walk, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The combination of the waterfall, the river, and the picturesque surroundings make for a captivating sight. Posforth Gill takes water from Barden Fell to the River Wharfe via the Valley of Desolation. 

Whitby Abbey, located in the picturesque town of Whitby in Yorkshire, England.
Historic Bolton Abbey

Beezley Falls

Beezley Falls is a hidden treasure located near the village of Settle. It is considered one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the area, with its impressive cascade and beautiful natural surroundings. The hike to Beezley Falls takes you through stunning woodlands, providing an opportunity to immerse yourself in the serenity of nature.

Hard Level Force

Hard Level Force is situated amidst the breathtaking North York Moors National Park. This charming waterfall offers a peaceful and secluded spot to unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature. The hike to Hard Level Force is invigorating, allowing you to take in the scenic splendor of the surrounding landscape.

Rutter Force Waterfall

Located near the village of Askrigg, Rutter Force is a truly picturesque waterfall. Nestled in a hidden valley, this impressive cascade flows through a series of rocky steps, creating a stunning sight. The walk to Rutter Force takes you through serene countryside and provides an opportunity to reconnect with nature.

Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar is not only home to mesmerizing waterfalls but also a dramatic limestone gorge. The towering cliffs and the cascading water combine to create a striking scene. The hike to Gordale Scar takes you through breathtaking landscapes, showcasing the unique beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

A Yorkshire Dales waterfall nestled amidst rocky terrain.
©Nilfanion-CC-BY-SA-4.0

Waterfall Walks in Yorkshire

Hawes to Hardraw Force Circular

This circular walk takes you from the charming town of Hawes to the captivating Hardraw Force waterfall. Along the way, you will enjoy stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales and experience the peacefulness of the countryside. The walk is approximately 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) long and is suitable for all abilities.

A small stone house nestled in the middle of a picturesque green field in the Yorkshire Dales.

Aysgarth Falls Circular

The Aysgarth Falls Circular is a delightful walk that encompasses the beautiful Aysgarth Falls. The circular route takes you through picturesque countryside and offers breathtaking views of the falls from various vantage points. The walk is approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) long and provides a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the Yorkshire Dales.

Goit Stock Waterfall and Harden Valley Walk

This scenic walk takes you through the stunning Harden Valley and allows you to admire the picturesque Goit Stock Waterfall. The route follows riverside paths and offers beautiful views of the surrounding woodland. The walk is approximately 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) long and provides a peaceful escape into nature.

A Yorkshire Dales waterfall in the woods surrounded by red leaves.

Ribblehead Circular

The Ribblehead Circular is a challenging yet rewarding walk that takes you through the stunning scenery of the Three Peaks region. Along the way, you will be treated to beautiful views of the Ribblehead Viaduct and the surrounding waterfalls. This circular route is approximately 6.8 miles (10.9 kilometers) long and is best suited for experienced walkers.

The Gilbert Viaduct near waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales, Scotland.

The Haworth Circular

The Haworth Circular is a charming walk that takes you through the picturesque countryside of Bronte Country and offers stunning views of the surrounding waterfalls. This circular route is approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) long and provides a great opportunity to explore the literary heritage of the area while enjoying the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.

A view from the top of Pickering Hill overlooking a valley.

The Howgill Fells

The Howgill Fells offer a range of stunning waterfall walks that cater to all abilities. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, the Howgill Fells have something to offer. The picturesque landscapes and the tranquil atmosphere make these walks a must for any nature lover visiting the Yorkshire Dales.

Catrigg Force Circular

The Catrigg Force Circular is a relatively easy walk that takes you to the captivating Catrigg Force waterfall. The circular route offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside and provides a sense of tranquility. The walk is approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) long and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Malham to Janet’s Foss Circular

This circular walk takes you through the stunning Malham landscape and offers the opportunity to explore the iconic Janet’s Foss waterfall. The exhilarating walk provides breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers) long.

A Yorkshire Dales waterfall nestled within a rocky canyon.

May Beck and Falling Foss Circular

The May Beck and Falling Foss Circular is a delightful walk that takes you through the enchanting Falling Foss waterfall and the surrounding woodlands. The circular route provides a tranquil setting and chances to spot local wildlife. The walk is approximately 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) long and is suitable for all ages.

FAQS

Q: What is Yorkshire Dales National Park?

A: Yorkshire Dales National Park is a stunning protected area in North Yorkshire, England, known for its picturesque landscapes and breathtaking waterfalls.

Q: What are some of the most popular waterfalls in Yorkshire Dales National Park?

A: Some of the most popular waterfalls in Yorkshire Dales National Park include Ingleton Waterfalls, Aysgarth Falls, Hardraw Force, Malham Cove waterfall, Beezley Falls, and Thornton Force.

Q: Where are the Ingleton Waterfalls located?

A: The Ingleton Waterfalls are located in the village of Ingleton, North Yorkshire, within Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Q: What is special about Aysgarth Falls?

A: Aysgarth Falls is known for its impressive cascade of waterfalls along the River Ure. It is a popular tourist attraction in Yorkshire Dales National Park and offers stunning views.

Q: What can I expect to see at Hardraw Force?

A: Hardraw Force is the highest single-drop waterfall in England and offers a beautiful sight for visitors. It is located near the village of Hawes in Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Q: What is the Waterfall Trail at Malham?

A: The Waterfall Trail at Malham is a scenic walking trail that takes you to the beautiful Gordale Scar waterfall and Janet’s Foss waterfall. It is a must-visit spot for nature lovers in Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Q: How long is the Ingleton Waterfall Trail?

A: The Ingleton Waterfall Trail is approximately 7 kilometers long and takes you through a series of stunning waterfalls, including Beezley Falls and Snow Falls.

Q: What is Wensleydale known for in terms of waterfalls?

A: Wensleydale is known for its picturesque waterfalls, including Aysgarth Falls and Hardraw Force. These cascading waterfalls attract many visitors to Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Q: What makes Ingleton Waterfall Trail one of the best waterfall experiences in Yorkshire Dales National Park?

A: Ingleton Waterfall Trail is considered one of the best waterfall experiences because it takes you through a spectacular scenic route with multiple waterfalls, beautiful woodland, and limestone formations.

Q: Is there a visitor center in Yorkshire Dales National Park dedicated to waterfalls?

A: Yes, there is a visitor center called Dales National Park Visitor Centre that provides information about the waterfalls of the Yorkshire Dales, including maps, trails, and guided tours.

The dales of Yorkshire, England, including the charming town of Pickering.

Visiting the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls is a truly unforgettable experience. As you enter this picturesque region, you are instantly greeted by the sights and sounds of nature. The waterfalls, hidden gems within the vast landscape, are a sight to behold.

There is something magical about the cascading water, its power and elegance captivating visitors from all over the world. Exploring the waterfalls can be an adventure, as you navigate through lush forests and rocky paths, immersing yourself in the beauty of the countryside. The sound of rushing water and birdsong fills the air, creating a tranquil atmosphere that soothes the soul.

Whether you are an avid photographer, nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, visiting the Yorkshire Dales waterfalls is an experience that will leave a lasting impression.

If you love Yorkshire here are some article to read:

Best things to do in Helmsley North Yorkshire

The Most Stunning towns and villages to Visit in Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey a ruined Cistercian Abbey Yorkshire

A Journey of the North Yorkshire Moors Heritage Railway

Kirkham Priory: A hidden gem in Yorkshire

The North Yorkshire Coast – 9 perfect seaside places to visit

25 of the best things to do in North Yorkshire England

Pin it to save it

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is home to magnificent waterfalls, which are some of the most stunning in the region.

Author

  • Faith was born in Ireland raised in Canada and has lived in over 10 countries in Europe including England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Northern Ireland, Wales, along with Mexico, Antigua, the US and has slow travelled to over 40 countries around the world. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies Faith is a student of history, culture, community and food and has written about these topics for over 40 years.

Scroll to Top