There are loads of wonderful walks in Yorkshire and these ten showcase the region’s most incredible waterfalls.
From rock formations to caves, Yorkshire is full of natural wonders just waiting to be discovered. But if you really want to be wowed, you have to visit the region’s waterfalls – and what better way to do it than by going on a long, leisurely walk? We’ve got ten incredible rambles for you to try, each of which stops at one of Yorkshire’s finest falls. Where will you go first?
Hawes to Hardraw Force Circular
You get the best of both worlds on this leisurely 4.25-mile walk through the Yorkshire Dales. You’ll start in the village of Hawes, which is full of traditional charm, before taking a ramble along a lovely stretch of the River Ure and through a quiet area of woodland to reach one of the region’s best natural landmarks. Hardraw Force is a sight to behold. At around 100 feet, it’s the highest single-drop waterfall in England. You might recognise it from Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves. You can only access it from the 13th-century Green Dragon Inn, so nip in for a pint, before you head back to the start.
Start at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre, Burtersett Road, Hawes, North Yorkshire, DL8 3NT. Check out the route.
Aysgarth Falls Circular
Take the whole family to Aysgarth Falls for one of the easiest waterfall walks in Yorkshire. The route is only 2.2 miles long and it’s all on well-trodden paths. You won’t see the falls straight away – first you’ll wander through the pretty Freeholders Wood before you soak in the beautiful views across Wensleydale on your way past Bolton Castle. Then it’s waterfall time. Aysgarth Falls is split into three distinctive flights of water, Low Force, Middle Force and High Force, and you’ll visit them in that order. Each one is more powerful than the last, carved out by the River Ure, and they’re an incredible sight to see.
Start at Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3TH. Check out the route.
Goit Stock Waterfalls and Harden Valley Walk
This 10.7-mile ramble will take you into the scenic Harden Valley. You’ll start with a steep ascent through Myrtle Park as you follow Harden Beck upstream. You’ll soon reach the picture-perfect Goit Stock Waterfalls nestled away in the woodland. It’s less than 10-metres high and is surrounded by twisting tree roots and mossy stones. From here, it’s onwards towards Cullingworth, home to the Hewenden viaduct, which promises rewarding views of the Brontë Country as you wander through. The route continues down through the St Ives Estate back into Bingley, where you can refuel at The Brown Cow pub.
Start at Bingley Railway Station, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 2NB. Check out the route.
This challenging 8-mile trek across the Ribblehead Valley is one of the best walks in the Yorkshire Dales and there’s so much to discover as you go. Start from Dent Station and make the climb from Lea Yeat Bridge up to the Force Gill Aqueduct where you can see East Gill Force and its 6-metre vertical drop in all its free-flowing glory. There’s the added bonus of completing one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside when you get to the top, where you can look out across Ingleborough and over to the Ribblehead Viaduct, before you head back to the start where you can pop into The Station Inn for a few well-deserved drinks.
Start at Dent Station, Sedbergh, Cumbria, LA10 5RF. Check out the route.
The Haworth Circular
Not only is The Haworth Circular packed full of history, but it’s also one of the best waterfall walks in Yorkshire. From Haworth Moor to Penistone Hill Country Park and Top Withens, you’ll go on a 7-mile journey across the Brontë Country to see the places that inspired the work of the famous family. But it’s the breathtaking Brontë Waterfall that will be the main attraction. It’s a series of stepped falls that roar downstream from the famous Brontë Chair, which is where Emily would sit and gaze down at the flowing water.
Start at St Michael & All Angels Church, 125 Main Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR. Check out the route.
The Howgill Fells
Technically just metres over the border in Cumbria, but still a part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, The Howgill Fells is a tough walk, although it’s only 5.9 miles long. It kicks off at Low Haygarth – you’ll start a very steep ascent to get into the fells, then all of a sudden, Cautley Spout will appear from a sheer cliff face in front of you. It’s England’s highest above-ground waterfall. You can see Red Gill Beck flowing 650-feet from a plateau named The Calf, which is where you’ll head next. Admire the show-stopping views across Bowerdale before you head back to the start, where you’ll find The Cross Keys Temperance Inn, an alcohol-free pub where you can enjoy home-cooked grub.
Start at The Cross Keys Temperance Inn, Cautley, Sedbergh, Cumbria, LA10 5NE. Check out the route.
Ingleton Waterfall Trail
Straddling the Cumbria and Yorkshire border, the Ingleton Waterfall Trails is one of the best walks anywhere. It’s just 4.3-miles but can be pretty tough-going as you visit six falls, a gorge and a glen. Start at Swilla Glen and head to the River Twiss, which you’ll follow down through an ancient woodland of ash, oak and birch. You’ll soon reach Pecca Falls and Hollybush Spout, the latter of which is home to a refreshment cabin, where you can pick up tasty treats for a picnic overlooking the beautiful Thornton Force. Then it’s time to head back, passing Beezley Falls, Rival Falls and Baxenghyll Gorge as you go.
Start at Broadwood Entrance, Ingleton, Carnforth, Cumbria, LA6 3ET. Check out the route.
Catrigg Force Circular
If you’re looking for an easygoing waterfall walk through the Yorkshire Dales, make a beeline for Catrigg Force near Stainforth. This route is just 2.4-miles long and takes you across largely easy terrain. It starts outside the Craven Heifer pub. From here, you’ll head to the ancient stepping stones that take you across Stainforth Beck. The path on the other side takes you up to Catrigg Force, a breathtaking waterfall hidden in a wooded gorge with a 20-foot drop into a step pool. Once you’ve admired it fully, you can walk back along Winskill Stones and enjoy stunning views over to Pen-y-ghent.
Start at the Craven Heifer, Main Road, Stainforth, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PB. Check out the route.
Malham to Janet’s Foss Circular
Janet’s Foss is a magical waterfall and this 6-mile round trip is the best way to visit it. You’ll start in the village of Malham, taking the easygoing gravel and flagged paths along the River Aire, through flower-filled woodland to the banks of Gordale Beck. It won’t be long before the waterfall appears in front of you, as it carries water over a limestone lip and drops 16 feet into the deep pool below. It’s named after Janet, the Queen of the Fairies, who supposedly lives in the cave behind the waterfall. This is a serene and picturesque spot to enjoy the view and a picnic before you head back to Malham.
Start at Malham Village car park, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DA. Check out the route.
May Beck and Falling Foss Circular
It might only be 2-miles long, but this waterfall walk in the North York Moors is one of the best you can do. You’ll start in the May Beck car park and make your way through the pretty woodland to Midge Hall. It’s an old gamekeeper’s lodge which doubles as the Falling Foss Tea Garden. Take five with a brew, before you nip around back to their very special garden – the Falling Foss waterfall. It’s an incredible 30-foot drop that flows into May Beck, which you’ll follow to get back to the start.
Start at May Beck car park, Sneaton, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 5JE. Check out the route.