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
This leisurely 4.25-mile walk through the Yorkshire Dales offers the best of both worlds. Kick off in the village of Hawes, full of traditional God’s Own County charm, before rambling along a pretty stretch of the River Aire and a quiet area of woodland to reach one of the region’s finest natural landmarks. Hawdraw Force is a sight to behold. It’s the highest single-drop waterfall in England at around 100 feet – you might even recognise it from Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, and is accessed to the left of The Green Dragon Inn.
The walk starts at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre, Burtersett Road, Hawes, North Yorkshire, DL8 3NT. Check out the route.
Aysgarth Falls Circular
The whole family can have a ball on a trip to Aysgarth Falls. This 2.2-mile route is one of the easiest waterfall walks in Yorkshire, all on well-trodden paths. The falls aren’t visible at the start, first you’ll get to walk through Freeholders Wood, before you take in the beautiful views over Wensleydale on your way towards Bolton Castle. Then it’s waterfall time. Aysgrath Falls is split into three distinctive flights of water, Low Force, Middle Force and High Force, and each one is more powerful than the last, all carved out by the flow of the River Ure.
The walk starts at Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, Aysgarth, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3TH. Check out the route.
Goit Stock Waterfall and Harden Valley Walk
This one’s for the hardier ramblers, a 10.7-mile wander into the scenic Harden Valley. Start with a climb through Myrtle Park, following Harden Beck upstream. The picture-perfect Goit Stock Waterfall will soon appear through the woodland. It’s less than 10-metres high, but offers a beautiful sight, surrounded by twisting tree roots and mossy stones. From there, it’s onwards to Cullingworth, home of the Hewenden Viaduct, where you can enjoy rewarding views of Brontë Country. The route continues down through the St Ives Estate back into Bingley.
The walk starts at Bingley Railway Station, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 2NB. Check out the route.
A fairly challenging 8-mile trek across the Ribblehead Valley, this is one of the best walks in Yorkshire Dales and just so happens to feature an incredible waterfall. Start at Dent Station and climb from Lea Yeat Bridge to Force Gill Aqueduct, where you can see East Gill Force and its 6-metre vertical drop in all its free-flowing glory. Want an added bonus? When you reach the top of Whernside, you’ll have ticked off one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks with views out over Ingleborough and the Ribblehead Viaduct before you head back.
The walk starts 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 trek across Brontë Country to see places that inspired the famous literary 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, where Emily would sit and gaze at the flowing water. On your return, you can detour to visit Lower Laithe Reservoir.
The walk starts at St Michael & All Angels Church, 125 Main Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DR. Check out the route.
The Howgill Fells
Technically just over the border in Cumbria, but still a part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, The Howgill Fells is a tough walk, although only 5.9-miles long. Starting at Low Haygarth, there’s a steep ascent to get to the fells, when all of a sudden, Cautley Spout (England’s highest above-ground waterfall) will appear from a sheer cliff face in front of you. Red Gill Beck flows 650 feet from The Calf plateau, where you’ll head next. Views across Bowerdale are impressive, while you even have a chance to visit The Cross Keys Temperance Inn on your return.
The walk starts at The Cross Keys Temperance Inn, Cautley, Sedbergh, Cumbria, LA10 5NE. Check out the route.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Straddling the Cumbria and Yorkshire border, the Ingleton Waterfalls Trails is one of the best walks anywhere. It’s just 4.3-miles long 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. You’ll soon reach Pecca Falls and Hollybush Spout, the latter of which is home to a refreshment cabin, before reaching the beautiful Thornton Force. Then it’s time to head back, passing Beezley Falls, Rival Falls and Baxenghyll Gorge.
The walk starts at Broadwood Entrance, Ingleton, Carnforth, Cumbria, LA6 3ET. Check out the route.
Catrigg Force Circular
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 (and ends, thankfully) outside the Craven Heifer pub. From here, you’ll head to the ancient stepping stones 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. Walk back along Winskill Stones and enjoy stunning views of Pen-y-ghent.
The walk starts 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 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, 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. Pack a picnic and enjoy the views before you head back to Malham.
The walk starts 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 through the North York Moors National Park is one of the best around. You’ll start in the May Beck car park and make your way through the swathes of pretty woodland to reach 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 incredible Falling Foss waterfall is just behind it. It’s an incredible 30-foot drop that flows into May Beck, which you’ll follow home.
The walk starts at May Beck car park, Sneaton, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 5JE. Check out the route.