Six of the best: Yorkshire waterfalls

Thornton Force waterfall near Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales.
Thornton Force waterfall near Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales.
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If the school summer holidays have you stumped and you want to get the children - or just yourself - outdoors for some good old fashioned fresh air, why not try these six natural wonders of Yorkshire.



Thornton Force waterfall near Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales is one of the best known falls in the county.

Thornton Force that has provided inspiration for artists from William Turner to Alfred Wainwright. This photograph was taken by reader Graham Wilkinson, of Chipping, at Ingleton Waterfalls on the River Twiss. The drop from the force is about 20ft. Visited as part of the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk it can also be reached without paying a fee via Twistleton Scar and Ravenray Footbridge. There is a refreshment cabin at the top so you can enjoy a cooling ice cream or drink.


Part of the Ingleton Waterfall Walk, Beezley Falls can be found around the half-way point.

Just before Beezley Falls you arrive at the Falls Refreshment Centre where you can rest your legs and take in the beautiful surroundings. The trail then enters oak woodland, this time following the path of the river Doe to arrive at Beezley Falls.

From the first waterfall the Doe descends over Triple Spout – three beautiful waterfalls all side by side. There is an admission charge for doing the walk.


At just two-and-a-half miles long, the River Bain is reputedly the shortest river in England. It rises at North Yorkshire’s largest natural lake, Semerwater, and then joins the River Ure near Bainbridge in Wensleydale. There is a small hydro-electric station at Bainbridge, as well as an Archimedian Screw, used to raise water. A local custom in Bainbridge is the sounding of an ancient horn which was once used to guide foresters and travellers safely to the village. The horn is at the Rose and Crown public house.


The Green Dragon Inn is known as the pub with waterfall, meaning you can kill two birds with one stone, as it were, if you choose to visit it at Hardraw, North Yorkshire.

The Hardraw Scaur Waterfall is England’s highest single drop water fall.

The Inn’s extensive 15 acre grounds continue along Hardraw Beck taking in the spectacular narrow Hardraw Scaur. Situated in the charming Yorkshire village of Hardraw, beneath the rising fells of Great Shunner Fell, just outside of the town of Hawes.


When Kevin Costner fought Little John in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it was across Aysgarth Falls that the battle took place.

Near the village of Aysgarth the River Ure tumbles over a series of broad limestone steps which are known as Aysgarth Falls. Although not particularly high the waterfalls are one of Wensleydale’s most famous beauty spots, with a pleasant riverside walk linking the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls.

Aysgarth Falls are a triple flight of waterfalls.


Gaping Gill (also known as Gaping Ghyll) is a natural cave in North Yorkshire, England.

It is one of the unmistakable landmarks on the southern slopes of Ingleborough – a 98-metre (322ft) deep pothole with the stream Fell Beck flowing into it.

After falling through one of the largest known underground chambers in Britain, the water disappears into the bouldery floor and eventually resurfaces adjacent to Ingleborough Cave. The first recorded attempted descent was by John Birkbeck in 1842 who reached a ledge approximately 55 metres (180ft) down the shaft which bears his name.