5 Great Yorkshire Waterfalls

Yorkshire’s never short of water, it rarely stops raining for long, so Yorkshire’s Waterfalls are a great subject for anyone into photography.

Waterfalls are abound so we thought we’d show you a few of our favourites from across the region.

1 – Scalebar Force, Settle

This is the prettiest of the lot in many ways, yet inaccessible to anyone with poor mobility or acrophobia. Cascades of water falling over many levels of rock created a plethora of compositional opportunities which are rarely found. Parking on the side of the road leaves a mere 100 yard walk to see the falls, then a steep, slippery walk down the slope to get the view you see here. It’s worth the struggle!

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2 – Aysgarth Falls, Wensleydale

Not one, but a whole series of falls over about a mile. Aysgarth is about half way between Leyburn and Hawes and has lots of paid parking available, so ideal for a few hours of shooting. Here we see the view of the biggest of the falls, the “Lower falls”.

You can get access to the “Upper falls” by walking up the road and looking over a bridge to see them, then going through a gate to get a closer, riverside view.

The middle and lower falls are a bit of a treck downstream. A lovely woodland path with occasional views into the inaccessible river. If you walk on past the lower falls for about 100 yards there is a hole in the fence where you can get down to the river bed level, offering you lots of great photographic opportunities.

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3 – High Force, Teesdale

The biggest flowing waterfall in England sees the whole of the Tees flowing over this 70 foot cliff. It’s impressive; very impressive. It’s noisy and full of spray, so not the most sociable of locations, but well worth a look – just take a towel and lens cloth.

The falls face away from the sun so rarely get any light on to them – making longer exposures and blurry water easier to create. Here’s a very early HDR image of the falls.

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4  – Potsforth Ghyll, Bolton Abbey

Away from the busy river Wharf is the Valley of Desolation, a strange rift on the far side of the river to the abbey and shops. It’s not an obvious find, and is about a mile from the road, up a gentle slope before you start to hear the falls. Then it’s into a deep gorge where you’ll find this beautiful, possibly the second prettiest, fall in the Dales. A fall which benefits from lower flow, due to the excessive spray you get when it’s full – and also you get more water paths to shoot, rather than on huge plume of dirty-white water.

Walk further up and you get a second, smaller fall which cascades over boulders – worth a look once you’ve exhausted your ideas.

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5 – Gordale Scar, Malham

Finally the most impressive location of the lot – Gordale Scar. A huge gorge with water flowing through it, cascading over boulders and through a hole in an old lake bottom. It’s part of a walk from Malham to Malham Tarn, so you get people walking up it all the time – they look like ants against the majestic surroundings.

This can be totally dry in the summer, so be aware of that if you are a waterfall die-hard! There is a small falls called Janet’s Foss within easy walking distance of the scar, so visit that too.

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