Nothing beats a great waterfall when it comes to trekking out on warm, sunny days – whether to look at, or to swim in, Yorkshire is in fact home to some of the most breath-taking natural water features in the north, if not the country. If you’re a water baby at heart or fancy taking a look out or a dip in some of the coolest shallows the wider county area has to offer, we’ve rounded up six of the most appealing waterfall spots available for you to trek to and enjoy this summer.
Before you read one, please do read our safety guide when swimming in water as while these might be fun, they can also be dangerous.
Hebden Bridge, situated in West Yorkshire, is home to surprising areas of natural beauty, and Lumb Falls – which cascade just north of the town by a handful of miles – carry a look as if they’ve been captured in an amazing watercolour painting at the height of the season. A beautiful spot for walkers to admire, it’s also an extremely popular haunt for swimmers, meaning that if you’re into your wild swimming, it’s perfectly safe to come and bathe in the crescent pool beneath the falls. A very pleasant day out – definitely one to cool down with in the hotter days we have lined up ahead of us.
Look to Upper Swaledale for your next wild swimming adventure and you’ll find Wain With, a beautiful waterfall and gorge feature that’s adorned with limestone and a cool pool for you to explore with fellow swimmers. It’s a popular swimming spot, in fact – which means that those in search of local adventure in Yorkshire will flock here regularly to take advantage of the magnificent natural water features on constant offer. At three metres tall, it’s not the steepest drop around, but it’s blanketed by lush nature left, right and centre – making it a perfect spot for waterfall swimmers and hikers alike. Definitely take your camera!
Stainforth Force in North Yorkshire is a popular tourist spot but is well-loved and well-regarded by the locals as a brilliant waterfall and plunge pool spot for anyone looking to take a long walk, photographs and even take in some diving practice. The water here is nice and deep, and there’s plenty for you to take in with the surrounding area if you’re not so struck on going for a dip. Set below an old bridge, it’s also a perfect paddling spot, making it a great family trip. By all accounts, it’s likely to be at its least busy during the week!
Again, a perfect spot for you to go for a bit of wild swimming or diving – this majestic natural waterfall near Bingley is the centerpiece to a great afternoon’s walk, which totals around 2 miles in length – so it’s definitely a full day out by all accounts! Take in the nearby Harden Valley and see how far the falls go down into the River Aire beyond. Hugely popular with local walkers, this glowing cascade remains popular all year round thanks to its prime position in the famous woodland walks.
This waterfall is a little different to the others, in that you have to pay to access it – as it’s owned privately by those in charge of the famous Green Dragon Inn, an historic pub in Hawes which really makes the most of the local history and heritage by welcoming you in for a drink or two and then for a dip! Hardraw Force is reported to be the highest waterfall in the country that remains unbroken – in England, in any case – and you’re even able to park up and camp for a while if you like. It’s also famous for another reason – if you remember the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, this waterfall was just one of several locations used during filming.
This last one is a little different to the others as it’s not a swimming spot – so do take care – and it technically falls in Cumbria, though it’s part of the famed Yorkshire Dales. Cautley Spout is – according to Yorkshire Life – the highest overground waterfall in Britain, making it a spectacular sight to see if you crane your neck up high enough! Certainly make sure you have a camera to hand – these cascades are beautiful even in the latter months of the year, meaning that even when leaves are falling alongside the water, you’ll be in for some photo-worthy moments.
Which one of these is your favourite waterfall, which one will you be heading to this weekend?