Waterfall cascading over rocks
England,  Landscape,  Travel galleries

Gallery: the waterfalls of Wensleydale

‘Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese…’

Wallace in ‘A Grand Day Out’

The name of Wensleydale is almost synonymous with its cheese, beloved by Wallace in the Wallace and Grommit films. It is a beautiful valley, like all the Yorkshire Dales, and more visited than Swaledale to the north, perhaps because of that famous cheese! Another draw is the large number of waterfalls to be found here.

We recently spent a very pleasant day exploring the dale and visiting some of the waterfalls. The weather was perhaps typical of August in northern England. It was mild but cloudy, and mostly dry although we had rain towards the end of the day. Nevertheless, we managed to see a lot and had some very pleasant walks.

I enjoyed playing with the settings on my camera to alternate between freezing the drops of water in the falls and letting them blur to create a sense of movement. The brown colour of the water, by the way, is caused by peat washed down from the moors above after heavy rains prior to our visit.

Wensley Falls

This small waterfall is often overlooked, and we therefore had it to ourselves when we stopped for a quick look on our way up the valley.

Aysgarth Falls

There are actually three separate falls at Aysgarth, named rather prosaically Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. These falls have attracted artists over the centuries – Turner painted them, and Wordsworth waxed lyrical about them, as did John Ruskin. More recently they were the setting for some scenes in Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, including the famous fight scene between Robin Hood and his friend Little John.

  • Cascading waterfall seen through trees
  • Fast flowing river over a cascade
  • River with rock and cascade
  • Fast flowing water
  • Brown water cascading past leaves
  • Brown-tinged waterfall
  • Waterfall in a wood
  • Cascading waterfall and trees
  • Purple flower
  • Fast flowing water
Aysgarth Falls

Hardraw Force

This is England`s largest single drop above-ground waterfall. The falls drop about 100 feet into a rocky pool. Like Aysgarth they were visited by Wordsworth and Turner, and also like Aysgarth, they were used as a location in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for the scene where Maid Marian catches Robin Hood bathing under a waterfall. The falls are on private land belonging to a pub, the Green Dragon, but open to the public on payment of a small fee.

Lichen-covered rocks and fast water
The waters of Hardraw Force, Yorkshire

Mill Gill Force

This single drop fall is less developed and less visited than Aysgarth or Hardraw. It’s about a mile from the small village of Askrigg along a woodland path, rather muddy at times. It started to rain while we were there so we didn’t go too close but we got a good view from the path.

I visited Wensleydale in 2020

12 Comments

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Yes, Herriot was a great evangelist for the Dales! Are you watching the new Channel 5 remake? Surprisingly good from a channel I would normally never watch!

      • Easymalc

        Yes I am. I think it’s pretty good too Most of the characters seem well cast.
        Incidentally, I had the pleasure of meeting the real James Herriot (real name Alfred Wight) at his practice in Thirsk. A charming man who allowed me to take a photograph of him. Good memories!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks for the compliment Albert! I tend to get lazy and over-rely on semi-automatic settings on the camera, so it was good for me to have to switch to manual and adjust aperture and shutter speed to get the effect I wanted, while still being able to handhold 🙂

  • Simone

    You have been working so hard on your new site, great to see! Your pages do deserve a website of their own 🙂 Although a good choice to keep your pages going parallel on Travelerspoint as well.
    I had no idea there were so many waterfalls Yorkshire Dales! I’ve only did a quick visit to the area once, many many years ago. You make me eager to return, it is such a beautiful area. Hope the Covid makes it possible some day again to pop over.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Hi Simone! Yes, this no-travel year has been a good opportunity to start this blog (I’d been meaning to for some time, but …) There are certainly plenty of waterfalls in the Dales – this is just what we managed to do in one day in one dale 😆 It would be lovely to see you in England some time 🙂

      • Simone

        We will certainly be back some day again. We ar already starting to look into some possible trips. I’ve been many times in the UK, especially when I was young, as some of my family live in the south. But strangely enough I haven’t visited at all the past 15 years. I guess it is time to change that 🙂

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