top of page

Best hidden waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales

Updated: Jan 3

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track waterfalls scattered across the Yorkshire Dales.


It's no surprise that the Yorkshire Dales is regarded as one of the most picturesque places in the whole of the UK, with amazing scenery which is every hikers dream to explore. Even though the hiking trails are amazing, wouldn't it be even better to be rewarded with a view of some of the below waterfalls (if you knew where they were!).


In this article, we share our top 10 hidden waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales and what to expect from them. All of these locations can be found on our hidden gem finder!





Scaleber Force is a fantastic little hidden gem located only a stone throw away from the road. It's isn't that much of a walk from the main road however we recommend wearing appropriate footwear for those adventurous explorers wanting to get to the bottom of the waterfall.


This little gem is a fantastic waterfall which is also perfect for a bit of wild swimming! Even during the dry summer days visitors can enjoy an impressive set of falls. If you go along the road to the bridge and take the second gate, you'll be at the top of the waterfall (bare in mind there is no way down from here!).




A beautiful little waterfall which visitors can enjoy swimming in the clear turquoise water and admire the cute fairy caves.


Janet's Foss is a great place for a bit of wild swimming if you're into that, especially if its a quiet day (although there is plenty of space to go around!). It can get slightly busy when the sun comes out to play, so if you're wanting to visit definitely get there early.


Why not make a day of it and visit other gems such as Malham Cove (where they filmed Harry Potter) as well as Gordale Scar? From Janet's Foss, continue on the footpath straight ahead and this will take you to Gordale Scar. Alternatively, take a left turn past the food truck which will take you towards Malham Cove.





An amazing waterfall which isn't too far from Bolton Abbey. The pathways to the waterfall may be a little dangerous for some, so take some proper shoes if you plan to explore this waterfall!


Visiting the Valley of Desolation is an amazing experience and a must-visit if you're every around the area! It is definitely worth every single step you take on a very uneven surface towards the waterfall.


It's worth noting there are some dangerous paths and poor signage to indicate you have reached the best view of the waterfall (once you've crossed the 'V' shaped footbridge, you're there!).




This waterfall is located deep within a wooded gorge and is a perfect secluded spot adored by everybody who has the pleasure of visiting. Visitors can enjoy a swim at Catrigg Force (beware of the freezing cold water!) however you do need to climb a few rocks to get to the actual falls.


Catrigg Force really is a hidden gem which is easy enough to find once you get there, but it is a very steep uphill walk for about a mile. However despite the uphill walk, you'll be greeted with stunning views and a tranquil setting so it makes it worth while.


This hidden gem isn't too far away from the more popular out of the two waterfall Stainforth Force, so why not complete this one first and then make your way down there?




Stainforth Force is a beautiful waterfall which offers a few jumping/diving spots. The water is very very cold, so for those who can be sensitive to the cold waters, we definitely recommend a body suit. There are some sudden drops into the fast flowing waterfalls so keep an eye on your children if you bring them here.


It's a fantastic waterfall which you need to visit, especially after very heavy rain. However, it's worth noting that Stainforth Force isn't the easiest to get too due to it being slippery and muddy. That shouldn't put you off though (I mean have you seen the photos?!).


Stainforth Force is a great place to visit on a hot day as you're surrounded by a load of plunge pools around the river! However, if you're more into your fish than Vitamin D, you can visit in Autumn to see the captivating sights of Salmon jumping up the falls to their spawning grounds at the head of the river.





Breath-taking waterfalls and nature is what visitors will find when they escape to this amazing hidden gem. You are able to swim in this waterfall but the water may be very cold! It's best to visit Cauldron Falls after heavy rainfall to appreciate the true greatness of it.


Cauldron Falls really is a hidden gem amongst a quiet village. For you brave explorers, you can get up close and personal with the falls, however please wear suitable footwear and be careful of the footing as it can get quite slippery.


Overall, Cauldron Force is one of our favourites in the Yorkshire Dales! It's such a large waterfall perfect for everybody to enjoy, which also features plunge pools that are easily deep enough to swim in!




This gorgeous small waterfall is waiting for you in the Yorkshire Dales. It's an amazing gem hidden away in the middle of nowhere, and is normally missed by the majority of people. Visitors can also enjoy a refreshing but chilly dip if they decide to.


Out of the many falls around this place, Gastack Beck Waterfall is one of the most easiest to access in terms of accessibility. For all you wild swimmers out there, you'll be pleased to hear it has a big water reservoir where you can jump in and make a short swim.


Unfortunately there isn't much parking near Gastack Beck Waterfall; as there's only a spot for only one car right outside the fall. As well as this, it's a very narrow lane for vehicles so due to this we suggest planning your journey on foot (why not walk from the village?).




Unfortunately to see this waterfall plus many others in the area, there is a small entry fee. However in our opinion it is totally worth it. You can even get behind the dropping water of the waterfall and have a little swim in the pool below.


If you've ever gone round the Ingleton Trail chances are you've come across this beauty, described as the 'Crown Jewel' of the experience. To get to this particular waterfall it's around a 45 minute walk from the car park so make sure you have your appropriate footwear ready.


For those who love getting behind a waterfall; you'll be pleased to know you can do just that at Thornton Force Waterfall. It's worth noting that the path is very slippery and you may find yourself in the pool if you're not careful!




9) Lower Leck Beck


Located in Kirkby Lonsdale, this gem is a waterfall and large pool with a few jumps. Out of all the waterfalls which we've talked about in this article, Lower Leck Beck is definitely the most hidden.




An absolute beauty of a hidden gem which normally you would drive past without realising that over the wall and behind the trees was this breath-taking waterfall. Once parked up, its only a 1 minute walk to these stunning falls of Harmby Waterfall.


Harmby Waterfall really is a hidden gem, and it's no surprise why. Only a few steps from your car you'll suddenly be in a deep ravine under a thundering waterfall which makes you feel like you're deep in the wilderness. It's a must-visit for those who are in the area.


It's not very accessible from one side as there are some steep stairs, however if you manage to get down to the falls it's totally worth it! It's safe to say this is a hidden gem, and we recommend visiting especially after heavy rainfall!


We hoped you enjoyed discovering the less known waterfalls which are scattered around the Yorkshire Dales. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Yorkshire trip even more memorable!


Download the official APP!


Gain access to over 1,600 hidden gems and their co-ordinates all over the UK when you download our app. Add gems to your bucket-list and tick them off as you go along, as well as earn rewards/badges when you visit a certain amount.




1,741 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page