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Best hidden waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales

Updated: Mar 11

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.





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!).


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Scaleber Force Waterfall


1) Where is Scaleber Force Waterfall located?

Scaleber Force Waterfall is located near the village of Settle in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes Scaleber Force Waterfall a hidden gem?

Scaleber Force Waterfall is considered a hidden gem due to its secluded location, pristine natural beauty, and the picturesque cascade of water as it plunges down a rocky ravine amidst the peaceful woodland surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a tranquil and enchanting experience away from the crowds.


3) How do I get to Scaleber Force Waterfall?

Visitors can access Scaleber Force Waterfall by foot from the village of Settle. There is a footpath leading from Settle to Scaleber Force, which follows the course of Scaleber Beck through the woodlands. The waterfall can be reached by following this footpath upstream.


Places to stay near Scaleber Force Waterfall




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.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Janet's Foss


1) Where is Janet’s Foss located?

Janet’s Foss is located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, near the village of Malham in North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes Janet’s Foss a hidden gem?

Janet’s Foss is considered a hidden gem due to its enchanting natural beauty, tranquil setting, and the picturesque cascade of water as it falls over a limestone cliff into a shallow pool below. Surrounded by lush woodland, the waterfall offers visitors a serene and magical experience.


3) How do I get to Janet’s Foss?

Visitors can access Janet’s Foss by foot from the village of Malham. There is a well-marked footpath leading from Malham to Janet’s Foss, which follows the course of Gordale Beck through the woodlands. The waterfall can be reached by following this footpath upstream.


Places to stay near Janet's Foss






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!).


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Valley of Desolation


1) Where is the Valley of Desolation Waterfall located?

The Valley of Desolation Waterfall is located near the village of Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes the Valley of Desolation Waterfall a hidden gem?

The Valley of Desolation Waterfall is considered a hidden gem due to its remote location, rugged beauty, and the striking cascade of water as it tumbles down a rocky gorge amidst the wild moorland surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a unique and adventurous experience away from the more frequented tourist spots.


3) How do I get to the Valley of Desolation Waterfall?

Visitors can access the Valley of Desolation Waterfall by foot from the village of Bolton Abbey. There are various footpaths and trails leading from Bolton Abbey to the waterfall, offering scenic views of the surrounding countryside. The waterfall can be reached by following these footpaths upstream into the Valley of Desolation.


Places to stay near Valley of Desolation





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?


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Catrigg Force


1) Where is Catrigg Force located?

Catrigg Force is located near the village of Stainforth in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes Catrigg Force a hidden gem?

Catrigg Force is considered a hidden gem due to its secluded location, natural beauty, and the picturesque cascade of water as it plunges down a series of limestone steps amidst the tranquil woodland surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a serene and enchanting experience away from the crowds.


3) How do I get to Catrigg Force?

Visitors can access Catrigg Force by foot from the village of Stainforth. There is a footpath leading from Stainforth to Catrigg Force, which follows the course of Stainforth Beck through the woodlands. The waterfall can be reached by following this footpath upstream.


Places to stay near Catrigg Force





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.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Stainforth Force


1) Where is Stainforth Force located?

Stainforth Force is located near the village of Stainforth in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes Stainforth Force a hidden gem?

Stainforth Force is considered a hidden gem due to its picturesque setting, natural beauty, and the impressive cascade of water as it flows over a series of limestone ledges amidst the tranquil countryside surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a serene and enchanting experience away from the crowds.


3) How do I get to Stainforth Force?

Visitors can access Stainforth Force by foot from the village of Stainforth. There is a footpath leading from the village to Stainforth Force, which follows the course of the River Ribble. The waterfall can be reached by following this footpath upstream.


Places to stay near Stainforth Force






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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Cauldron Falls


1) Where is Cauldron Falls located?

Cauldron Falls is located in the village of West Burton in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes Cauldron Falls a hidden gem?

Cauldron Falls is considered a hidden gem due to its picturesque setting, natural beauty, and the charming cascade of water as it flows over the limestone steps amidst the quaint village surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a tranquil and enchanting experience away from the crowds.


3) How do I get to Cauldron Falls?

Visitors can access Cauldron Falls by foot from the village of West Burton. There is a footpath leading from the village to Cauldron Falls, which follows the course of Walden Beck. The waterfall can be reached by following this footpath upstream.


Places to stay near Cauldron Falls





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?).


Places to stay near Gastack Beck Waterfall





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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Thornton Force Waterfall


1) Where is Thornton Force Waterfall located?

Thornton Force Waterfall is located near the village of Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, North Yorkshire, England.


2) What makes Thornton Force Waterfall a hidden gem?

Thornton Force Waterfall is considered a hidden gem due to its stunning beauty, impressive height, and the dramatic cascade of water as it plunges down a limestone cliff amidst the rugged countryside surroundings. The waterfall offers visitors a breathtaking and memorable experience away from the more crowded tourist spots.


3) How do I get to Thornton Force Waterfall?

Visitors can access Thornton Force Waterfall by foot from the village of Ingleton. There are various walking routes leading from Ingleton to Thornton Force, including the popular Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. The waterfall can be reached by following these footpaths upstream along the River Twiss.


Places to stay near Thornton Force Waterfall





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.


Places to stay near Lower Leck Beck



Image of Lower Leck Beck in the Yorkshire Dales


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!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Harmby Waterfall


1) Where is Harmby Waterfall located?

Harmby Waterfall is situated near the village of Harmby in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, England. It's nestled within a picturesque valley, offering visitors a tranquil natural setting to explore.


2) How do I access Harmby Waterfall?

Accessing Harmby Waterfall is relatively easy, with a short walk from the village of Harmby. Visitors can follow signposted footpaths leading to the waterfall, providing a pleasant and scenic stroll through the countryside.


3) Is Harmby Waterfall suitable for swimming?

Harmby Waterfall is not suitable for swimming due to its relatively small size and the presence of rocks and other hazards in the pool at its base. Visitors are advised to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall from a safe distance and refrain from entering the water.


Places to stay near Harmby Waterfall



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!


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