Skip to content

Waterfalls of England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland

I thought I would write about Waterfalls which are some of the least known tourist sites in the UK. When people usually think about waterfalls they think of Africa. There are 15 waterfalls in England; 5 waterfalls in Wales; 2 in Scotland and 1 in Northern Ireland.

Cautley Spout is England’s highest waterfall above ground. (Gaping Gill on Ingleborough falls a greater distance but into a pothole). The broken cascade of falls tumbles a total of 650 feet (198 m) down a cliff face at the head of a wild and bleak glacial valley that comes down from a high plateau called The Calf. It is located in the Howgill Fells, traditionally in the West Riding of Yorkshire but now in Cunbria on the western edge of the Yorkshire dales National Park. The waterfall is just north of the small town of Sedbergh. This fall is one of the few cascade falls in England, most are either tiered or plunging falls.

Gaping Gill (also known as Gaping Ghyll) is a natural cave with the highest unbroken waterfall with water falling 110m from the surface into an underground cavern in North Yorkshire, England. It is one of the unmistakable landmarks on the southern slopes of Ingleborough – a 105 metres (344 ft) deep pothole with the stream Fell Beck flowing into it. After falling through one of the largest known underground chambers in Britain, the water disappears into the bouldery floor and eventually resurges adjacent to Ingleborough Cave.

The first recorded attempted descent was by John Birkbeck in 1842 who reached a ledge approximately 55 metres (180 ft) down the shaft which bears his name. The first complete descent was achieved by Edouard-Alfred Martel in 1895.

Due to the number of entrances which connect into the cave, many different routes through and around the system are possible. Other entrances include Disappointment Pot, Stream Passage Pot, Bar Pot, Hensler’s Pot, Corky’s Pot and Flood Entrance Pot. In 1983 members of the Cave Diving Group made the underwater connection into Ingleborough Cave.

Hardraw Force is a waterfall on the Hardraw Beck in Hardraw Scar, a wooded ravine just outside the hamlet of Hardraw at the foot of Buttertubs and the head of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales.The penine Way long distance footpath passes close by.

Comprising a single drop of 100 feet from a rocky overhang, Hardraw Force is claimed to be England’s highest unbroken waterfall – at least discounting the underground falls.

Geologically, the bed of the river and plunge pool is slate; on top of that is sandstone and the top layer is carboniferous limestone.

Public viewing of Hardraw Force is rather unusual, as the visitor has to go through the bar of the Green Dragon Inn public house in Hardraw to reach the falls; an entrance fee is payable on the way through the pub. It is currently £2 per adult. Access behind the falls is now prohibited.

List of Waterfall falls in the UK


  • Cautley Spout- highest waterfall in England in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

  • Gaping Gill – “highest” unbroken waterfall in England, with water falling 110 m from the surface into an underground cavern

  • High Force – impressive and much-visited waterfall in England

  • Low Force – downstream from High Force

  • Hardraw Force – highest unbroken waterfall above ground, in Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales

  • Cauldron Snout – upstream from High Force, and at 200 feet (61 m) one of England’s highest

  • Lydford Gorge – spectacular narrow gorge, with the 100 ft (30 m) high White Lady Waterfall

  • Canonteign Falls – artificial 220 ft (67 m) high waterfall in Devon, part of some Victorian pleasure grounds

  • Aira Force – 20 metre fall at Ullswater in the Lake District

  • Kisdon Force – In Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales

  • East Gill Force – In Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales

  • Aysgarth Falls – In Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales

  • Wain Wath Force – In Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales

  • Moss Force – In the Newlands Valley in the Lake District

  • Mallyan Spout- In Goathlands in the North Yorkshire Moors


  • Aber Falls

  • Aberdulais Falls – powering Europe’s largest hydro-electric waterwheel

  • Devil’s Appendix (waterfall)

  • Henrhyd Waterfall

  • Pistyll Rhaeadr

  • Swallow Falls

Northern Ireland

  • Glenariff


  • Eas a’ Chual Aluinn – 200 m (658 ft), highest waterfall in United Kingdom

  • Steall Waterfall – 120 m 2nd highest waterfall in United Kingdom

The Chinese call Britain ‘The Island of Hero’s’ which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.

Copyright © 2011 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

Source by Paul hussey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *