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Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

Ingleton, Lancashire/Yorkshire

Featured Location Guide

On this waterfall trail you get to see many waterfalls, in two river valleys, as well as scenery and probably some wildlife, all compacted into a four and a half mile route.

There are at least 8 major waterfalls or groups of waterfalls, and many smaller ones. They are so close together in places its difficult to see where one group runs into the next. The most impressive of these is Thornton Force , however the variety of these waterfalls and the number you see in a relatively short walk makes the full journey well worthwhile.

Thornton Force

In addition to this location guide for the walk we have location guides for the major waterfalls on it. In this guide you will find links off to these other guides and they each have the option to return you to the place in this guide that you left.

The individual Location guides are:-

Pecca Falls

Hollybush Spout

Thornton Force 

Beezley Falls

Triple Spout 

Rival Falls 

Baxenghyll Gorge 

Snow Falls 

Plus 2 Galleries, one for each of the valleys.

Waterfall Trail - River Twiss

Waterfall Trail - River Doe

Geography and a bit of history

Ingleton's postal address is Lancashire and sits on the boundary of Lancashire and North Yorkshire. The Waterfalls Trail is just in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Ingleton sees the meeting of two rivers the River Twiss and the River Doe to form the River Greta which flows under the viaduct and beyond. Both rivers travel through densely wooded gorges on their way down and within these lies England's greatest concentration of waterfalls.

Ingleton has been known for its other attractions, the caves etc since the end of the 18th Century, but the falls were hidden from view and people were not aware of  their existence. Then the Lancaster Guardian, amongst others, ran articles on the scenery and surrounding area and this generated a lot of public interest. So much so that an 'Improvement Company' was formed and pathways and wooden bridges were built to allow better access and it has remained a tourist attraction since Good Friday, 11th April 1885 when it first opened to the public.

The Waterfall Trail

The Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is a circular 4.5 mile walk which takes you from the centre of Ingleton up the side of the River Twiss across the hills and back to Ingelton alongside the River Doe. It is owned and managed by the Ingleton Scenery Company who provide a car park within Ingleton at the start of the walk, also in the Car Park area are toilets and a cafe.

You will need 2.5 to 4 hours to complete the full route and the trail follows a well-defined footpath over inclined ground, where a climb is necessary steps are provided. In total the number of steps provided at different points over the whole of the trail is 1,000. It is open 7 days a week from 9am until dusk, and our winter visit in January 2009 the gates to the car park were closed at around 2pm. It is not a route for the infirm, featuring a number of steep, narrow and rocky sections, as well as protruding tree routes and uneven ground.

The trail takes you through ancient oak woodland and impressive scenery and along the way you get to see some spectacular waterfalls and geological features. The woodlands contain oak, ash, hazel and wych elm trees as well as yew trees on the cliffs and scars. Ground flora include dogs mercury, wild garlic, tufted hair grass, great wood-rush and bilberry, there is also a lot of woodland mosses, such as Yorkshire feather moss, liverworts and an enclosure with reintroduced lady's slipper orchid. Around the waterfalls you may see, at certain times of the year, a variety of birds, Brown Trout leaping and dippers may be seen at water level, and probably other wildlife besides.

You need to be prepared for this walk, make sure you are wearing suitable footwear, such as walking boots, Wellington boots or substantial shoes, have clothing suitable for weather changes and plenty of water to drink. A hiking pole or substantial monopod would also help in getting over some parts. Many visitors also take small packed lunches to eat on the way round, there are a number of resting areas.

It's usual to tackle the route clockwise, walking north along the Twiss and then south along the Doe. Being a circular walk you could walk it from either end, but the majority of visitors start at the Broadwood Car Park.

Starting from the car park you start the walk alongside the River Twiss, which has Swilla Glen, Thornton Glen, Pecca Falls, Holybush Spout and Thornton Force. Then following the path across fields and hills you reach the valley of the River Doe which has Beezley Falls, Rival Falls, Baxenghyll Gorge, Snow Falls, and Twistleton Glen. In all 8 waterfalls or groups of waterfalls. Each one an impressive sight and each one different in character, size and spectacle.

Although usual to tackle the route clockwise from the car park, walking north along the Twiss and then south along the Doe. You could do the River Doe part of the walk first, as you can enter from the village and work your way backwards, paying at the end or after reaching Beezley Falls, turn around and walk back the same way you came. But you would have to try to remember afterwards to go to the normal entry point so as to pay the entrance fee.

The backward way around may also be an option you would like to take so as to make an earlier start in the summer months before the car park and normal entrance is open.  If you wanted to get to a particular waterfall you might find it quicker to get to it from the small Chapel le Dale road that is crossed when you cross from one valley to the other.

We did our Waterfall Trail in January 2009 and although the trees were bare, it was winter, it was a nice fine day and not too cold. It would be good at some point to also do it in the summer, and again with autumn colours.

In addition to this location guide for the walk we have location guides for the major waterfalls on it, and in this guide you will find links of to these guides and they each have the option to return you to the place in this guide that you left, so that you can continue your journey. This location guide takes the normal clockwise route. In addition to the images in this guide and on location pages for waterfalls we have 2 Galleries, one for each of the valleys.

You will also find Ordnance Survey grid references and links that throw up in a new window, Multimap pages showing a labelled Ordnance Survey map.


The Walk in Detail

Grid Reference SD692733   Streetmap

We started our walk from the Broadwood Car Park and the route initially runs along the west bank of the River Twiss through woodland, over pathways and steps with many vantage points of cascades and mini falls along the way. This is the first time that we noticed that the water not only makes a gushing noise when moving over the rock bed, but there is also a deep bass sound, just like that of a bass drum rhythmically beating below. If it's quiet and not too many people about take time to pause and listen. Amongst the peacefulness of this setting there is definitely a drummer somewhere ? From here you walk into Swilla Glen.

Swilla Glen

Grid Reference: SD693735  Streetmap

The tree lined Swilla Glen is a rocky dell cut deep into the limestone. Trees here include oak, ash, birch and hazel. There are a variety of ground plants such as bluebells and dogs mercury. During our visit the most prominent colour was green, not from the leaves on the trees - there weren't any, but amongst the fallen brown leaf matter, protruding on tree bark, rocks and just about anything it could grab hold of were mosses and ferns, which thrive in the moist conditions of the gorge. There were many opportunities to get down into low enough positions along the riverbank to get pictures of the water rolling over the rocky river bed. It was here that we also saw the first Money Tree!, an old fallen tree which had been embedded with real money, there were two in this Glen.

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images to see a larger versions

The Money Tree - Close Up See Larger Image The Money Tree See Larger Image

Walking on through Swilla Glen the path crosses to the east bank over Manor Bridge the first of a number of bridges on this walk, in to Thornton Glen.

Thornton Glen

Grid Reference: SD695750   Streetmap

Is situated on the east bank of the River Twiss, 1.75km from the car park and ends at Pecca Bridge. It is a site of Ancient Semi-Woodland and a Site of Scientific Interest because of its geology and associated flora. The tree species are dominated by Oak and Ash with willows and alder along the riverside and the under storey has holly, thorn, hazel and rowan.

It is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. A sign denotes where the woodland starts and approx. 200 metres later the paths leave the woodland via Pecca Bridge and continues along the west bank of the River. The only path through this woodland is the one on the waterfall walk. This woodland is marked as Twistleton Glen on some OS maps, but Twistleton Glen we will come to later is on the River Doe. Twistleton End Scar is just to the north, and the name Twistleton occurs in names of farms, halls and in other places in this area.

Out of the woodland there is a viewing platform for the Pecca Falls. In the distance you can see the lower part of the Falls and the Pecca Bridge. On the way down to Pecca bridge on the left beside the river bank there were some wooden mushroom sculptures which had been carved out of the fallen/dead wood, and the pathway in many places also had mini streams of water running down them.

 

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images
to see a larger versions

See Larger Image

Lower Pecca Falls

Grid Reference  SD695748  StreetMap

There are two sets of falls known as Pecca on this trail.
See Pecca Falls , you can return to this position

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 Lower Pecca Falls Pecca Twin Falls

This first set has 5 main waterfalls in a series, dropping a total of 100ft (30 metres). Most of them are provided with wooden observation platforms, but not all of them are easy to see.

Following the steps and pathway, seeing some of the falls here from above, you then reach the Pecca Twin Falls.

Pecca Twin Falls

This set of falls are not as high as some of the others, but there are two falls one higher than the other dropping down into one plunge pool below. There is a viewing platform to get a good view and as the steps wind away and up higher you can take a look back and get some aerial effect shots of this part of the Pecca Twin Falls. You now have a bit of a climb, following the path along steep wooden walkways and rocky terraces, the next clearing you come across shows Hollybush Spout.

Hollybush Spout

Grid reference SD694750   StreetMap  

Hollybush is a fall of around 30 feet set within a deep narrow, rocky cleft. From here on the path twists and climbs still further until you come to a large gate above it, which opens out on to open moorland.
See Hollybush Spout you can return to this position

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images to see a larger versions

The river continues to run through the narrow shallow valley below. Through the large gate the area underfoot is of concrete and there is a large green structure, to your left. We thought it was a bird hide, but the waterfall website and others say it is a refreshment cabin. Our visit was during the winter months and it was not open, perhaps during the summer months it is.

The path now takes you along the edge of a bowl shaped valley, below there is the rocky river bed and if you have a keen eye then you may find visiting wildlife. The day we visited there was a heron stood on the bank of a small rocky island in the middle of a wider piece of the river. We didn't see him feed, but he did fly off to another location along the river so we got to see him again further along, until he then flew off from the valley. At the end of this valley you start to see the top of and hear the full force of the next, and probably the largest single drop waterfall on this walk, Thornton Force.

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Thornton Force

Grid Reference  SD692753  StreetMap  
See Thornton Force  you can return to this position

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images to see a larger versions

Thornton Force is roughly 50ft (14m) high where the River Twiss flows over tree lined limestone rocks in a wide cascade to the rocky pool below. It is situated in open countryside with few trees in front of it, so there are plenty of  opportunities to photograph it from different angles. Here there are 2/3 seating positions around, but also closer to the falls there is a viewing area which can also be used as a picnic spot, but beware there are no bins so remember to take you litter home with you. Also watch out for the friendly Robins, they come close to the seating areas and pick up anything that is white (breadcrumbs). In fact on our visit one came so close that it was pecking at the white area on my boots, so I didn't miss the opportunity to get some really good close up images of it before we moved on. This is the last waterfall on the River Twiss.

The path goes around to the north by a flight of very steep stone steps onto the top of the falls, and arrives at the top as the river flows into Thornton Force. This is a wide open grassy gorge, with water bubbling over the rocky river bed, twisting around into the distance a head of you. From here continuing to follow the path, where initially the climb is long and drawn out, you twist through the area known as Raven Ray, ahead of you, you will see a panorama view of Keld Head Scars until you come to a metal bridge which takes you across the River Twiss and up some steep steps to get to the highest point of the walk, there is a seat towards the top for those who need a rest, or want to take in the good view around.

The Friendly RobinSee Larger Image

Thornton Force See Larger Image

Moving from one river valley to the other

At the top you join an old Roman Road leading into Kingsdale. The walk is now level for a while, past Scar End Farm  (SD701751 Streetmap  ) and takes you into Twisleton Lane going downhill past Twistleton Hall, through a farmyard and over a stepped stile.

Ahead you can see Ingleborough, not to be confused with Ingleton, the village we left and will return to. Ingleborough   is one of the famous 'Three Peaks' of the Yorkshire Dales and at it's base the entrance to White Scar Caves.

On downwards through the fields with grazing sheep and the characteristic Yorkshire field barns, through a metal swing gate out onto Oldies Lane, the Chapel-le-Dale road, (SD704749 Streetmap ).

Cross the road and you enter the entrance of Beezley Farm where you walk through the farmyard following the signs through a gate and into the oak woodland which carries the River Doe.

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Since 2010 also at this point is the Falls Refreshment Centre, (seasonal open times ask at ticket office on your visit) where you can take a rest and take on some light refreshments before continuing on your journey around the trail.

As we leave the farm, we could if we had wished taken a short diversion to see a ford and stepping stones that crosses the River Doe a little way above the falls, these are not visible from the path near the falls.  A number of other footpaths cross the river north of here and three further sets of stepping stones are shown on some Ordnance Survey maps, all a short distance from the B6255.

Going down the steps there are a couple of viewing areas and on the right wooden seats which overlook the first set of falls on this River, Beezley Falls.

Beezley Falls

Grid Reference  SD705747   StreetMap
See Beezley Falls   you can return to this position

 

On this second arm of the walk the path winds along the river and a number of the waterfalls merge from one into another with bubbling rivers in between, if it wasn't for a few signs at strategic points which told you which waterfall you were looking at, it would be difficult to identify what you were seeing. Beezley Falls is surrounded by woodland, it is wide and a large amount of water runs over the cliff into the gorge below. Here you can get naturally occurring water foam floating on the surface. From here the river now runs through a rocky wooded gorge and the next feature you come to is the next smaller set of falls.

 

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images
to see a larger versions

 

 

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Triple Spout

Grid Reference  SD705747  Streetmap  
See Triple Spout   you can return to this position

 

This is three small waterfalls running side by side, where the water has managed to find three openings amongst the rocks to run between. I would assume if the water level was really high that at least two of them, closet to the path, would merge together and therefore you would only get a double spout.

From here the path you walk follows along rocky terraces and wooden walkways along the west bank of the river, and along the way further cascades and plunge pools give you plenty to look at and photograph. The river twists and rumbles down below. Eventually you come to the next set of falls.

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Rival Falls

Grid Reference  SD705746  Streetmap
See Rival Falls  you can return to this position

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images to see a larger versions

The Rival Falls has two cascades separated by a plunge pool 60ft (18m) below, this pool is known locally as Black Hole and is believed to be 80ft deep. The lower cascade usually separates into two falls either side of a rocky knobble. When you approach the falls the footpath is above them and then it runs steeply down via steps and over tree roots and rocky uneven ground into Baxenghyll Gorge.

 

 

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Baxenghyll Gorge

Grid Reference  SD704744   StreetMap
See Baxenghyll Gorge   you can return to this position

At this point the river has carved a deep narrow gorge into the rock, believed to be 60ft down. There are a number of twists and turns and plenty of opportunities to overlook the spectacular sight both below and around you. There are several falls within this section as the river plunges down through, but they do not appear to have names. At one point there is a viewing platform across the gorge, giving a good view of the river down below. Eventually the gorge opens out into the first of a number of rocky areas. There is a steep set of steps down to this area, the wooden path is surrounded by mini waterfalls coming off the hillside around, the river runs on through and some people picnic on the limestone rock bed amongst the small rock pools of water, and you can, if it's not covered in water, and you can figure out how to get down there.

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Snow Falls

Grid Reference  SD703743  StreetMap
See Snow Falls   you can return to this position

See Larger Image Click on any of the small images to see a larger versions

From the gorge you walk up steps and along the path coming to a viewing area labelled Snow Falls. Don't forget to look back to see them, they are the last of the named falls on this walk. From here the footpath twists its way through Twisleton Glen, which it is adjacent to it.

Twistleton Glen   

Grid Reference: SD702743   Streetmap

This glen sits on the west bank of the River Doe, and is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. It is also a site of Scientific Interest. The rock step, into which the Glen has cut is formed because of the different resistance to erosion of the rocks laying each side of the Craven Faults. The stepped outcrops have created cascades and waterfalls, in particular Snow Falls.

The dominating tree species here is Oak, because of the acidic slate, as opposed to limestone on the River Twiss. The flora is dominated by grasses, although you

See Larger Image

may see some wild garlic and typical moorland/heathland species such as bracken and fern. The only access to this woodland is via the paths provided for the Waterfalls Trail, from where the final footbridge takes you across the River Doe into another wide rocky dell, where again some stop to take a picnic. Smaller waterfalls continue through this area and particularly from the last ridge you get to see some close up.

Inside the south west boundary of the Woodland Trust boundary there are still the remains of small scale slate quarrying and you go past a sign which warns that some blasting can take place between 9am and 5pm. Just past here you pass through a gate onto another solid path.

The river continues to meander on through the valley towards Ingleton Village. The footpath you are on is now solid.

Once out of the Glen you go through a very narrow gate, by a stream making its way down to the river, into an open area above Ingleton. Initially you have to walk up a little, sheep may be grazing on the hillside and then it's downhill from here. The walkway then widens out and on the opposite side of the river is the remains of an old quarry which nature has reclaimed and in front of you the remains of the old lime kilns and workshops. Beyond here the Waterfall Trail footpath, at Grid Reference SD698734 Streetmap, goes through a gate and joins a public road, Thacking Lane, which takes you into the village of Ingleton.

There are signs from here showing the way back to the Waterfall Trail Car Park, which goes past a YMCA building, through a children's park area, past an outdoor swimming pool, originally built by local miners in 1933 and onto a tarmac path along the river. A head of you, you can see a road bridge and behind this, a lot higher up, a railway viaduct. The path takes you through a row of pretty little cottages and up onto the road bridge over the River Doe, where the road then meanders back, over another bridge over the River Twiss, and towards the entrance of the Car Park on your right.

If you decide not to follow the signs back to the car park initially, then you can take a walk around Ingleton village, which has a lot of small interesting shops, cafes and other places for refreshments.

The Viaduct

The 11 arch Viaduct is the most noticeable feature of the area, as you go by, standing high in the air across the valley. This was constructed to join two stations operated by different railway companies and opening up a cross country route. It is 800 feet long and 80 feet high, crossing both the Rivers Doe and Twiss, just before they join to form the River Greta. There are a number of other viaducts in the area, some in use and others like this, now monuments to past activities. Parts of a smaller, lower one runs through the car park for the walk.

The Falls Cafe and Gift Shop

At the end of your walk, when you get back to the Car Park you could browse around the Gift shop, or take some refreshment in the Cafe. The cafe provides light refreshments of sandwiches, baked potatoes, ice cream, drinks and cakes.

The Reverse Route

If you decide to take the walk the other way round, from the main village car parks, then from Main Street, go into The Square and then down to the end of Thacking Lane where you will find the gate which gets you onto the Trail.


Further information Grid

 

Location:

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Ingleton, Lancashire

Ceremonial County: Lancashire and Yorkshire

Grid Reference:

SD692733

Map Link:

Streetmap   

Aerial photo: Google Map

Route(s):

 

Best Times to Visit:

Winter for more water and clear view, autumn for colours, summer for greenery, and colour.

E-mail:

info@ingletonwaterfallswalk.co.uk

Cafe: info@thefallscafe.co.uk

Website:

www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk    PDF Leaflet of Trail

www.thefallscafe.co.uk

Other useful websites:

Wiki    Summer Pictures 

Nearby Locations:

Several viaducts, several caves, Ingleborough

Ingleborough Cave   White Scar Caves   Ingleton Accommodation

Other Relevant pages:

Waterfalls in England     Waterfalls

Ingleton Waterfall Trail Gallery - River Twiss, Yorkshire

Ingleton Waterfall Trail Gallery - River Doe, Yorkshire

 

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Planning Grid

Location:

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Ingleton, Lancashire

Grid Reference:

SD693733

Getting there:

From M5 J34 take the A683 towards Melling and Tunstall then turn right onto the A687 until it joins the A65, at the staggered junction take the road across, brown tourist sign says the trail is 1 mile. Go into the car park on the left, pay at the kiosk prior to entering the car park under the archway.

Access:

From Car Park

Parking:

No additional parking charge, car park provided.

Facilities:

WC, Café www.thefallscafe.co.uk
Falls Refreshment Centre halfway round at Beezley (seasonal opening ask at ticket office to check if it is open on your visit).

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Waterfalls, scenic, wildlife, plants, viaduct, walk

What to take:

Think ahead what you NEED, you can't easily go back, but you have to carry what you feel you can not do without.

Nature highlights:

At some times of the year trout are said to jump the waterfalls. Friendly Robins, and other flying visitors

Address:

Ingleton Waterfalls Trail,

Broadwood Entrance,

Ingleton,

Carnforth

Ingleton

Scenery Company,

c/o David Hill,

The New Ship,

Mill Bridge,

Skipton BD23 1NJ

Postcode:

LA6 3ET

Telephone:

Walk/ticket office:  01524 241930.

Ingleton Scenery Company: 01756 795621.

Cafe: 01524 241617

Opening times:

Walk: Daily 9am to dusk, if going clockwise and using car park/facilities. Gates may shut well ahead to allow people to complete the route before its dark. Closing times vary depending on time of year. Closed Christmas Day.

Cafe & Gift Shop open daily from 10am-5pm (10am-4pm Nov-Mar).

Charges:

Entry fee: Adults £5; child (under 16) £2; Family (2+3) £11.
Free parking.

Those doing the walk in a reverse direction pay at the end.

Free parking for visiting café and gift shop.

Photo Restrictions:

None

Other Restrictions: You will need suitable footwear (eg. walking boots, Wellington boots, or strong shoes).
Special Needs Access:

Terrain involves a lot up and down hill, steps, rough ground, tree roots and more. It is quite a strenuous walk, but the average person should be able to manage it.

If you are not fit, have a heart condition or limiting medication, then start early in the day, allow more time and take many rests particularly on uphill climbs. Have someone with you to carry anything that you need.

Near the end of the walk, there is a very narrow swing gate, the type that you swing one way, go in, swing the other and leave, that a moderately sized person has to remove bags etc to get through, a 15 stone person could just squeeze through without removing a tripod case, so some larger people would not get through, we did not see any other way around this, and its a long way back. If you have a very large person in your party it might be wise to attempt this trip in the reverse direction.

Special Needs Facilities: Disabled WC by cafe.
Children Facilities:

Children should be supervised at all times as some times the edge of the path is narrow and a high drop into the water below.

It is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs, the ground and terrain would be too heavy going. Baby changing facilities in disabled WC by cafe.

Dogs Allowed: Dogs are allowed on the trail but they must be kept on a lead when crossing farmland as there are sheep about on the hills.

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.

 


By: Keith Park Section: Waterfalls    Walks Key:
Page Ref: Ingleton_Waterfalls Topic: Waterfalls     Walks Last Updated: 01/2012
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