The sun came out on a cool winter morn so out I headed for a great walk in total nature.. The Ingleton Falls Walk, a firm favourite for me, especially on the quiet days away from the Summer holiday season. If you are in Yorkshire and feel like a shorter walk packed with gorgeous scenery and fresh air, get yourself to here, a super trail for the whole family.
A circular walk of just over 4 miles that leads up one river across and down another. Starting low it was off through the limestone woodland. Rich in trees and moss. Greens abound even in mid Feb, you can imagine a different kind of beauty when the trees come to life with leaves. It is also hard to miss the songbirds singing in the trees above. You will see plenty no matter the time of year you go.
The official trail was opened way back in 1885 and even then it had thousands of visitors a day. The train system brought people from all over the North of England and for ‘two old English pennies’ people could see the wonder we see today. In 1888 on one day alone the walk attracted 3840 visitors.. Crikey!
Today along the walk you will see some old great fallen trees or carvings like in the pic below. Inserted into them over years and years by visitors they have become a resting place for an uncountable number of 2 pence pieces. try to find the really old ones if you can
Before long you hear the gushing of the first waterfalls. Nature in lovely action. Each turn as you meander up the trail is filled with a brilliant view. I find waterfalls so calming yet energising to the mood. If you find yourself one of those people whom loves to stop, stare and marvel at these creations that have been made over thousands of years then this walk will be a slow one for you…. and not a bad thing at all!
At the top of the first valley near the half way point the trees give way to more open ground, and suddenly there before you is the ‘postcard’ view, Thornton Force. An incredible spectacle and the perfect spot for lunch.
Geologically here you can see clearly how this area was formed over hundreds of millions of years. Water falling off a limestones cliff down a 14 metre drop to darker sandstone at the bottom. Signs from when this area was a sub tropical sea 330 million years ago. More in depth notes on this can be found here.
After Thornton Force it is up onto the grassy and open hills, with familiar views of the Yorkshire Dales. As you make your way across to the top of the valley down there is a top view looking across to one of my favourite Yorkshire summits… Ingleborough (below).
A refreshment cafe is perfectly placed just prior to heading down and a good ole coffee was a great tonic prior to getting back in the tree line. What a start here you get. The second valley is a lot more narrow, a lot more gorged creating some amazing fast deep drops for the water. The waterfalls keep on coming as you make the steps downhill.
Half way down at Baxengyhll Gorge you can take a walk of faith across a small bridge over the deep gorge below. Fun for those scared of heights (I must add this is optional). Gives a great perspective of the gorge and the force of the water.
The circuit gently leads down to where you started via Ingleton village. Exciting and refreshing day even if been before. Those that have been will know what I mean… It truly is one of those place where you say “I will come back here one day in another season to experience it again differently” and you mean it!