The Ingleton Waterfall Trail is one of those places that is not just spectacular but has you coming back again and again, in all seasons.
Four and a half miles walk of waterfalls, fast flowing rivers and perfectly set in an oak woodland. There are so many waterfalls that keep on coming throughout the walk. From small yet beautiful falls to high single drop falls.
Add into that some true Yorkshire Dales scenery along the way it is an epic walk for either yourself or with your family. we must not forget the dog friendliness of the place too.
From mossy limestone woodland with the sound of rushing water, to up on the hillsides with grand Yorkshire views. There is so much packed in to these few miles I can assure you. It is a setting for the senses in so many ways.
Parking And Entry
This is one of those walks that is not free. It is easy to see why as you walk around. A very popular walk that has thousands and thousands of visitors a year.
Combine that with paths by rivers and on limestone that can be always eroding, the upkeep to ensure that everyone is safe and happy is obviously tremendous. Never mind the upkeep of the natural surroundings and woodland.
The latest entry prices are: Adults £10 and child under 16 £5.
There is a large free car park (Broadwood Car Park) at the entry point with cafe and toilet. The car park postcode is LA6 3ET. Once in or near the village of Ingleton you can’t miss the signage.
Busy History Of Ingleton Waterfall Trail
The official trail was opened way back in 1885 and even then it had thousands of visitors a day.
The bustling railway system brought people from all over the North of England and for ‘two old English pennies’ people could see the wonder of these falls we see today.
Even in 1888, on one day alone, this walk attracted 3840 visitors.
The Woodlands And Glen
Once on the trail you are almost immediately transported into a woodland paradise. The upwards and outwards half of the trail follows the River Twiss.
Starting low it was off through the limestone woodland and Swilla Glen. Rich in trees and moss. Greens abound even in mid winter, you can imagine a different kind of beauty when the trees come to life with leaves of summer.
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.
Today along the walk you will see some old great fallen trees or carvings.
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.
On this first section as you gradually walk up you get to cross the river in a couple of places enabling you to get views from both sides.
After passing through the glen and woodland you start to hear the gushing of the first waterfalls. Nature in action.
So as you cross the second bridge you get your first sight of the first real falls, Pecca Falls.
And so the fun begins. In many other walks people go to see just one waterfall like this, but here you have only just started.
Pecca Falls is actually a set of 5 waterfalls that drop in total around 30 metres. There are plenty of points and angles that have been made available for you to admire the or photograph them.
It feels then as if you are walking from waterfall and soon the next. Hollybush Spout is not far up from Pecca Falls.
Then, the tree line starts to dissipate. Out up near the top of the trail you come to the waterfall that the walk is most famous for or at least seen in more posts from visitors. Thornton Force.
There before you is the ‘postcard’ view, Thornton Force. An incredible spectacle and the perfect spot for your packed lunch.
Geologically here you can see clearly how this area was formed over hundreds of millions of years. Water falling off a limestone cliff down a 14 metre drop to darker sandstone at the bottom. All signs from when this area was a sub tropical sea 330 million years ago.
Out Onto The Tops
After Thornton Force it is up onto the grassy and open hills, with familiar views of the Yorkshire Dales around you.
As you make your way across to the top there is a great view looking across to one of my favourite Yorkshire summits, Ingleborough.
If you have your dog or dogs with you please be careful on this top section as there may be sheep around.
Before you turn to head back down via more falls and a new valley there is a chance to get some refreshments and a toilet break.
You have traversed now across and away from the River Twiss and heading back down into the trees on the River Doe with its own set of varying waterfalls.
And yes, straight away you are greeted by a wonderfull set of falls called Beezley Falls.
They consist of one larger single drop and 3 small drops.
Half way back down you come to the narrow 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 and not a must to complete the walk).
However standing on the footbridge and looking down gives a great perspective of the gorge and the force of the water.
The circuit path then gently leads down to where you started via Ingleton village. There are many cafes and little shops for you to frequent or choose from on the way through to the car park. Makes a great end to a great day and walk.
Terrain And Weather
Due to the very nature of this being up one valley and down another it is alas not really pushchair or wheelchair friendly.
You see many children enjoying this walk. It may have some small sections with steep steps but with such a variety of things to do and see their minds are taken away from all that.
After rain you get the waterfalls in great spout. But with that comes some dirt underfoot so good footwear is advisable.
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