Naturally, as a Cumbrian-based company, we’re a little biased sometimes celebrating the seasonally changing beauty and countryside of the Lake District. Lancaster House, our hotel in the Lake District also lies just 20 miles from another great National Park, the Yorkshire Dales, and I’ve been out with my family exploring one of the jewels in the Yorkshire crown.
A little under half an hour’s drive from the hotel is the picture-postcard village of Ingleton. Home to many a quaint gift shop, tea room, but also one of the Yorkshire Dales’ most iconic attractions, the famous Waterfalls walk.
Following a well beaten path through some stunning Oak woodlands, the route follows the River Twiss and Doe as they weave their way down the gently undulating slopes of the classic Limestone and Geologically diverse Scenery. Finding the waterfalls couldn’t be easier, as the car park and starting point of the walk is well sign-posted. (There is an entry/car parking fee) And you don’t have to worry about detailed maps or navigation here, as the route carves its 8km path in a logical loop, with regular signs, and a gradient that’s kind to most levels of walker.
Today, I was accompanied by my family, including my youngest who is only 9 months old, snugly fitted onto my back. The two older boys, aged 9 & 10 also made light work of the trek. (Be sure to wear suitable footwear and waterproof clothing, no matter what the forecast might say!)
If you are with children, I highly recommend The Waterfalls Trail Challenge for kids (available for £1) which should ensure the children are kept interested at all times. The variety of wildlife and geology has also designated Ingleton Waterfalls as a Site of Special Interest by Natural England, so there’s much more to be had than just a leisurely ramble here.
Pecca falls is the first stunning water feature you arrive at, and the view from the bridge that crosses the River Twiss allows a brilliant vantage point to see the falls close-up. This waterfall, (indeed the whole walk), is an amateur photographer’s paradise and for those who like playing with exposure on their cameras, some brilliant results can be achieved with very little effort.
Thornton Force which is located almost at the head of the glen, falls 14 metres over the Limestone into a large pond which many people choose as a good resting point and a chance to tuck into a packed lunch.
From here, the walk then starts looping over the top of the dale before heading back to Ingleton, this time via the River Doe. This gorge seems almost narrower, yet more dramatic in my opinion and again, there are many great vantage points to get some great pictures. Do be careful not to stray from the path though, and the signs will warn you of this. These waters run fast, even at the driest times of year, and getting close isn’t something that should be recommended so do keep a careful eye if you’ve got children and/or dogs in tow. Today however, we were treated to a demonstration of Ghyll Scrambling by a professional guide who made the most of the audience’s curiosity by jumping off the gorge into the deep pond below.
Beezley Falls and the aptly named Snow Falls form each end of Baxenghyll Gorge before the scenery starts levelling out as the descending gradient eases you towards the conclusion of the trail.
After 3 hours, we were heading back to the start, but chose to quickly wander into Ingleton’s centre for a well-earned ice cream and cold drink.
Ingleton offers a truly great day out, celebrating our beautiful (and thankfully very accessible) countryside that we’re lucky to have close-by here in the North of Lancashire.