You’ve got your cottage in the countryside booked up, your bags are packed and now you’re left wondering what days out you can start planning for your UK getaway. Why not add visiting one of the UK’s best waterfalls to the list?
Escape city life and venture to one of the UK’s most breathtaking waterfalls for a real rural UK trip. Calming, tranquil and you can even wild swim in some of them, here are our favourites…
Disclaimer: With several government restrictions in place across the UK, please check with the local area guidance before venturing to one of these waterfall sites.
If you’re on the search for one of the UK’s most spectacular waterfalls with stunning views, greenery and epic height, it’s got to be High Force in County Durham.
Located along the River Tees, it’s said that the rocks date back over 300 million years, with the river running along here for several thousands of years too. You’ll want to follow the woodland walk that’s lovely and covered, and leads you down to the High Force and it’s great plunge pool. The waterfall is steep, dropping 21 metres into the lower pool.
Expect to see roe deer and rabbits hopping around the area too, alongside wildflowers, ferns and tall trees.
Forest in Teesdale, County Durham, DL12 0XH
When you’re off on your welsh travels make sure to stop off at Pistyll Rhaeadr, the highest waterfall in Wales equating to 240ft (80 metres).
Breathtaking and otherworldly, the waterfall boasts several smaller waterfalls above before the gushing waterfalls plunges into the riverbed below. There’s a little tea room and accommodation, Tan-y-Pistyll, located under the waterfall too which is perfect for a quick break while you gaze out over the waterfall from the garden.
Park up and enjoy the sights as you explore the Berwyn Mountains and the surrounding areas. There are several walks suited for a variety of walkers too.
Near Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant, Powys, Wales, SY10 0BZ
Said to have inspired William Wordsworth’s poem ‘Somnambulist’, a Gothic tale of love and tragedy, Aira Force can be found in Cumbria. The site boasts dramatic falls that bury themselves in the pools below – the drop is a whopping 65 foot.
The National Trust suggests arriving at Aira Force via boat and then walking back up along the lakeshore, which overlooks Ullswater Valley.
Near Watermillock, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0JS
One for the adventurous and specialist walkers, Eas a’ Chual Aluinn is Britain’s highest waterfall that can be accessed through a tricky but worthwhile trek. WalkHighlands has outlined the best possible route, spanning six miles and takes 5.5hours, which takes you up towards the top of the falls. Head here to walk and gaze over the Loch na Gainmhich.
Check out WalkHighlands before you head here for more information, maps and where best to stay in the local area.
For those lucky enough to be heading to Cornwall this summer season, pinpoint St Nectan’s Kieve in Tintagel for a daytrip. Home to one of the world’s most stunning natural waterfalls, the space is considered one of the UK’s most spiritual sites and sees thousands of visitors head here every year to find some peace of mind and tranquility.
Embark on the pretty woodland walk that sees you end up at the waterfall and Hermitage call that sits amongst ivy clad trees and runs alongside the River Trevillet. The waterfall itself sweeps down over 60 feet and punched a hole through the original kieve (basin), where it now rushes into a valley.
Trethevy, Tintagel, PL34 0BG
Thornton Force, Yorkshire Dales
A popular destination with both locals and tourists, Thornton Force can be found along the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail and is said to be the most popular fall along the trail.
You do have to pay to visit the trail, however it’s well worth the trek for Thornton Force alone. The river plunges over 14 metres across the limestone cliff and provides the perfect picnic stop off before venturing along Twistleton Lane.
Thornton Lane, Carnforth LA6 3JH
Anywhere with ‘fairy’ in the name is no doubt going to feel a little magical and Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye certainly does.
Located at the foot of the Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle, the Fairy Pools provide the perfect space for wild swimming come the summer time. Expect crystal clear waters awaiting at the bottom of the gushing falls.
Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye IV47 8TA
Boasting a whopping 90feet drop, the Henrhyd Falls is the tallest waterfall in southern Wales. Located on a national trust area, the waterfall walk is beautiful and sees you setting off by crossing a wooden bridge before continuing along the footpath to the waterfall. Sessile oak and ash trees will surround you as you venture up on your trek.
Dol Henrhyd, Coelbren, Neath, SA10 9PH
Once home to destructive waters of the East Lyn River that flooded the area in 1952, it is now home to waters that provide hydroelectric power for the entire village of Lynmouth.
Glen Lyn Gorge, located in Exmoor, is home to waterfalls and boulder fields, and provides the perfect retreat for a fun family-friendly day out. Head down and uncover the hidden world of waterfalls, riverside views and woodland life.
Head to Aberdulais Falls and uncover the secrets of the industrial revolution, that’s powered by water since 1584. It’s here that the area has been the beating heart of the industrial centre of pioneering since the sixteenth century and provides the Welsh small village with cutting edge technologies. Delve into the history and discover the old mills and waterfall that still lie here today.
Main Road, Aberdulais, Neath, SA10 8EU
Hardraw Force, Yorkshire
Boasting a mega 100foot drop, the Hardraw Force waterfall in North Yorkshire can be found within the grounds of the history Green Dragon Inn. Despite having the pay to enter the area, it’s definitely well worth the visit for a beautiful photo backdrop and lunch at the little inn.
The Heritage Centre, Hardraw, Hawes, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3LZ.