What is it about waterfalls that draws us to them?
Is it the roar and force of the waterfall that is so enthralling? Or, perhaps it’s the fact that there seems to be no limit to their power and energy, with their never-ending flow of water being a constant source of wonder.
Maybe it’s just that they always seem to be in idyllic beauty spots, unhindered or spoilt by human endeavour.
What’s certain is that waterfalls seem as popular as ever. In an age where everyone is so busy and continually on the move, they have the ability to make people step out of their hectic everyday lives and just – for a few moments – stand back in wonder.
Five waterfalls really worth a visit are Stock Ghyll Force, Ambleside , Aber Falls in North Wales, Hardraw force and Aysgill force in the Yorkshire Dales and Aira Force near Ullswater in the Lake District.
Stock Ghyll Force Ambleside
A popular Lake District waterfall is Stock Ghyll Force, just a short walk from the town of Ambleside.
The small town nestled on the northern tip of the Lake Windermere and is a primary destination for hill walkers and hikers.
At the top of the town you will see the Salutation Hotel. Take the lane to the side of the hotel and follow the signposts.
Soon you find yourself walking gently uphill along a road. The Stock Ghyll River can be see (and heard) to your left as you gently climb higher.
After 10 minutes or so, you will see a pathway to you left. Follow this path through the trees and you’ll soon come to Stock Ghyll Force.
Seeing Aber Falls requires a little effort. It’s about a mile’s walk from the nearest car a park at Bont Newydd, just near Abergwyngregyn at Junction 13 of the A55.
It’s a really pleasant stroll up along the river. You can hear the falls before you see them.
The falls themselves are an impressive 120 foot drop. Water collects and gathers in the Carneddau mountain range and then launches itself off the mountainside on its way to the Irish Sea.
The water spray and sheer force of the falls take you back. You can’t help being impressed.
You pass through the Inn and follow a path for about 200 metres before you witness what’s claimed to be the largest single drop waterfall in England.
The water flowing over this 100 foot drop is very impressive. Perhaps not as raw and powerful as Aber Falls, but very pretty and scenic. Because the water falls into an alcoved pool, there’s an intimate intensity about these waterfalls.
Although there’s an impressive 70 feet waterfall at Aira force, near Ullsawater, the ability to walk alongside the water on a network of paths must be the main attraction of this site.
Water flows from Gowbarrow summit down into Ullswater itself. Visitors can walk up from Ullswater through wooded gullies to watch and witness the water thundering through a series of narrow gullies.
Now owned by the National Trust, these falls are the largest and most spectacular in the Lake District.
See our blog about a circular walk at Aysgill force in Yorkshire .