The Best Waterfalls in the UK | 5 Which You Need to Visit

Written by Shayle Follows

We have some seriously impressive waterfalls in the UK that you can visit and they’re actually really easy to get to. Here are 5 of the best waterfalls in the UK you should visit.

In this article, we’re going to show off to you 5 of the best waterfalls in the UK. We are going to let you know where they are, walking routes, how easy they are to get to and accommodation nearby so that you can plan your next adventure and get exploring some stunning parts of the UK.

Waterfalls are even more beautiful when it’s raining, so don’t worry too much about the weather.

1. Aira Force, Lake District

Aira Force Waterfall, Lake District, UK

Probably the most famous fall in the Lake District, Aira Force is located in Matterdale. This is an extremely popular fall so be a little wary that it can get quite busy at peak times of the year. If you love waterfalls then this impressive fall is a great place to visit. It’s an approximately 22m fall with a car park nearby for easy access.

Whilst visiting you can take in the surrounding Ullswater area. Aira Force provides a glimpse of a landscaped Victorian park with dramatic waterfalls, arboretum and rocks scenery.

What we love about this fall is that you can get to this pretty spot so easily. There are several paths to and around Aira Force waterfall. The lower track through allows you to wander through pretty woodland. Lot’s of people say that this is a top spot for spotting red squirrels. The route is flat and the path is even.

The waterfall is really magical and a real sight to see when in full force. For a decent view looking down at the waterfall, you can walk to the top and look down from the bridge.

You can enjoy this waterfall while trying one of our easy Lake District walks for beginners.

Fun Fact: After a walk along this part of UllswaterWordsworth wrote his most famous poem, ‘Daffodils’ (‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’). See ‘Daffodils at Wordsworth Point, Glencoyne Bay

Ways you can visit Aira Force waterfall

Accommodation nearby

The Inn on the Lake – This award-winning 4-star hotel in Glenridding enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the Lake District, in 15 acres of grounds with lawns sweeping to the shores of Lake Ullswater. 2.8 miles from Aira Force.

Address: Inn on the Lake, Ullswater, Glenridding, CA11 0PE.

Reservations: 0800 840 1245

Reception: 017684 82444

2. High Force, County Durham

High Force is one of the best waterfalls in the UK

High Force is surrounded by the stunning countryside of Upper Teesdale and is situated in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is the perfect place to view a variety of animals and plants throughout the different seasons, you might even spot a Roe Deer.

High Force waterfall in County Durham honestly lives up to its name. You can find High Force at Forest-in-Teesdale. The River Tees has been plunging into this gorge for thousands of years and the rocks it reveals are have origins dating back over 300 million years.

High Force can get busy and it is really popular with visitors. It has a visitor centre, car park and facilities that you can visit. This might not quite be the tallest of England’s waterfalls however it does have the highest volume of water falling over an unbroken drop and stands at around 22 metres high.

Ways you can visit High Force waterfall

Accommodation nearby

The High Force Hotel – If you’re looking for dog-friendly accommodation that’s great value for money, providing character, charm and the best personal service, you are looking in the right place. You can walk to the bottom of the waterfall from here.

Address: Alston Road, Forest-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle, DL12 0XH.

Telephone: +44 (0)1833 622336

3. Catrigg Force, Yorkshire

Catrigg Force Waterfall in Yorkshire

For the lovers of all things magical, this fall is like visiting a spot from a fairytale. This might not be up there as one of the largest or most impressive waterfalls there is but Catrigg Force offers the most peaceful experience. It truly is a hidden gem, this waterfall lies deep within a wooded gorge and is a perfect secluded spot located just North of Stainforth village, part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The main waterfall has a vertical drop of about 6 metres into a step-pool.

Close by is a National Park car park. From the same car park, it is also only a short walk to Stainforth Force, another dramatic waterfall.

Fun Fact: A favourite haunt of composer Edward Elgar!

A perfect place for those travellers who want to connect with nature. It is loved by everyone who finds it.

Ways you can visit Catrigg Force waterfall

  • This circular walk visits the beautiful Catrigg Force waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s a wonderful spot and can be easily reached from Stainforth. This longer walk starts at Settle and involves some more challenging hill climbing. 7 miles.

Accommodation nearby

Middle Studfold Farm –  Ideally located for Walkers, Cyclists and those and those that just want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Yorkshire Dales.

Address: Studfold, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Settle, BD24 0ER.

Telephone: 01729 860401 or 07894 058792

4. St. Nectan’s Glen, Cornwall

St. Nectan’s Glen is one of the most popular waterfalls in the UK

Situated not too far from Tintagel in North Cornwall, you’ll find the picturesque St Nectan’s Glen. A vast area of woodland featuring a number of waterfalls. This includes the 60 ft Nectan’s Kieve as pictured above which over time has punched a hole through the rocks!

If you want to reach the waterfalls the glen will take you on an adventure through Ivy clad trees along the River Trevillet.

The Kieve is considered a sacred place and the area now features numerous offerings of ribbons, crystals, inscriptions, prayers and more all over the rock and foliage near to the fall. A spiritual place of hope and wonder that you won’t forget visiting.

St Nectan’s Glen is a place where animals and birds play amid a mysticism of fairies, pixies and spirits, serenaded by the wonderful sound of bird song.

Ways you can visit St. Nectan’s Glen 

  • Circular walk through St Nectan’s Glen and Rocky Valley – The walk starts from Bossiney, heading out across fields to the hamlet of Halgabron then down into the woods of St Nectan’s Glen. 3.9 miles.
  • Circular walk along the beautiful wooded valley and river of St Nectan’s Glen. 1.88 miles.

Accommodation nearby

Padstow Harbour Hotel – A 4-star recently-renovated Victorian boutique hotel offering sweeping harbour views, perched above the charismatic fishing port of Padstow. It’s the quintessential Cornwall getaway. 13 miles from St Nectan’s Glen.

Address: Padstow Harbour Hotel, Station Rd, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8DB

Telephone: 01841 532486

5. Falling Foss Waterfall, North Yorkshire

Falling Foss Waterfall

Last but certainly not least on our list of the best waterfalls in the UK (and our personal favourite) is Falling Foss Waterfall in North Yorkshire.

Falling Foss is such a pretty waterfall and can be accessed by wandering through ancient woodland on either side of Littlebeck and Maybeck.

Travelling by car it is on the B1416 road approximately four miles south of Whitby, passing over the bridge through Ruswarp and on to the Red Gate bend. Follow the sign for the parking Sneaton Forest Car Park.

In the woods nearby you’ll come across Midge Hall, a gamekeeper’s cottage built in the 1780s and recently renovated in 2008, now known as Falling Foss Tea Gardens. Open April to October, stop here for hot chocolate, tasty homemade soup or to toast some marshmallows.

Homemade soup at Falling Foss Tearooms
Homemade soup at Falling Foss Tearooms

The 30’ Falling Foss waterfall is particularly spectacular after heavy rain and is on the Falling Foss Forest Trail in Sneaton Forest. There are a few different walks found here, either starting from the car park, Littlebeck, or Sleights.

Fun Fact: The hermit of Falling Foss

Not far from Falling Foss waterfall is a cave carved out of a boulder. It is affectionately known by the locals as ‘The Hermitage’ and dates from as far back as the 18th century. It was once the secluded home of a hermit. The woods provided food, fuel, shelter and building materials!

Ways you can visit Falling Foss

  • Circular route that passes an idyllic woodland tea garden and the 30-foot Falling Foss waterfall. 2 miles.
  • Circular walk starting in the Forestry Commission car park near Falling Foss. 3.4 miles.

Accommodation nearby

Bagdale Hall  – An old Tudor manor house dating back to 1516. 4.6 miles from Falling Foss.

Address: 1 Bagdale, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 1QL

Telephone: 01947 602958

We hope you have enjoyed reading about these 5 waterfalls in the UK you need to visit! Hopefully, we have inspired you to take a trip. Let us know your favourite UK waterfall in the comments.

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