West of Ribblesdale, in the south western corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the rivers Doe and Twiss drain the limestone uplands southwest of Whernside and Ingleborough to meet at the village of Ingleton. Both rivers run through densely wooded gorges on their respective approaches to Ingleton, and within these gorges lays England's greatest concentration of waterfalls.

The two river valleys have been developed into a spectacular scenic walk. Neither valley carries a right of way, both arms of the walk laying within the ownership of the Ingleton Waterfalls Company, who charge visitors £3.50 each (or £7.00 for families) for access. The fee is very well worth paying, for this walk is one of supreme scenic value. The walk has been open to the public since 1885. It is not for the infirm, featuring a number of steep, narrow and rocky sections, and it takes some three to four hours to complete (allowing plenty of stops to linger). It's usual to tackle the route clockwise, walking north along the Twiss and then south along the Doe.

Click on any of the thumbnails for a full-sized image.

From the car park and shop / cafe at the Ingleton end of the Twiss, the route runs initially along the west bank of the river through woodland, to arrive at the locality of Swilla Glen, seen here. The highlight of Swilla Glen is this rocky dell cut deep into the limestone.

North of Swilla Glen the path crosses to the east bank by way of Manor Bridge, and beyond here is Pecca Glen. You soon arrive at the first waterfall, the lower Pecca Falls.

There are five falls in this series, most of them provided with wooden observation platforms, but not all of them are easy to see. The falls drop almost 100 feet over sills of sandstone, and the connecting path is carried along an airy series of zigzags after crossing back to the west bank via Pecca Bridge.

Next you come to Pecca Twin Falls, not high but quite wide, formed of twin drops under normal flow conditions (in spate these would join up into one wide cascade).

The path continues along steep wooden walkways and rocky terraces to reach Hollybush Spout, a fall of around 30 feet set deeply within a narrow, rocky cleft.

Above Hollybush Spout the walk suddenly clears the trees and you find yourself in an open area immediately south of a huge bowl through which the river curves to the right. A refreshment kiosk is situated here.

At the other end of the bowl is the scenic highlight of the Twiss - Thornton Force.

Thornton Force is roughly 50 feet high and is undoubtedly England's most spectacular waterfall. Not the biggest (which is High Force in Teesdale), nor the highest (which is Hardrow Force in upper Wensleydale) but surely the prettiest. Try to time your arrival here in the early afternoon, beforw which the falls will be in shadow. The falls leap over a tree-lined limestone cliff to plunge into a rocky pool, which in turn drains into the rocky channel heading downstream to Hollybush Spout. There is an overhang and, with care, it's possible to climb behind the fall.

The path is carried around the fall to the north by a flight of stone steps. The feeder stream above runs through a wide grassy gorge, a popular picnic site.

This is a locality named Raven Ray, and the path follows the river high above a left-hand curve to cross it at Raven Ray footbridge. To the north, the limestone slopes of Keld Head Scars rise to the summit of Gragareth.

Above the footbridge we join Twistleton Lane, a farm track and public footpath heading southeast under the limestone outcrops of Twistleton Scars towards Scar End and Twistleton Hall farms.

Beyond Twistleton Hall the lane heads downhill to Beezley's Farm on the Chapel-le-Dale road. Just across the river Doe (crossed by a series of stepping stones) are White Scar Caves, on the lower slopes of Ingleborough, whose flat top towers above the valley.

At Beezley's Farm the route runs down into the wood to join the river Doe and the second arm of the waterfalls walk. Immediately you encounter Beezley Falls.

Immediately below Beezley Falls the river turns to the left in a narrow rocky gorge, and here you find the Triple Spout, three falls side by side. As well as the waterfalls the rock and woodland scenery here is first class.

Further cascades and rapids enliven the airy walk through the gorge. Once again the path is carries along rocky terraces and wooden walkways along the west bank of the river, to arrive at Rival Falls a few hundred metres south of Beezley Falls. Rival falls features two cascades seperated by a plunge pool. The lower cascade usually seperates into two falls either side of a rocky knobble.

South of Rival Falls is the Doe's scenic gem, Baxenghyll Gorge. Here the Doe carves a deep, narrow gorge sixty feet down into the rock. A number of twists and turns keep the interest at maximum and ensure a new scenic vista every few yards. At a strategic spot a viewing platform is slung high above the gorge. It's not a place for those with a fear of heights, and it's also not a good idea to crowd the platform - if there are a number of people on it or waiting for access, allow them to clear. There are several falls within the gorge, presumably Baxengyll Force but the map doesn't say.

The gorge opens out into the first of several rocky dells. The first of these features limestone shelves falling to the riverbank. The river is very narrow here and the adventurous can leap across. Immediately below this dell is the last of the cascades, Snow Falls.

Below Snow Falls a footbridge carries the path over to the east side of the Doe, and below here is a wide rocky dell, another perfect picnic spot.

The path now improves and runs through the woodlands of Twisleton Glen before coming into an open area above Ingleton.  On the opposite bank is an old quarry which nature has reclaimed and which looks very picturesque. Just below this is the site of an old quarry workshop.

Opposite the old quarry the private path of the Ingleton Waterfalls Company joins a lane, a public footpath, which runs around a left-hand bend into Ingleton village. Here you can explore a while, reward yourself with a drink or an ice cream, and perhaps visit the riverside park.

My journey took me back by bus to Settle and thence by train to Skipton. A thoroughly splendid day.

Now available on CD - the high resolution (2560 x 1920 pixel) originals of the images on this gallery. 133 images, 207MB of data. (includes some images not selected for the website).

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This page last updated 10th November 2005