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Aysgarth Falls

Coordinates: 54°17′37.09″N 1°58′56.00″W / 54.2936361°N 1.9822222°W / 54.2936361; -1.9822222
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Aysgarth Falls
The Upper Falls seen from the bridge
LocationAysgarth, North Yorkshire
Coordinates54°17′37.09″N 1°58′56.00″W / 54.2936361°N 1.9822222°W / 54.2936361; -1.9822222
Number of drops3
Run200 feet (61 m)
WatercourseRiver Ure
The Middle Falls from the North bank
The Lower Falls from the riverside

Aysgarth Falls are a triple flight of waterfalls,[1] surrounded by woodland and farmland, carved out by the River Ure over an almost one-mile (two-kilometre) stretch on its descent to mid-Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales of England, near the village Aysgarth. The falls are quite spectacular after heavy rainfall as thousands of gallons of water cascade over the series of broad limestone steps, which are divided into three stages: Upper Force, Middle Force and Lower Force.[2]

The falls are an SSSI.[3]



Aysgarth Falls have attracted visitors for more than 200 years, including John Ruskin, J. M. W. Turner and William Wordsworth[4], all of whom enthused about the falls' outstanding beauty.[5] The falls were created when meltwater from the Ice Age that had been held back by a terminal moraine spilled down over the area and eroded the boulder clay and the bedrock limestone underneath.[6][7] The falls drop 200 feet (61 m) over a half-mile section of the river.[8]

The Falls are situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There is a visitors' centre with an exhibition, information, items for sale, a café, toilets and a pay-and-display car park.[9]

There are public footpaths through the wooded valley, offering views of the river and falls.[10] Wild flowers appear in the spring and summer, for example snowdrops in January and February, primroses in April and bluebells in May, and birds, squirrels and deer may also be seen. Occasionally salmon can be seen leaping up the falls in autumn. Nearby is St Andrew's Church, which reputedly has the largest churchyard in England. The church has a medieval painted wooden screen rescued from the destroyed Jervaulx Abbey.[11]

The name originates from Old Norse and means the open space in the oak trees.[12]


All three falls were featured in the films Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights,[13][14] and they were featured on the television programme Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of the North.[15]

See also



  1. ^ "Wensleydale Yorkshire History". englandsnortheast.co.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  2. ^ Fellows, Griffith (2003). The waterfalls of England : a guide to the best 200. Wilmslow: Sigma Leisure. p. 136. ISBN 1-85058-767-1.
  3. ^ "Aysgarth SSSI". designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Aysgarth Falls". Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  5. ^ Hill, Daniel; Warburton, Stanley (1980). Turner in Yorkshire. York: York City Art Gallery. p. 79. ISBN 0950325015.
  6. ^ Wright, Geoffrey (1986). The Yorkshire Dales. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 27. ISBN 0-7153-8702-2.
  7. ^ Waltham, Tony (2007). The Yorkshire Dales: landscape and geology. Ramsbury: Crowood press. p. 95. ISBN 9781861269720.
  8. ^ Bagshaw, Mike (2019) [2014]. Slow travel Yorkshire Dales (2 ed.). Chalfont St Peter: Bradt. p. 140. ISBN 978-1-78477-609-1.
  9. ^ "Aysgarth Falls". yorkshiredales.org.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  10. ^ "Walks around Aysgarth Falls". Walks in Yorkshire. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  11. ^ "St Andrew's, Aysgarth". A Church Near You. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Aysgarth and Aysgarth Falls". Yorkshire Dales trail. Archived from the original on 28 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Filming locations in Yorkshire". Yorkshire.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Filming in the Yorkshire Dales". yorkshiredales.org.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  15. ^ "BBC - Seven Wonders - Aysgarth Falls". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 January 2016.