The English countryside boasts some of the best views and trails for exploration. If you’ve found yourself aching for an adventure, a trip to one of the UK’s spectacular waterfalls could give you the dopamine fix you need. If you’re looking for a great way to spice up your vacation, or if you just want to do a bit of trekking for the weekend, here are some of the UK’s best waterfall spots for tourists and weekend trekkers!

Top 10 Waterfalls in the UK That You Should Visit

Your vacation bucket list for a trip to the UK won’t be complete without seeing at least a few of these marvels. Here are ten of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the United Kingdom:

1. Pistyll Rhaeadr, Wales

Pistyll Rhaeadr
“Pistyll Rhaeadr”, by JefeMixtli, licensed under CC0 1.0 DEED

Nestled in the Berwyn Mountains of Wales, Pistyll Rhaeadr is the tallest cascade waterfall in the country at 240 feet. A nearby car park offers two paths to this magnificent waterfall. The short path is a favourite for families with little ones, while the more scenic longer path is a must-pick for any would-be adventurer. An on-site restaurant and tea room offer a rustic selection of breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Revered as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Wales,’ Pistyll Rhaeadr was believed to have formed after a giant serpent who lived in the lake above the falls slid down to the town below and picked off any misbehaving children! You can always share this little tale with your little ones if they get too rowdy.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: Less than 1 mile
Time: 35 minutes

2. Aira Force, Lake District

Aira Force
“Aira Force”, by Peter S., licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Aira Force is so beautiful, it has inspired poetry. No kidding! William Woodsworth is said to have written a lyric dedicated to Aira Force in 1836 as the waterfall’s natural beauty inspired him. The waterfall stands at 65 feet and is located in a picturesque forest. One of its main highlights is a viewing platform that offers a vantage point from which you can see the surrounding estate and the flowing water.

The way to Aira Force includes a family-friendly 1.3-mile hike that circles around the waterfall, great for a weekend walk with the kids. The falls also have a beautiful antique bridge that adds a bit of magic to the scenery.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 5.6 miles
Time: 2 hours

3. Waterfall Country, Brecon Beacons

Waterfall Country
“Waterfall Country”, by Keith Lawson, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

This next one isn’t one big waterfall, but several small ones all grouped together and collectively named Waterfall Country. This collection of waterfalls rests in Brecon Beacons National Park’s wooded valleys. The best part about going to Waterfall Country is the many options you’ll have when choosing a location. The most famous trip for people visiting Waterfall Country is the Four Waterfalls Walk which takes you to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr, and Sgwd-yr-Eir. There are also parts of the waterfalls where the water is shallow and slow enough to walk behind, giving you a unique viewing experience.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.8 miles
Time: 2 to 3 hours

4. Becky Falls, Dartmoor

Becky Falls
“Becky Falls”, by Nigel Cox, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A favourite for many families and weekend trekkers, Becky Falls rests on a beautiful hiking trail in a nature park in Dartmoor. Known to many as Becka Falls, this relatively low waterfall with a 20-meter drop features a curtain of water weaving through boulders and trees, forming several small streams. It’s located next to a hiking trail, perfect for young families who want to experience a bit of nature on their time off.

Since the waterfalls are in a protected park area, you can expect to pay a fee. You will, however, be paying for the convenience of a nearby car park.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 7.3 miles
Time: 4 to 5 hours

5. Hardraw Force, Yorkshire Dales

Hardraw Force
“Hardraw Force”, by Nilfanion, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

England’s Hardraw Force’s name suits it as the biggest single-drop cascade waterfall in the country. The mighty waterfall flows behind the historic Green Dragon Inn in Yorkshire. Speaking of history, you’ll find plenty here, as the falls are believed to be over 340 million years old!

This trail is best suited for more experienced hikers as it usually takes visitors an average of three hours to finish the roughly six-mile hike to Hardraw Force. You’ll also encounter lots of wildlife and an unimpeded view of the local landscape. This is also where the film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” filmed the scene where Maid Marion finds Robin Hood bathing under a waterfall.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 7 miles
Time: 3 to 4 hours

6. St. Nectan’s Glen, Cornwall

St. Nectan’s Glen
“St. Nectan’s Glen”, by Andrew Hackney, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This magical, almost mystical location is home to several waterfalls. Nectan’s Kieve is the most famous and attracts the most visitors. You can reach the glen through a walk down the River Trevillet. Nectan’s Kieve has even punched a hole through a rock, giving it an ethereal appeal. Many people also consider the site sacred as many have left ribbons, crystals, and inscriptions of prayers in the glen.

Many have also reported seeing ethereal beings as well as strange creatures populating the glen when there aren’t a lot of people visiting. Be sure to have your cameras ready to capture one of these sightings.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.5 miles
Time: 2 to 3 hours

7. Gaping Gill, Yorkshire Dales

Gaping Gill
“Gaping Gill”, by Andrew Tryon, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Gaping Gill is an unusual waterfall found in one of Yorkshire Dales’ iconic caves. The waterfall sits in the largest cave chamber in Britain. The chamber is so massive that a cathedral may fit in it.

The cave is only open to the public for a week twice a year, otherwise, only experienced cave explorers are allowed inside. It’s safe to say this waterfall would be for the more determined bunch as you are required to pay a fee as well as put on safety equipment before being lowered into the cave. The trail to the cave entrance takes you through the Ingleborough Estate in the National Park Centre.

Difficulty: Medium
Length: 6 miles
Time: 2 to 3 hours

8. Eas A’ Chual Aluinn, Sutherland

Eas A’  Chual Aluinn
“Eas A’ Chual Aluinn”, by Colin Price, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

From a distance, Eas A’ Chua boasts an awe-inspiring and breathtaking sight. This cascade waterfall is the tallest in both Scotland and the UK. Seeing pictures of this waterfall won’t do it justice. If you have the time and the energy for this hike, we strongly suggest to go visit it. There are many ways to view this towering marvel as boat tours are offered at different viewing points. Some suggest travelling with Kylesku Boat Tours as it gives you a great close-up view of the falls.

You may also traverse the two-hour hike to Eas A’ Chual Aluinn by foot. The trek isn’t as technical as you might think and can accomplished even by beginner hikers. Taking the Loch na Gainmhich trail many believe is the best way to experience the journey to this wonder.

Difficulty: Medium
Length: 6 miles
Time: 4 to 5 hours

9. Mealt Falls, Isle of Skye

Mealt Falls
“Mealt Falls”, by Colin, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Mealt Falls is unique as it’s the only one in this list that plunges over a cliff face. That’s right, Mealt Falls flows out over Kilt’s Rock cliff into the Sound of Raasay. It’s also one of the most accessible falls on this list as you can reach it by car. Along the A855, you’ll see signs leading you to Mealt Falls’ location. You’ll find yourself at an observation deck overlooking the cliffs. Here, you’ll have a panoramic, almost 360-degree view of the whole thing plunging into the sea.

The unique thing about Mealt Falls is its location. Located on the Isle of Skye near a highway, this makes Mealt Falls extremely accessible, to those who don’t want to spend a day’s hike. You can simply load up your car and go for a quick drive to see it.

Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1 mile
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

10. Falls of Glomach, Rosshire, Scotland

Falls of Glomach
“Falls of Glomach”, by David Brown, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re looking to get lost in the scenery and immerse yourself in nature to forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday city life, then the Falls of Glomach is your next destination. The Falls is one of the tallest cascade waterfalls in Scotland and one of the largest in the whole of the UK.

Tucked away in the Scottish Highlands, the Falls of Glomach is perfect for those who want to take on a full day’s adventure. It’s even great for anyone who wants to camp out. The Falls gives one of the most breathtaking views, but you’ll have to work hard for it. The challenging 14-mile hike will test any trekker’s endurance and skill. A conservative estimate will put you at about seven hours of hiking on a good day.

Thanks to its secluded nature, the Falls of Glomach don’t get lots of visitors. This also means that you won’t have to contend with a mob of tourists and vacationers for a peak at this majestic cascade.

Difficulty: Hard
Length: 13.75 miles
Time: 6 to 7 hours

5 Tips When Visiting Waterfalls in the UK

Whether you’re a thrill-seeking nature adventurer or a family of five looking for a relaxing day away from your mobile phone screens, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind no matter the type of adventure you are heading into. Here are a few simple tips to remember when visiting waterfalls in the UK:

Always remember to leave early.

You don’t know what type of weather, traffic, or road problems you’ll encounter on your trip. If you are going to run into some trouble, it’s best to run into it early on. There’s nothing worse than having to cancel your trip due to not having enough time for the trip back.

Don’t forget to read up on the destination.

Wherever you will be going, it’s best to do a bit of research on the destination. The locals will surely appreciate it. It may also save you lots of time as you’ll need to ask around a bit less. Researching also allows you to prepare for your trip so that you know exactly what you’ll be going into. This means you can prepare your equipment if needed, and you can plan your vacation efficiently.

Bring cash wherever you go.

A few of the mentioned spots in this list require a fee to get in. Sometimes, these places may be a bit remote and might not accept cards. It’s best to have even just a little bit of cash on hand. You’ll never know when a bit of cash can get you a long way, so it’s best to have some at the ready.

You need to dress for occasion.

We’ve seen this mistake one too many times. A lot of people would dress up for the camera first and the hike second. Make sure you’re wearing weather-appropriate clothing for the hike. Sometimes, a two-hour hike can turn into six, so it’s best to pick out something that you’ll be comfortable in even if you have to wear it the whole day.

Get energised for your upcoming hike.

Make sure you eat plenty, sleep early, and drink lots of water. Nothing sucks more than being the one who lags behind a hiking trail because you are too tired to keep going. Hikes are incredibly tiring and cardio-intensive. Make sure you bring adequate snacks and water with you whenever you go on a hike.

Final Thoughts

For us, a trip to the UK won’t be complete if you don’t visit at least a few of its natural wonders. The English countryside boasts some of the most spectacular views and most beautiful natural scenery. From the list, you can see that there’s more to the UK than pubs and royal palaces. Some of its hidden gems boast marvellous natural wonders and breathtaking views. Be sure to jot down a few of these waterfalls when planning your next quick vacation.

Featured Image: “Hardraw Force”, by Nilfanion, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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