It’s a place I first visited with my parents back in the late 1970’s an have probably been at least 25 times in the intervening forty years. It had however been quite a while since my last visit to Ingleton Falls, but on a beautiful early Autumn day, I decided to make the journey over to ‘the dark side’ with Ava and Archie (the Fabulous Airedale).

Firstly, if it’s peace an quiet your after, Ingleton Falls probably isn’t what you’re after – It does get very busy, particularly on such a lovely day; Secondly, with a cost of admission of £10 per adult and £5 for a child for access the privately owned trail, it could end up an expensive day out for a family (Dogs go free!).

However, once you’ve handed over your money and passed through the ‘theme park’ style turnstiles, you are transported into a different world and the thousand greens of the lush, green, ‘Swilla Glen’ and the gentle hum of insects busily pollinating the many wild flowers that carpet either side of the path. All of this is set to the seemingly every changing rhythm and sound from the River Twiss, tumbling it’s way down from the high limestone crags above, cutting and shaping the rocks over many thousands of years, into what has now become this steep sided river valley which seems to have a new and ever more magnificent waterfall waiting to be discovered around every twist and turn of the path.

Think Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest; think The Hobbit and Bag End in Hobbiton, Westfarthing and then you’ll have an idea as to the scenery and atmosphere created by the river and it’s surroundings – you can’t help but relax and allow the daily stresses to drain from you one step at a time. I’d forgotten just how beautiful it was.

It isn’t long into the walk through the magnificent Oaks, Beech and other broadleaved trees, that the background noise increases and, as you follow the path as it turns to the right, there through the Wood ‘Pecca Falls’ come into view in all their glory – Agreed, Pecca Falls is no Niagara or Angel falls, but it doesn’t need to be; the fact it just ‘appears’ adds to its magic, and the moss and lichen covered rocks, coupled today with beams of dappled sunlight shining through the canopy, serve to enhance the whole dreamlike experience.

Once you have left Pecca Falls behind, you are transported upward past a number of other falls and viewing spots with names such as ‘Hollybush Spout’, ‘Cuckoo Island’ and eventually reach the tallest and most impressive of the falls, ‘Thornton Force’. Thornton Force cascades into a large pool and today many visitors were taking the opportunity to have a picnic and rest their weary limbs; some of the braver ones were even having a swim. Again, the beauty of the location is simply breath-taking, as the photo below shows only too well.

At the top of Thornton Force you have reached the high point of your walk and you are presented with a true North Yorkshire sight of rolling hills and grassland with light grey limestone rocks and crags on show all around – we were even treated to the wonderful spectacle of two Ravens, Corvus corax engaging in aerial acrobatics with what looked like an adult and two juvenile Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus – A more typical scene you really couldn’t wish to see and one which 20 years ago you more than likely wouldn’t have seen due to the persecution and indiscriminate killing of both species of these magnificent birds. It also made me a little bit sad that of the forty or so people that had stopped at this high point for an ice-cream and lollipop, almost all of them were completely oblivious to the aerial display taking place just above their heads – my advice, always look up!

We’re now at the halfway point and pass through ‘Twistleton Near Barn’ and ‘Beezleys Farm’ before moving onto and into the catchment area for the River Doe. This time however, rather than going uphill and against the flow, we are following the river as it tumbles relentlessly towards the sea. Almost immediately as you pass through Beezleys Farm you are into more broadleaved woodland and your descent is slowed as you arrive at strategically placed viewing platforms and marvel at even more waterfalls and ‘fairy pools’ – the names are just as captivating as on the ascent and we pass ‘Beezley Falls’, ‘Triple Spout’, ‘Rival Falls’, ‘Baxenghyll Gorge’ and ‘Snow Falls’ and then as the gorge opens up, you are at once transported from your green and pleasant idyll, straight into the Industrial Age with a now disused quarry and the ruined lime Kilns that it used to serve.

And here, just over four miles later, you are delivered back into Ingleton village where you have plenty of options for a café stop, a more substantial meal at one of the restaurants, or a stop off at one of the pubs the village has to offer. A great day out enjoyed by us all, although Archie would definitely have preferred it a little cooler! If you’ve not been, you must and if you can time your visit to occur just after some heavy rains, your experience will be all the more dramatic.

Thanks for reading and to follow are a some video and photos from the around the trail. Enjoy 🙂

Wood Pecca (North Yorkshire Style) – 03/09/23

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *