Exploring Aysgarth Falls and a circular walk to West Burton. A superb waterfall route in the Yorkshire Dales


Aysgarth Falls walk waterfall Yorkshire Dales West Burton
Aysgarth Falls is perhaps the most impressive set of waterfalls in Northern England and this blog post shows you how to see them all...

Aysgarth Falls, the best waterfall walk in the Yorkshire Dales? 

Aysgarth Falls is an impressive area for waterfalls and consists of three sections of waterfalls carved out by the River Ure in the Yorkshire Dales. It's perhaps my favourite place in the whole of Northern England to enjoy the cascading water. Aysgarth Falls consists of Upper (pictured above), Middle and Lower Falls. If you visit the area I really do recommend you see all 3 sections and my personal favourite is actually the lower falls that not every visitor to the area see's. 

This blog post is split in 2 parts really - the first section is a little guide on exploring Aysgarth Falls, a must do activity first & foremost - and then I've shared a favourite longer walk of mine from Aysgarth Falls which heads to West Burton and back.

Exploring Aysgarth Upper, Middle & Lower Falls

Visiting the waterfalls at Aysgarth is really accessible and there is a visitor centre to park at, with cafe & toilets. From there it's quite easy to walk to the Upper, Middle & Lower Falls. On the map below I've highlighted the 3 waterfall sections and the only way to see all three is to walk along the clearly marked footpath on the northern edge of the River Ure. From the car park at the Aysgath Falls visitor centre - I like to walk to the Upper Falls first (5 min walk) then retrace my steps back to the visitor centre and then take the path to the Middle and then Lower Falls. All in all it’s only a 1.3 mile walk - but you’ll want to stop and admire all the waterfalls.

Here you can see the 3 sections of Aysgarth Falls, and I really do recommend you visit all 3. The full walk is only about 1.3 miles and can be done in 30-45mins. Whenever I'm bringing anyone to the Aysgarth area or even passing through I'll do this quick walk to see all the impressive water falls and I’ll never tire of seeing them.

Aysgarth Falls walk waterfall Yorkshire Dales West Burton
Aysgarth Upper Falls as seen from the road bridge. The footpath from the Visitor Centre Car Park takes you up along the river to the right of the photo

You can walk up really close to the waterfalls at Aysgarth Upper Falls. Some of you might recognise Aysgarth Upper Falls from the movie 'Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves' - it's where Robin Hood played by Kevin Coster & Friar Tuck had a ruck :-)

From Aysgarth Upper Falls you can then retrace your steps and then head a little down the River Ure to Aysgarth Middle Falls which has it's own viewing platform.

A little further downstream is Aysgarth Lower Falls and this section of waterfalls is my favourite. The clearly marked footpath leads you to this superb vantage point.

At Aysgarth Lower Falls most only venture to the area in the photo above this one - however if you get back on the footpath and continue downstream a 100m or so, with a little scramble down and then head back up via the riverside rocks at river level you can get at the foot of Aysgarth Lower Falls and it's perhaps my favourite viewpoint along the entire stretch of Aysgarth Falls

A longer circular walk from Aysgarth Falls to West Burton and back

Most visitors to Aysgarth Falls only go to see all three sections of Aysgarth Falls shown above. However if you want a longer walk to do to make more of a day of it, then I highly recommend this 4.4 mile circular route to West Burton, and I do it often. This walk doesn't cover the northern edge of the River Ure where you get the classic views of Aysgarth Falls themselves as shown above - so I do recommend tagging the above short 1.3 mile route onto this walk at the start if you've never been to Aysgarth Falls. If you have seen Aysgarth Falls before, then you may just want to do this walk.

Walk Distance: 4.4 miles
Walk Time: 2 hours (plus stops)
Walk Difficulty: Easy

Map of Aysgarth Falls to West Burton walk:

Map route Aysgarth Falls walk waterfall Yorkshire Dales West Burton
This walk again starts from the Aysgarth Falls visitor centre, you then cross the bridge and head straight to St. Andrew’s Church and through it’s grounds and then follow the southern bank of the River Ure to Hestholme bridge. From there it's along the grassy fields and through various little gates onto West Burton, to see another delightful waterfall and chance to explore this idyllic Yorkshire village. You then head back to Aysgarth visitor centre. 

If you don't have a Phone Map App - I really recommend the one by Ordnance Survey. You can download route maps to your phone such as this one and the app will show you exactly where you are on the route even when you have no signal - so no more taking a wrong turn :-)

Photos of what to expect on the walk:

St Andrews Church Aysgarth
At the start of this walk you'll pass by the impressive St. Andrews Church, which has the largest church yard in England, covering four acres. This area has been a place of worship since the 10th century, with a church here since the 12th century, however it's been extensively rebuilt since then! It's worth a pop in if you have time.

On this walk you'll pass quite close to Aysgarth Middle Falls, but on the opposite side to the pics shown further up the page. It's further downstream though where you'll come to this beautiful part of the River Ure pictured above with its small cascading falls. It's a great place to stop and enjoy the tranquillity of this slice of Yorkshire paradise

Once you leave the River Edge around Hestholme Farm you'll then head through a grassy farm field, cross the A684 at Hestholme Bridge, through a small woodland and then back through fields as shown above. You'll pass through quite a few narrow holes in the stone walls and the footpaths are not clearly marked - only shown by footmarks on the grass - so keep referring back to the map after Hestholme Farm. 

West Burton
You'll soon arrive at the delightful village of West Burton which marks about 2/3rds of this walk being done. It's one of my favourite villages in the whole of Yorkshire and there's a pub here, a butchers and a tea room. Check opening times though if you are relying on these!

Literally a stones throw and few mins walk from the West Burton village green via a well marked and clear path is Cauldron Falls - a stunning little waterfall set in it's own amipheatre like setting. It's well worth spending a bit of time here and having a bite t eat and drink if you've brought supplies! It's also a great place for wild swimming if your into that sort of thing!

Once you've visited Cauldron Falls - it's back though the village to admire the Yorkshire Stone houses and then onto the footpath. Just be mindful of the route as it takes you down the side of one of these houses. From here you'll head back through fields all the way back to Aysgarth!

Happy Hiking!

Post by Stuart Hodgson 
'The Hiking Photographer'

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Thanks for taking an interest in my blog, all comments and questions are welcome! Best, Stuart

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