Wain Wath Force (Yorkshire Dales Waterfall)

Wain Wath Force is a scenic, although not altogether striking, waterfall in the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. As the waterfalls are easy to reach and have a convenient viewing area opposite, they make for a popular spot for visitors.

So, if you’re ready to go chasing waterfalls, this guide is for you. Find out more about the falls as well as where they are and how to get there.

The low but wide falls in the centre of the picture with a backdrop of limestone cliffs.

About Wain Wath Waterfalls

Wain Wath waterfalls certainly are not the tallest. And, the water flows steadily over a drop of around 2 to 3 metres. But, the waterfall is quite wide and that adds to the beauty of the area.

Aside from the falls themselves, there is a viewing spot on the river bank set back from the road. Here, you can get the best views of Wainwath Falls. Plus, if the weather’s good you can easily go for a paddle in the water. Additionally, the falls have a picturesque backdrop of limestone cliffs making it the perfect place for a lunch spot or sit down on a walk in the Dales.

Of the various Keld waterfalls such as Kidson Force and East Gill Force, Wain Wath Force is the most popular due to the ease of accessibility. However, compared with some of the more popular Yorkshire Dales waterfalls, it is still well off the beaten path.

You’re most likely to find photographers or walkers enjoying the falls than coach loads of tourists. In the summer months, you may find brave souls jumping off the waterfall tops or swimming in the plunge pool.

Did you know? Many waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales (and the north of England) are called Force or Foss as this was the Old Norse word for waterfall

Where is Wain Wath Force?

Located on the River Swale about 1 km west of the small village of Keld, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, lies this beautiful waterfall. You can easily navigate to here using Google Maps, the what3words of broadens.excellent.serve or the Ordnance Survey grid reference of NY 88412 01546.

Wain Wath Force is on or close to 2 long-distance walking routes. Firstly, the falls are less than 1 mile off of the well-known Pennine Way. A popular route stretching from Edale in the Peak District to the Scottish Borders.

And secondly, the 182-mile Coast-to-Coast route runs along the B6270 road from Keld before crossing the River Swale. From here, the Coast-to-Coast route runs parallel with the river on the northern side of Wainwath Falls. This long-distance track runs from Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast through North Yorkshire to St Bees in Cumbria.

Being near Keld, Wain Wath Waterfall is close to a handful of other waterfalls. To the east are the River Swale waterfalls of Catrake Force, East Gill Force and Kidson Force. While Currack Force is just a stone’s throw northeast of Wainwath Falls, running into the River Swale.

To visit many of the Keld waterfalls, check out this Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls Walk! It includes Wain Wath Force, as well as Currack Force and East Gill Force, as well as an abandoned farmhouse with an incredibly scenic view over the green hills and trees of the Dales.

Getting to Wain Wath Force

One of the best things about the Wain Wath Waterfalls is being able to park for free right by them. Space is available on the sides of the B6270 main road by the entrance for easy access.

The gated entrance to the river bank viewing area is also on the roadside. This means you don’t need to do a long, muddy or wet walk to get here! Although, I’d still recommend hiking boots if you have them as the grassy bank can be wet and slippery.

If you’re visiting other waterfalls around Keld, then the best option would be to park in the village of Keld. Parking is available at Keld Car Park next to Rukin’s Campsite – £2 for a few hours and £3 for all day, payment in cash via an honesty box.

Prices and offerings mentioned are correct as of August 2023 but are subject to change in future.

CENTRAL YORKSHIRE DALES: Little Known Malham Walk to Malham Cove, Janet’s Foss & Gordale Scar

CENTRAL YORKSHIRE DALES: Buckden Pike Walk (Circular 5.5-Mile Route)

WEST YORKSHIRE: Lumb Hole Falls (Best Walking Routes & Parking Spots)

SOUTHERN YORKSHIRE DALES: Grimwith Reservoir Walks (Circular Route)

NORTHERN YORKSHIRE DALES: A Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls Walk (to 5 Keld Waterfalls)


Yorkshire Dales: Wain Wath Force

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