One of the top Yorkshire walks, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail is a must visit when you’re in this beautiful region of the UK.
Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this stunning trail is easy to access and boasts a diverse terrain, epic views and some seriously impressive waterfalls.
Easy to conquer in a few hours, it makes the perfect activity for those looking to see the best of this region using their own feet, but without undertaking anything too strenuous.
I enjoyed the fabulous Ingleton Waterfall Trail back in the summer, when I returned to one of the my favourite English counties for my annual dose of good Yorkshire fresh air and exercise.
And I was not disappointed!
In fact, I’d rate this as one of the best half day walks to enjoy in the area and I’ve even included tips here about how to dodge the entrance fee if you so wish!
Peaked your interest?
Then read on to learn all you need to know about visiting the magnificent Ingleton Waterfall Trail…
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Why Visit Ingleton Waterfall Trail?
Regularly ranking in lists of the UK’s best walks, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail is a seriously loveable day out in a beautiful part of the country.
Clocking in around 4.5 miles or about 7km, this is a circular trail is renowned for its beautiful English woodland scenery and catalogue of no less than 6 impressive waterfall you’ll wind right past as you complete the trail.
With a well-defined path covering most of the walk, it’s a great option for most of the family – although sadly it is not suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
This is because there are some steps, however the majority of the walk is fairly flat and lacks any significant ascents / descents.
Taking 2-4 hours to complete and open all year round, whenever you’re visiting Yorkshire, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail is sure to deliver stunning seasonal scenery, a good dollop of fresh air and plenty of tumbling falls as you go.
In fact, the site has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest thanks to its geological features, interesting wildlife and preserved collection of plants and trees.
All in all it provides an easy and accessible way to enjoy the unspoilt natural world and a good stomp in this cracking part of the UK.
Where is It?
Unsurprisingly, Ingleton Waterfall Trail is located very close to the village of Ingleton, located in the Craven district of North Yorkshire in the northwest of England.
Ingleton is where 2 rivers – the River Doe and the River Twiss – converge, which leads to the all the waterfalls around here!
Just 19 miles from Kendal and 17 miles from Lancaster on the western side of the Pennines, Ingleton lies just on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
It takes around 5 hours to get here from London by car and around 3 hours from Edinburgh.
How to Get to Ingleton?
The best way to access Ingleton is to drive.
The village is located just off the A65 Skipton to Kendal road.
If you’re looking to rent a car in the UK, check out Discover Cars.
On arrival parking is available either in the village – which is just a short walk to the trailhead or in a car park right outside the official entrance to the trail.
Parking in the official car park is free for trail ticket holders.
It can be found by typing the postcode LA6 3ET into your satnav and then selecting ‘Broadwood Entrance’.
Parking is limited here however and fills up quickly, especially at the weekend, so I recommend arriving early if you want to nab a space.
There are Electric Vehicle Charging Points at this car park too, along with a free wifi zone, toilets and litter collection points i.e. bins!
Otherwise you can also park in the village of Ingleton in designated car parks (there’s one at the community centre – postcode LA6 3HG).
Parking here can be paid for using a credit or debit card at the ticket machines, which are easy to locate.
This is where I parked and it cost under £4 for over 4 hours, or less if you park for a shorter time period.
There’s also an overnight fee for campervans (just £5) and this car park has good toilet facilities.
If you park here, it’s around a 10 minute walk to the trailhead and you’ll pass the beautiful Ingleton Railway Viaduct enroute, which is well worth a snap!
By Train / Bus
Otherwise you can also reach Ingleton using a scant public transport service!
Trains on the Morecombe to Lancaster line stop at Bentham, which is a short bus or taxi ride away from Ingleton – about 3.5 miles.
Dales Taxis can be booked by calling 01524 241899.
You can also get trains from Leeds to Settle and from Settle then take bus #581 to Ingleton.
Again, check timetables, as buses are fairly infrequent in this part of the world.
Things to Know Before you Arrive
But now we come to the really important part of this guide to Ingleton Waterfall Trail – the things you need to know before you arrive and that will make a huge difference to your experience here!
And the first one is that you have to pay for entry to this trail!
I know right, pay for a walk in England?
I was also confused, but quickly realised when I arrived, that there seemed to be little way to get around this.
So, having driven all the way there from Leeds, I coughed up the £10 adult ticket fee and went in!
Actually, however, there is a way to get round this, which I’ll share in the next section of this article but, if you don’t want to break the rules, then in 2023, an adult ticket for the Ingleton Waterfall Trail costs £10.00.
This applies to anyone aged 16 years and over while, for those under 16, tickets cost £5.
Tickets can be paid for in cash or by card at the ticket office.
This is at entrance at the end of the car park that marks the trailhead.
There is a turnstile here, which basically means it’s impossible to get through without paying.
While you’re here, paying your £10, don’t forget to grab a map leaflet, which will make identifying the waterfalls a lot easier.
Again, ticket prices include free parking in the Ingleton Waterfall Trail car park, but spaces are limited.
Opening and Closing Times
Which leads me onto my next point, which is that arriving at the trail either early, or late, in the day is a really good idea!
The Ingleton Waterfall Trail is incredibly popular and at peak times, such as sunny weekends and school holidays, it can get very busy.
We all know a good walk is best enjoyed in solitude where possible, so if you want to have the place as much to yourself as possible (and, at times, even this may prove a struggle!), I’d aim to arrive when the gates to the trail open at 9am.
During the peak summer months from April and August, the trail is open until 7pm.
During March, September and October it’s open until 4pm.
And in winter (between November and February), it’s open until 2:30pm.
If you’d prefer to cover the trail later in the day, rather than earlier, to avoid the crowds, then time your visit with the above closing times accordingly, remembering this walk takes 2-4 hours.
Contact Ticket Office
The Ingleton Waterfall Trail is open 365 days a year, however it does also close in extreme weather!
So, if you want to call to find out if it is open (although I really advise against walking it in any extreme weather anyway!), you can call the ticket office on 01524 241930.
How to Get Free Access to Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Personally, while I think £10 is a lot to enjoy a walk in the UK – where just about every other walk I’ve been on is free! – I actually had a fantastic time on the Ingleton Waterfall Trail!
Given you’re looking at around a 3 hour walk, with some pretty stunning scenery on site, I’d consider it good value for money.
The reason you have to pay for this walk, is that it lies on private land, so is not covered by governmental or national park organisations.
As such, your fee goes towards the upkeep and preservation of the area.
That said, if you want to enjoy the Ingleton Waterfall Trail for free, there is a way!
A way I discovered as soon as I finished the paid version of the trail!
And that’s because this circular trail ends along Thacking Lane in Ingleton.
Right by the children’s playground, Ingleton Fish and Chip shop and the Ingleton YHA, you’ll re-enter the village and end the walk without so much as a barrier to pass through.
Which means all you need to do to enjoy this walk for free, is enjoy it in reverse!
In other words, start from the top of Ingleton village, along Thacking Lane, enter the trail from there and follow the loop in reverse!
Et voila, you can enjoy the Ingleton Waterfall Trail for free!
Ingleton Waterfall Trail Info
And now that we’ve discussed all you need to know before you arrive, it’s probably time to talk about the Ingleton Waterfall Walk itself!
The info from the company who manage the trail describe it as strenuous, but I think that’s a real exaggeration.
I’m a keen no hiker, but no Olympian, and I’d actually describe this trail as easy!
Trail Difficulty & Terrain
While the well-defined trail can be slippery and uneven, it’s very clearly marked and is largely without steep ascents or descents.
It’s also very easy to navigate – with an elevation of just 170m, the Ingleton Waterfall Trail only reaches a total height of 330m, so really nothing too serious!
There’s a number of steps along the path, which do make it unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, but otherwise I’d describe this as a good accessible walk.
At 4.5 miles, or 7km, in length, the company recommend leaving up to 4 hours for the trail, but I completed in just over 2 hours, so this gives you some benchmark!
The trail is lovely however, as well as diverse, and you’ll pass through a number of different topographies including woodland, glen, oak and moorland, so do allow time for photos and snack stops!
There are 6 waterfall to spots as you go along the Ingleton Waterfall Trail, as well as some benches and sitting spots to enjoy them from.
The waterfalls you’ll see, in order if you follow the trail from ticket entrance, are…
- Pecca Falls
- Hollybush Spout
- Thornton Force
- Beezley Falls
- Baxenhyll Gorge
- Snow Falls
The most impressive in my opinion are Thornton Force and Beezley Falls, so save some amazement for them!
Facilities and Guidance
While you can picnic at various points along the way of this walk, you cannot however have BBQs or campfires.
You must also refrain from swimming in the river.
There’s a number of small makeshifts cafes as you go round the trail (including a cute one in a horsebox), so if you fancy a coffee, ice cream, bag of crisps or a cake enroute, there’s plenty of options to do so!
Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on the lead, and children must be supervised at all times.
Please make sure no one in your party leaves the path as, beyond this, the terrain can be slippery, uneven and dangerous.
There are toilets, litter points and wifi areas halfway along the trail at Beezley Farm, otherwise please keep the path clean.
What to Pack for the Walk?
As always, you’ll want to have a good day pack like this one with you for the Ingleton Waterfall Trail.
In it, you should pack all the water and snacks you’ll need for the walk, along with a sun hat and sun screen in the summer, or warm layers like hats, gloves and scarfs in the winter.Waterproof and windproof jackets are a good shout at all times of the year (this is Yorkshire after all!) and I’d also recommend a good walking shoe or hiking boot.
Other Top Things to Do in the Area
I’ve already mentioned the Ingleton Railway Viaduct, which you can spot on your way to the Waterfall Trail car park from the village.
And not far there (well within a 15 minute drive) is the pretty magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct.
At 400m and 32m high, stopping to stare at, and snap, this feat of engineering is a must do!
If you’d rather something more active, then climbing Ingleborough – the 2nd highest peak in Yorkshire – is an absolute bucket list gem.
It’s 5 miles to the summit and often people’s favourite climb on the Yorkshire 3 Peaks challenge.
For another walk, but one that’s more relaxed, you can easily head to Malham from Ingleborough, which boasts the beautiful Malham Cove and Janet’s Foss trail.
Learn more in this article I wrote all about it.
And then, to the northwest, you have the start of the beautiful Lake District, care of the town of Kendal – a great place to enjoy some local mint cake and the edge of the other stunning national park.
Where to Stay in Ingleton?
Despite being a small village, Ingleton has a good range of accommodation.
The Ingleton YHA Hostel is the pick for budget travellers with its hiker-friendly facilities.
For campers there’s Holme Head Caravans, while those who want a bit more comfort can check in at the historic Wheatsheaf, the cosy Inglenook Guest House or the more upmarket Harling House, set slightly out of the village.
Top Travel Tips for Yorkshire
When to Visit?
There’s no question in my mind, the best time to visit Yorkshire is during the summer season, when the UK’s good weather allows you to get the nicest experience from your time there, especially if you want to enjoy some hiking and rolling countryside views.
The only problem with the summer, and the weekend, is that this is when many of the county’s top attractions are busiest, so do be warned.
If you have the option to visit some of Yorkshire’s most popular days out on a weekday, or outside of school holidays, then I’d advise this, as parking and getting some good snaps without a ton of other people in-frame will be a lot easier at these times!
How Long to Visit Yorkshire For?
If you can manage a week in Yorkshire, then you’ll certainly be able to tick a good number of top places to visit in this county off your list.
If you want to start including some big hikes or more remote spots in your itinerary too, then I’d allow 10 days to 2 weeks to see as much as possible!
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And there you have it, my full guide to visiting the Ingleton Waterfall Trail.
Jampacked with all you need to know about planning your perfect visit, as well as how to dodge the entrance fee and get into this attraction for free, it’s the only guide you need to enjoy a great day out here.
And sorry if I’ve ruined the secret about how to dodge paying for this natural spectacle.
I actually paid the entrance fee myself, but when I saw how easy it was not to, I couldn’t resist spreading the info to help other budget travellers enjoy this beautiful part of the UK more.
Agree or disagree?
Let me know in the comments box below…