UK / Great Britain Waterfalls (Europe)



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INTRODUCTION

The Great Britain Waterfalls page is where we're paying homage to the collection of waterfalls that we've managed to visit while touring this island so full of history, sights, cultures, and pockets of Nature. It turns out that this part of the world tends to see rainy weather pretty much all year round, and with such variable island weather, it shouldn't come as a surprise that there are also many waterfalls to explore. Contrasting the waterfalls, we also encountered impressive historical sites like the castles (there are a whole lot of these), cathedrals, aristocratic homes and cottages, and even Roman ruins. Moreover, we also visited surprising natural features from highland moors to sea cliffs to gorges and valleys dropping into lakes and fjords. So our visit here, which encompassed all these things, meant that we had ourselves one of the most diverse and varied self-tours of a country that pretty much had it all. And so waterfalling here had its share of adventures and diversions to keep us from being too waterfall-saturated.

But before we delve a little deeper on the topic of waterfalls in this region, we have to clear up some things first (believe me, you'll save yourself from offending millions of people if you have this stuff cleared up). First of all, notice that this page pertains to the region of Great Britain as it's more of a geographical region and it's not a country. The country or political entity is actually the United Kingdom (or UK for short), which as of 2014 (post Scottish referendum) is really a conglomeration of the countries (or kingdoms) of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Even though each of these countries are fine with speaking English, they each have their own languages (e.g. Welsh, Gaelic, etc.) and cultures. You might even notice some of these linguistic and cultural differences reflected in the names of the waterfalls we're featuring here.

Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls in Scotland Anyways, for the purposes of this website, this web page refers to the island of Great Britain (meaning Northern Ireland will be excluded from this page) and all the waterfalls we've visited within it. If we're fortunate to visit Ireland, we'll have a separate page for that island, which will include Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland.

Now unlike other popular countries in Europe, the waterfalls in Great Britain were actually pretty well-known attractions. And that's saying something considering they were up against some pretty well-known and well-publicized non-waterfall attractions such as London's Tower of London and the Parliament Building (including Big Ben) along with its abbeys and palaces at Westminster and Buckingham. Then outside of London, England also featured Hadrian's Wall, the Cotswolds, the Lakes District, the Jurassic Coast, the coastal scenery of Cornwall, the Roman Bath Spa, and even Stonehenge among others.

Not to be outdone, further north in Scotland, we encountered Edinburgh's Castle and the Royal Mile, Stirling Castle, Glasgow's Style Mile and Necropolis, and the surprising castles of the highlands from Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness to Eilean Donan Castle near the beautiful Isle of Skye. Then, there were the attractions in Wales from its numerous impressive castles (e.g. Conwy, Caernarfon, Caerphilly, and Cardiff's own castle among many others) to its caves as well as as well as the happening waterfront scene at Cardiff Bay.

Stock Ghyll Force Up against the stiff competition of tourist's attention and pounds were some of the land's real gems in its waterfalls. As you can see from the smattering of waypoints shown in the map at the top of this page, it's a bit overwhelming to list all of the Great Britain Waterfalls at once. So we're dividing up the region into the following subregions - Northern England, North Wales and Central Wales, South Wales and Southwestern England, Southern and Central Scotland (i.e. the Lowlands and Southern Highlands, respectively), and Northern Scotland (i.e. the Highlands). Certainly, there's a lot of ground to cover regarding what these subregions really mean so let's break them down for you.

What Julie and I are defining as the Northern England subregion pretty much consists of the waterfall-dense Yorkshire Dales, the Lakes Region, and the North Pennines. Not only did this area feature rolling hills and valleys, but it also featured giant lakes, stone circles, and several caves, where one even featured underground waterfalls like Gaping Gill. We also saw other attractive waterfalls like High Force as well as Aira Force among others.

The North Wales and Central Wales subregion pretty much consists of the Snowdonia to the north and the northern part of Powys in Central Wales near Aberystwyth. It was in this subregion that we saw a couple of the most impressive and well-preserved castles in Conwy and Carnaerfon as well as the beach town of Llandudno. It also seemed like the Welsh language and heritage was well preserved in this subregion. That said, most of the waterfalls we've encountered here were within Snowdonia National Park such as the famous Swallow Falls and Aber Falls. As far as Central Wales was concerned, we're including waterfalls as far south as Mynach Falls (or Devil's Bridge) and as far east as Pistyll Rhaeadr.

Waterfalls within the Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves We're defining the South Wales and Southwest England subregion to pretty much include the large area of Southwestern Great Britain. Even though Wales is its own country, we thought this made the most geographical sense in terms of the waterfalls we've happened to visit. South Wales seemed like a pretty straightforward subdivision of this subregion, but we're defining Southwest England as the former kingdom of Cornwall as well as the Devon Region. If we happened to see a waterfall in the Cotswolds area (which we didn't), then we'd also place it in this subregion. Among the notable waterfalls in this subregion include the Sgwd Henrhyd (which was the Batcave in one of the Batman movies) and the four waterfalls of the so-called Four Falls Trail of the Brecon Beacons.

The Southern and Central Scotland subregion encompasses the so-called "Lowlands" between Edinburgh and Glasgow and to the south of those cities as well as the Southern Highlands, which we're arbitrarily defining to be the vast area north of the Edinburgh-Glasgow dividing line and south of Loch Ness and the fault line to the southwest of it. Included in this subregion are of course the cosmopolitan and very cultural cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. But in terms of Nature, it also includes the highest point in Great Britain in Ben Nevis. And amongst the waterfalling highlights here include Gray Mare's Tail and Steall Falls (the latter was said to have featured in one of the Harry Potter movies). We're also including Glencoe Valley in this subregion.

Finally, Northern Scotland comprises the vast and haunting region in the heart of the Highlands. Using Loch Ness and the canal stretching all the way to Loch Linnhe, then this subregion contains all the waterfalls that we've seen north of this dividing line. We're also including the immediate area of this dividing line so the Falls of Foyers right on the southern shores of Loch Ness is grouped in the subregion. Among the highlights here include the Isle of Skye where we saw the beautiful Mealt Falls, the far northern extreme at Durness where we saw the Smoo Cave, and the haunting Falls of Glomach deep in the backcountry of the Highlands.

Indeed, we saw enough waterfalls on the island of Great Britain that we even have a Top 10 Great Britain Waterfalls List!

So have a look at our humble waterfall sampling of Great Britain. See if this doesn't inspire you to explore all the treasures that the island has to offer given such a tremendous diversity of attractions let alone the diversity in its waterfalls alone...




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WATERFALL THUMBNAILS

To get a glimpse of what each waterfall looks like, check out the table below. Click on the waterfalls to read more about them.

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Northern England

Aysgarth Falls 1.5 Aysgarth Falls
Yorkshire Dales / North Yorkshire, England

Hardraw Force 2.5 Hardraw Force
Yorkshire Dales / North Yorkshire, England

High Force 3 High Force
Durham, England

Cautley Spout 2 Cautley Spout
Yorkshire Dales / Cumbria, England

Gaping Gill 4 Gaping Gill
Yorkshire Dales / North Yorkshire, England

Thornton Force 2 Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
Yorkshire Dales / North Yorkshire, England

Aira Force 2 Aira Force
Lakes District / Cumbria, England

Taylor Gill Force 2 Taylor Gill Force
Lakes District / Cumbria, England

Stock Ghyll Force 2 Stock Ghyll Force
Lake District / Cumbria, England

Gordale Scar 1.5 Janet's Foss and the Gordale Scar
Yorkshire Dales / North Yorkshire, England

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Northern Scotland

Falls of Glomach 4 Falls of Glomach
Ross-shire, Scotland

Falls of Measach 2.5 Falls of Measach
Ross-shire, Scotland

Ardvreck Castle Waterfall 1.5 "Ardvreck Castle Waterfall"
Sutherland, Scotland

Eas a'Chual Aluinn 3 Eas a'Chual Aluinn
Sutherland, Scotland

Smoo Cave 1 Smoo Cave
Sutherland, Scotland

Clashnessie Waterfall 2.5 Clashnessie Waterfall
Sutherland, Scotland

Mealt Falls 4 Mealt Falls
Isle of Skye / Inverness-shire, Scotland

Bride's Veil Waterfall 2 Bride's Veil Waterfall
Isle of Skye / Inverness-shire, Scotland

Plodda Falls 3 Plodda Falls
Inverness-shire, Scotland

Falls of Foyers 3 Falls of Foyers
Inverness-shire, Scotland

Rogie Falls 1.5 Rogie Falls
Ross-shire, Scotland

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Southern and Central Scotland

Gray Mare's Trail 3.5 Gray Mare's Tail
Dumfriesshire, Scotland

Cora Linn 2 Falls of Clyde
Lanarkshire, Scotland

Falls of Moness 2 Falls of Moness (Birks of Aberfeldy)
Perthshire, Scotland

Falls of Bruar 2 Falls of Bruar
Perthshire, Scotland

Black Spout 2.5 Black Spout
Perthshire, Scotland

Steall Falls 4 Steall Falls
Glen Nevis / Inverness-shire, Scotland

Falls of Glencoe 1.5 Glencoe Waterfalls (Falls of Glencoe)
Argyll, Scotland

Falls of Falloch 2 Falls of Falloch
Stirlingshire, Scotland

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North Wales and Central Wales

Swallow Falls 2.5 Swallow Falls (Rhaeadr Ewynnol)
Snowdonia / Conwy, Wales

Aber Falls 3.5 Aber Falls (Rhaeadr Fawr)
Snowdonia / Gwynedd, Wales

Conwy Falls 1.5 Conwy Falls
Snowdonia / Conwy, Wales

Dolgoch Falls 1.5 Dolgoch Falls
Snowdonia / Gwynedd, Wales

Pistyll Rhaeadr 4 Pistyll Rhaeadr
Powys, Wales

Mynach Falls 3 Mynach Falls (Devil's Bridge)
Ceredigion, Wales

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South Wales and Southwestern England

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn 3.5 Four Falls Trail
Brecon Beacons / Powys, Wales

Dan yr Ogof Showcaves Waterfalls 3.5 Dan yr Ogof Showcaves Waterfalls
Brecon Beacons / Powys, Wales

Sgwd Henrhyd 3 Sgwd Henrhyd
Brecon Beacons / Powys, Wales

Melincourt Falls 2.5 Melincourt Falls
Neath Port Talbot, Wales

Becky Falls 1 Becky Falls
Dartmoor / Devon, England




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