Waterfalls in Great Britain (United Kingdom)
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.
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.
Up against the stiff competition of tourist’s attention and pounds were some of the land’s real gems in its waterfalls. Amongst the waterfalling highlights include the underground Gaping Gill and the gushing High Force in England. In Wales, we experienced the famous Swallow Falls as well as the impressive Pistyll Rhaeadr. In Scotland, we experienced the Gray Mare’s Tail, Steall Falls (the latter was said to have featured in one of the Harry Potter movies), and the beautiful Mealt Falls and the remote 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…