Taylor Gill Force

Borrowdale Valley / Keswick / Lakes District National Park, England, UK (Great Britain)

About Taylor Gill Force

Hiking Distance: 1 mile round trip
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2014-08-18
Date last visited: 2014-08-18

Waterfall Latitude: 54.49967
Waterfall Longitude: -3.18577

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The Taylor Gill Force Waterfall was said to be the tallest waterfall in the Lakes District. It was said to have a 140ft drop, which made me wonder whether they were talking about a particular section of this cascade (that I either overlooked or couldn’t tell what the main section was), or if the name really did pertain to the entire cumulative drop resulting in the mountain cascade pictured at the top of this page (certainly way more than 140ft tall if that’s the case). I had read that this spot was the rainiest part of England, and perhaps fittingly, my visit was met with a pretty persistent rain as well.

In any case, this cascade was pretty easy to experience once we made it down the narrow roads from Keswick towards Borrowdale Valley by the Seathwaite Farm (see directions below). Once there, I was able to see the cascade from right off the end of the road, but there were lots of stone fences in the way. So that was what prompted me to explore the Seathwaite Farm for a bit before me (and a handful of other people also wishing to get a closer look at the falls) found a gate that we could open and close then head towards the base of the cascade crossing a bridge over the start of the River Derwent as that river would ultimately make its way further down the valley towards Derwent Water near Keswick.

Up until the base of the falls, the walk was pretty short and flat as it passed right through the Seathwaite Farm. As I looked in the upstream direction, I could see where the Borrowdale Valley stopped as the sourrinding Borrowdale Fells closed in on it. However, the path then became a steep pile of stones as it crossed over a stile, then steeply made its way up alongside the cascade. Because it was raining pretty hard during my visit, this stone path became very slippery and dangerous. So I was only able to get roughly half-way to two-thirds of the way up before I was content with my partial view of the waterfall as well as the gorgeous views looking back down towards Borrowdale Valley.

The trail kept going up, but I given the dangerous conditions (thanks to the rain) I didn’t keep going so perhaps I never got to see the 140ft section that the literature tended to show or talk about. In any case, I didn’t feel like I really missed out on much so I carefully made my way back down into the valley, and after a little over an hour, I rejoined Julie and a napping Tahia who were sheltered from the rain in the parked car.

Taylor_Gill_Force_002_08182014 - First look at Taylor Gill Force from the end of the road
Taylor_Gill_Force_005_08182014 - Walking into the Seathwaite Farm where there were also attractive fells surrounding the property
Taylor_Gill_Force_006_08182014 - Looking across the Borrowdale Valley towards some fells on the east side
Taylor_Gill_Force_016_08182014 - Looking towards the head of Borrowdale Valley where the fells closed in and seemingly formed a cirque
Taylor_Gill_Force_018_08182014 - Some campers before the Taylor Gill Force
Taylor_Gill_Force_022_08182014 - Going through the Seathwaite Farm towards the base of Taylor Gill Force
Taylor_Gill_Force_026_08182014 - About to cross the bridge over the River Derwent right in front of Taylor Gill Force
Taylor_Gill_Force_029_08182014 - Looking upstream from the bridge towards the origins of the River Derwent
Taylor_Gill_Force_033_08182014 - Climbing up the steep and slippery stone path alongside Taylor Gill Force
Taylor_Gill_Force_039_08182014 - The higher up the trail I went, the more dramatic were the views looking back down into Borrowdale Valley
Taylor_Gill_Force_041_08182014 - This was about as close to Taylor Gill Force as I was going to get
Taylor_Gill_Force_042_08182014 - Side view of Taylor Gill Force
Taylor_Gill_Force_056_08182014 - Last look at Taylor Gill Force as I made it back down into the valley
Taylor_Gill_Force_060_08182014 - Taylor Gill Force seen from the entrance to the Seathwaite Farm


From Keswick, we headed towards the west end of town where the Borrowdale Road (B5289) followed the eastern shores of Derwent Water. We continued on the B5289 road for about 7.5 miles until we reached an obscure turnoff for Seathwaite on our left. We then followed this road into the Borrowdale Valley, where the road ended after another 1.2 miles. Note that we did not continue on the B5289 road past the Seathwaite turnoff onto the very narrow and steep Honister Pass Road.

This drive took us about 30 minutes from the town centre of Keswick, which itself was about another 30 miles (an hour drive) northwest of Kendal. The roads were all narrow so that’s something to consider if you’re caught behind a truck, tractor, or some other diesel-belching slow-moving vehicle. The drive could be a bit quicker than 30 minutes without the traffic delays. Bottom line is you have to be patient when driving in this area.

Finally, as for some geographical context, Kendal was 87 miles (over 2 hours drive) west of York, 73 miles (90 minutes drive) north of Manchester, 236 miles (4.5 hours drive) north of Bath, and 271 miles (over 5 hours drive or 3-4 hours by train) northwest of London.

Sweep of a more commanding view over the Borrowdale Valley as I was making my way up the slippery and rocky path alongside Taylor Gill Force

360 degree sweep from the camping area right in front of the falls. Reveals the entirety of the cascade as well as the head of the Borrowdale Valley

Right to left sweep of the slippery rocky trail and hints of Borrowdale Valley before ending with a side view of the Taylor Gill Force from as close to it as I was going to get

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Tagged with: borrowdale, keswick, lakes district, national park, cumbria county, england, uk, united kingdom, waterfall, derwent, seathwaite, castlerigg

Visitor Comments:

Wrong waterfall, Sourmilk ghyll August 30, 2018 8:07 pm by Benjamin Foster - I'm pretty sure you've got the wrong waterfall here. This looks like sour milk ghyll. You started off correctly, through the farm, over the river, but then turn left and follow the river southwards. This provides the best view but becomes a serious scramble as you climb up the RIGHT hand side of the fall.… ...Read More

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