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.
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.
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