Chasing waterfalls at Ingleton

02/09/2022

Today I got up early to make the 110 mile drive to the Ingleton waterfalls trail in the Yorkshire Dales. I’ve visited before, back in March this year, and I really enjoyed it. Today I went with a friend who has never been before. We’re both photography-lovers, so we were hoping to get some nice waterfall shots!

Thornton Force

There’s 6 waterfalls to see along the 4.5 mile trail, including Thornton Force which falls over 14 meters! I always feel very peaceful near water, and following the river upstream and gazing in wonder at the magnificent falls was so captivating. I’m forever marvelling at the beauty in the world around us, and a few of these falls made me feel so small, reminding me that I’m such a tiny droplet in the ocean.

A ‘Wish Tree’

We noticed that many fallen trees had pennies pushed into the bark. These so-called ‘wish trees’ are a superstition that dates back hundreds of years, where people believed that giving an offering to nature would cure them of their illness. It’s not something I believe myself, but I did find it fascinating how the coins had bent and faded over time from exposure to the elements. There were a few new and shiny coins, showing that people have recently made an offering; perhaps out of superstition, or maybe just to partake in something fun. Either way, I pray that their illnesses are healed.

One thing that I particularly enjoy about this walk, aside from the stunning falls and panoramic views of the countryside, is the trail itself. The path is so rickety and fun to navigate. There’s twists and turns, ups and downs, steps and rocks to clamber over. Some parts of the path are just a maze of exposed tree roots. It feels so wild, and the child in me just loves the sense of adventure that brings.

We were so blessed with the weather. The sun was shining all day, despite the thick fog that threatened to follow us as we set off in the morning. Even when we were in the shade of the trees, the sun shone through the leaves, sending beautiful trails of light onto the river. I enjoyed the reflections of the water on the rocks, especially when the river descended and we were walking high above the gorge.

Peeping through the hole!

Being in such a beautiful location meant we saw a lot of wildlife. There were lots of sheep grazing nearby, including this little guy who seemed to be playing ‘hole in the wall’. There was a really vibrant red admiral butterfly that seemed to be following us around, we even saw it on the journey home.

Overall, it was a really wonderful day out. It felt so good to be in nature again, and just enjoying the simple joy of walking and soaking in the sights and sounds of the falls. I would love to go back in the height of autumn when the trees are golden and the air is crisp. I think it will have a really magical, enchanted-forest vibe!

-Holly

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