Aysgill Force is a spectacular yet lesser-known waterfall located near Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. From the charming village of Hawes, you can do an excellent circular walk to visit the underrated waterfall. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about walking from Hawes to Aysgill Force.
Table of Contents
About Aysgill Force
Aysgill Force (AKA Aysgill Force Waterfall) is an unsung natural attraction located near the village of Hawes. The cascade waterfall drops around 12 metres (40 feet) and is found along Gayle Beck.
When it comes to walks around Hawes in Wensleydale, the most popular option is usually the Hawes to Hardraw Force Walk. But, honestly speaking, we think the better option is to do the Hawes to Aysgill Force Walk instead.
That’s because you can simply park at the Hardraw Force Heritage Centre (Green Dragon Inn) and easily access Hardraw Force from there. That way, you can quickly visit Hardraw Force, saving your precious time to walk to Aysgill Force, from Hawes, before or afterwards. Other than dodgy layby parking on Beggarmans Road or parking closer to the waterfall in Gayle, walking to Aysgill Force from Hawes is the recommended option for accessing it. After all, there are excellent attractions to see in Hawes – so, you should really start the walk from this village.
So, overall, we recommend doing the Hardraw Force Walk from the Green Dragon Inn and, if time allows, and you’ve got the energy, walking from Hawes to Aysgill Force.
Where Is Aysgill Force?
Aysgill Force is located south of Hawes and Gayle, which are both villages in Wensleydale in North Yorkshire. You won’t find Aysgill Force on Google Maps. On the AllTrails map below, we’ve pointed out where the waterfall is located.
Now you know where the waterfall is located, let’s look at the walk to reach it, starting in Hawes.
Aysgill Force Walk: Details
Also known as the Aysgill Force Hike, the Aysgill Force Walk is a fantastic walk with a mixture of attractions, terrain and landscape. Certainly, when it comes to walks in Hawes, the Aysgill Force Walk is one of the best. Here are the trail specs for the Hawes to Aysgill Force Walk.
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 6.35km (3.95 miles)
- Time: 1.5–2 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 95m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Hawes
- Map: AllTrails
Aysgill Force Walk: Directions & Description
In this trail description, we’re going to tell you all about the Aysgill Force Walk. Our intention isn’t to describe the walk in a step-by-step fashion. After all, you can simply follow the GPS-guided map for trail directions. Below, we’ll provide some pointers regarding the walk, whilst telling you about the highlights of the route.
Starting in Hawes, you’ll need to get yourself to the corner of Gayle Lane and the A684, which is the main road heading through the village. By turning left, you’ll begin to follow Gayle Lane in a southerly direction. The path follows right alongside the quaint Gayle Beck. You’ll soon be walking through the village of Gayle, following along the Pennine Way.
Eventually, you’ll reach the open countryside as you walk along a meadow track. Following the signage and a map (if you have one), you’ll then head further south, following Gayle Beck upstream. The grassy path undulates and winds alongside Gayle Beck as you enter more dense woodlands. At times, the path becomes slightly steeper. But, all in all, the walk is fairly easy. Soon enough, you’ll reach the immense Aysgill Force.
From the path, you’ll enjoy superb views of the waterfall. It isn’t possible to access the base of the falls. Thankfully, from the little wooden bridge, you can enjoy stellar views of Aysgill Force.
Returning to Hawes From Aysgill Force
After admiring the waterfall, you’ll continue to follow Gayle Beck upstream. Eventually, you’ll loop back on a different trail to head back towards Gayle. On this track, you’ll enjoy more open moorland and countryside. When Beck and I did this walk, we saw lots of rewilding of trees, which was great to see. Eventually, you’ll arrive back in Gayle. Essentially, from Gayle, you’ll retrace your steps back to Hawes.
Once you arrive back in Hawes, you’ve officially completed the Aysgill Force Walk. But, we don’t recommend heading to the car and heading home. We highly recommend exploring and wandering the charming streets of Hawes. At the very least, you’ll have to check out the waterfall in the village called Hawes Falls.
Otherwise, when you’re in Hawes, you can visit the Dales Countryside Museum or the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre. When it comes to other walks near Hawes, you should consider the accessible Cotter Force Walk.
Helpful Information About Aysgill Force
Now you know all about doing the Hawes to Aysgill Force Walk, let’s look at some useful information to help plan your visit.
How to Get to Aysgill Force
The simplest way to visit Aysgill Force is to drive to Hawes. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, then we recommend hiring a car using DiscoverCars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Discover Cars for very reasonable prices. Also, the website is user-friendly and booking online is super easy. Have a look at car hire from Manchester.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
When it comes to Aysgill Force parking, there is no official car park. As mentioned, you’ll simply park in Hawes and walk to the waterfall from there. There are several places where you can find free parking in Hawes. Usually, Beck and I have found free parking in the heart of the village here. But, the village is very popular. If there is no free parking or free street-side parking in the village, you’ll need to head to the pay and display car park at the Dales Countryside Museum.
Although it’s possible to use public transport to get to Hawes, we don’t recommend it. Depending on where you’re travelling from in the UK, you’ll likely have a slow and tedious journey. If public transport is your only option, we recommend using Google Maps, Traveline or Dales Bus to plan your journey. The nearest train station to Hawes is Gardale Station.
Trainline is one of the best online platforms for booking trains. By using Trainline, you can easily find the best available prices and times for your journey. We always use Trainline to book our train journeys in the UK and in Europe.
Where to Stay: Hawes Accommodation
If you’re looking for accommodation near Aysgill Force, it makes sense to stay in Hawes, where the walk starts. Personally, Beck and I think Hawes is one of the nicest villages in the Dales. The gorgeous village has plenty of fantastic accommodation options. Certainly, we highly recommend spending the weekend or longer at Hawes. It’s a great base for seeing Aysgill Force and other waterfalls and attractions in the Dales.
Below, we’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options in Hawes.
The Best Budget Hawes Accommodation
- YHA Hawes: by far, the most budget-friendly accommodation in Hawes is the YHA Hawes. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you’ll want to book a shared dorm at YHA Hawes.
- The Fountain Hotel: if you’re on a budget but want a private room, you’ll find The Fountain Hotel is the most affordable hotel in Hawes.
The Best Mid-Range Hawes Accommodation
- Cocketts Hotel: this is one of the best value-for-money hotels in Hawes. Certainly, Cocketts Hotel is one of the most popular places to stay in the area because of this.
- The White Hart Inn: the well-known country inn is another popular place to stay in Hawes. It’s located right in the heart of town and the decor is superb.
The Best Luxury Hawes Accommodation
- Simonstone Hall Hotel: the highly-rated four-star hotel (formerly a shooting lodge) is located just on the outskirts of Hawes, enjoying a quiet and remote ambience in the Dales countryside.
- Stone House Hotel: this four-star hotel is a classic Edwardian country house that was built in 1908. Similar to Simonstone Hall Hotel, Stone House Hotel is located just outside of the village, so it enjoys a superb peaceful location.
Other Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales
Of course, other than Aysgill Force, the Yorkshire Dales has plenty of stellar waterfalls to chase. Below, we’ve listed other waterfalls worth visiting in the Dales.
- Hardraw Force: this is the most popular waterfall to visit near Hawes.
- Ingleton Waterfalls Trail: some of the most famous waterfalls in Yorkshire are seen along the Ingleton Falls Trail.
- Aysgarth Falls Walk: another well-known waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales.
- Keld Waterfalls Walk: another exceptional waterfall walk which visits seven waterfalls!
- Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk: a lesser-known waterfall walk that explores many stunning cascades along Cray Gill near Buckden.
- Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk: you’ll visit a couple of waterfalls and caves during this circular walk from Settle.
- West Burton Falls (AKA Cauldron Falls): an impressive waterfall located near Aysgarth Falls.
- Bolton Abbey Waterfall: an epic waterfall located in the Valley of Desolation near Bolton Abbey.
- Malham Cove Walk: after seeing Malham Cove, explore Gordale Scar Waterfall and Janet’s Foss.
- Cautley Spout: England’s highest waterfall above ground, can be seen on a walk around Howgill Fell.
- Hull Pot: an amazing waterfall located next to Pen-y-ghent.
- Force Gill Waterfall: a superb waterfall found near Whernside – the highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
- Rat Hole Waterfall: see the highest continuous single-drop underground waterfall in the UK at Gaping Gill.
Other lesser-known waterfalls worth visiting in the Yorkshire Dales include Buckden Beck Waterfalls, Cow Close Gill Waterfall, Gastack Beck Waterfall, Redmire Force as well as the Askrigg Waterfalls – Mill Gill Force and Whitfield Gill Force.
Read more: The Top 48 Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales
What to Wear and Take
These are our five walking gear essentials for walking from Hawes to Aysgill Force.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
FAQs About Aysgill Force
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Aysgill Force.
Where Do You Park For Aysgill Force?
Because the Aysgill Force Walk starts from the village of Hawes, you’ll want to park in Hawes. Otherwise, for a slightly shorter walk, you can park at the Gayle Lane pay and display car park in Gayle instead of Hawes.
Additionally, we’ve heard it’s possible to park on a layby on Beggarmans Road and access the waterfall via a short walk from there. But, we don’t recommend this option as, in reality, the layby shouldn’t really be used for parking. Plus, you’d miss out on all of the attractions in Hawes and along the walk from Hawes.
Is Aysgill Force Kid-Friendly?
Yes, the walk to the waterfall from Hawes is safe to do with kids.
Can You Swim in Aysgill Force?
Aysgill Force swimming isn’t an option as access to the base of the falls isn’t possible.
Other Yorkshire Dales Guides
Best Villages to See in the Yorkshire Dales
- Grassington: Everything You Need to Know About Grassington
- Hawes: The 16 Best Things To Do In Hawes
- Ingleton: 10 Awesome Things To Do In Ingleton
- Masham: Everything You Need to Know About Masham
- Buckden: The 5 Best Things To Do In Buckden, Yorkshire
- Keld: The 5 Best Things To Do in Keld, North Yorkshire
- Clapham: The Top 13 Things To Do During A Visit to Clapham, Yorkshire
- Ribblehead: 15 Awesome Things To Do In Ribblehead
Bonus Tips For Visiting Aysgill Force
- Explore Hawes: after the walk, make sure to head to an independent store, a cafe or a pub and enjoy the lovely village ambience.
- Visit after heavy rainfall: the waterfall is much more impressive after a decent bout of rain.
- Explore other nearby national parks in the northwest of England: don’t just stop at the Yorkshire Dales. Head to the beautiful Lake District (guides coming soon), Peak District, Forest of Bowland and North York Moors National Park.
Please leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you.