Cray Gill Waterfall is the name given to the small but picturesque waterfall located in Cray in the Yorkshire Dales. But, Cray Gill is home to many even more spectacular waterfalls. By doing the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk, you can explore all of the waterfalls found along Cray Gill. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the walk, which starts from Buckden.
Read our Buckden Visitor’s Guide (coming soon).
Table of Contents
Cray Gill Waterfall
Technically speaking, there is no waterfall specifically named the ‘Cray Gill Waterfall’ according to Ordnance Survey maps. But, according to Google Maps, Cray Gill Waterfall refers to a little waterfall found right next to the hamlet of Cray.
Because this waterfall is located on private property, you shouldn’t try and reach the base of the waterfall. Beck and I personally spoke to the owner of the land, who confirmed there isn’t public access to it. Thankfully, you can simply see it from the roadside.
The thing is though, Cray Gill is home to numerous other awesome cascades and waterfalls.
Other Cray Gill Waterfalls
Eventually feeding into the River Wharfe, Cray Gill is a splendid ravine with a stream that has many epic waterfalls. So, if you want to see the best of Cray Gill and its waterfalls, we recommend doing the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk, which is an underrated waterfalls trail in the Yorkshire Dales. By doing so, you’ll explore nearly half a dozen waterfalls along the walk. In addition, you can also visit ‘Cray Gill Waterfall’ next to Cray.
Where Is Cray Gill Waterfall?
Cray Gill Waterfall and all of the sublime Cray Gill Waterfalls are located in Cray in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To help get your bearings, please click on this link to access an interactive map of the area.
As you can see from the map below, there are many waterfalls in this area. With this in mind, we’ll talk about all of these waterfalls in this guide.
Cray Gill Waterfall postcode: BD23 5JB
How to Get to Cray Gill Waterfall
Other than doing the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk, you can easily visit the Cray Gill Waterfall from Cray. We’ll look at this quick option first and then we’ll detail the entire Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk.
The Quickest Way From Cray
It’s possible to reach Cray Gill Waterfall by parking in Cray. You’ll then walk around 50 metres to reach a point on the road where you can see the waterfall from a distance. Sounds simple enough, right? But, there is no Cray Gill Waterfall parking or official Cray Gill Waterfall Car Park. Bear in mind, that there is really only legitimate parking for one or two spots on a layby on Buckden Wood Lane (located here).
Cray is only a small hamlet and, essentially, all of the parking is private parking reserved for guests or patrons at The White Lion Inn. So, unless you’re staying at The White Lion Inn or are visiting the pub beforehand, the only parking available in Cray is at the small layby.
Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk
It’s also possible to see Cray Gill Waterfall by doing the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk. But, in reality, the best part of doing the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk isn’t seeing Cray Gill Waterfall – it’s seeing all of the other more stunning waterfalls along Cray Gill.
Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk: Details
Here are the trail specs for the circular walk.
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 8.4km (5.2 miles)
- Time: 3 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 185m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Buckden Car Park
- Map: Wikiloc
Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk: Directions & Description
In this trail description, we’re going to tell you all about the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk that Beck and I did. As is usually the case in the UK, there are multiple route variations given the considerable amount of trails and public rights of way. But, we think this Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk, from Buckden and via Hubberholme and Cow Close Gill Waterfall, is an excellent option for seeing the mindblowing Cray Gill Waterfalls.
Cray Gill Waterfalls
From Buckden, you’ll head to and briefly follow Dubb’s Lane. You’ll then follow a quaint countryside trail, alongside the River Wharfe, to Hubberholme, which is a tiny charming hamlet. After passing The George Inn, you’ll then cross a bridge and briefly follow Stubbing Lane. You’ll soon reach a sign directing you towards Cray – this is where you meet Cray Gill and all its wondrous waterfalls. Turn left, and you’ll walk alongside Cray Gill to your right.
We don’t intend to describe and point out all of the breathtaking waterfalls along Cray Gill – there are just too many! But, rest assured, if you listen carefully and keep an eye out, you’ll hear or see the waterfalls along the gill. Beck and I stopped at around four different waterfalls as we followed the stream. Some are easy to access by taking a short side trail. Others are hidden deep in the woodlands and are totally inaccessible.
Crook Gill Waterfalls
After exploring the magnificent Cray Gill Waterfalls, there is an option to see more waterfalls along Crook Gill. Personally, we don’t recommend extending your walk to the Crook Gill Waterfalls as the waterfalls aren’t as spectacular. But, if you’re a waterfall junkie, you’ll likely follow in our footsteps and explore Crook Gill.
To visit Crook Gill, before reaching the hamlet of Cray, you’ll turn left, taking a trail heading away from the hamlet (map here). You’ll then walk around 750 metres to reach Crook Gill. Cross the bridge and follow upstream to find numerous waterfalls along Crook Gill. Personally, Beck and I reached one waterfall and then decided to head back to Cray. Feel free to head further upstream than we did to explore more waterfalls!
Cray Gill Waterfall
Once you arrive in Cray, we recommend walking down Buckden Wood Lane to see Cray Gill Waterfall, as named by Google Maps. You’ll then simply retrace your steps, passing the delightful White Lion Inn and continuing north along Park Lane. Along the way, you’ll pass more waterfalls to your right.
Cow Close Gill Waterfall (Cow Close Falls)
Whilst you’re walking along Park Lane, you’ll see the stunning Cow Close Gill Waterfall to your right. As part of the walk, we highly recommend visiting Cow Close Gill Waterfall.
From a gate along Park Lane, you’ll follow a faint trail heading south, cross a stream, and follow alongside a stone wall, before turning left and heading to the base of the falls. Certainly, Cow Close Gill Waterfall is a highlight of the entire walk.
Once you’ve explored Cow Close Gill Waterfall, you’ll retrace your steps to rejoin the trail heading south to Buckden. Eventually, you’ll join Buckden Rake, which is the popular route taken to access Buckden Pike – one of the highest fells in the Yorkshire Dales. Buckden Rake is part of an old Roman Road that used to link nearby villages. Along Buckden Rake, you’ll enjoy splendid views over Upper Wharfedale.
Buckden Rake will lead you back to Buckden, where the walk finishes. But, it’s possible to see a few more waterfalls, if you like!
Buckden Beck Waterfalls (Bonus Waterfalls)
From Buckden, you can easily access numerous gorgeous waterfalls along Buckden Beck during the Buckden Pike Waterfall Walk. This walk also starts from Buckden! Before entering the Buckden Car Park, turn left, following a trail directing you to Buckden Lead Mines and Starbotton. Soon, you’ll arrive at Buckden Beck. Turn left and you’ll start to explore many splendid cascades, eventually reaching the main Buckden Beck Waterfall.
Useful Information About Visiting Cray Gill
Now you know all about doing the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk, let’s look at some useful information to help plan your visit.
How to Get to Buckden
To do this walk, you’ll want to get yourself to Buckden. The easiest and quickest way to get to Buckden is to drive there yourself. 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.
Currently, the parking fees at Buckden Car Park are £3.50 for two hours or £5.50 for over two hours. Other than parking at Buckden Car Park, there is some free parking in Buckden itself. But, street-side parking is extremely limited. If you arrive early enough, you may be able to find free parking in Buckden, opposite The Buck Inn.
It’s also possible to use public transport to get to Buckden. From Skipton, you can get a bus to Buckden. Generally speaking, buses alight in Buckden at The Buck Inn and also at Buckden Car Park. We recommend using Google Maps, Traveline or Dales Bus to plan your journey.
Although public transport is an option, we don’t recommend it. Depending on where you’re travelling from in the UK, you’ll likely have a slow and tedious journey to get to Buckden. Whilst, buses are often very infrequent. Certainly, it’s best to drive to Buckden yourself.
Where to Stay
During the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk, you’ll essentially pass by two pubs (The George Inn in Hubberholme and The White Lion Inn in Cray). Whilst, The Buck Inn is just a stone’s throw away from Buckden Car Park. All of these inns offer fantastic accommodation. So, you could easily stay at any of these inns before and/or after the walk.
In particular, The Buck Inn is an outstanding choice for accommodation. Beck and I actually rate The Buck Inn as one of our favourite pubs in the Yorkshire Dales. Even if you’re not staying there, we highly recommend visiting The Buck Inn after doing the walk. The inn is known for monthly folk music events!
In terms of accommodation, the rooms at The Buck Inn in Buckden are very comfortable and cosy. Guests always rave about the breakfast at this highly-rated country inn.
Otherwise, you could stay at The George Inn in Hubberholme. It’s a traditional and historic inn in the Yorkshire Dales. The inn is beautifully located on the River Wharfe, whilst guests rave about the comfort, staff and value for money.
Alternatively, you could stay at the highly-rated White Lion Inn in Cray. It’s another cosy country inn and perhaps one of the best places to stay in the Yorkshire Dales!
Other Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales
Certainly, the Yorkshire Dales have plenty of awesome waterfalls to chase other than just the Cray Gill Waterfalls. Below, we’ve listed other waterfalls worth visiting in the Dales (some guides coming soon).
- Ingleton Waterfalls Trail: of course, the most famous waterfalls in Yorkshire are seen along the Ingleton Falls Trail.
- Keld Waterfalls Walk: another exceptional waterfall walk which visits seven waterfalls!
- Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk: you’ll visit a couple of fantastic waterfalls and caves during this circular walk.
- Hardraw Force: a famous waterfall in the Dales that’s located near Hawes.
- Cotter Force: an exceptional waterfall located near Hardraw Force.
- Aysgarth Falls Walk: a pleasant walk exploring the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls of Aysgarth Falls.
- 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 incredible waterfall next to Pen-y-ghent.
- Force Gill Waterfall: a picturesque waterfall that can be found near Whernside – the highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks (guide coming soon).
- Rat Hole Waterfall: see the highest continuous single-drop underground waterfall in the UK at Gaping Gill.
Other lesser-known but equally impressive waterfalls worth visiting in the Yorkshire Dales include Aysgill Force, Mill Gill Force, Whitfield Gill Force and Gastack Beck Waterfall (guides coming soon).
Read more: Yorkshire Dales Waterfalls Guide (coming soon)
Other Nearby Walks in the Yorkshire Dales
Other than waterfalls walks, there are other excellent nearby walks in the Yorkshire Dales. We won’t exhaustively list all of them. Instead, we’ve handpicked the best walks that are in Buckden or not too far away from Buckden.
- Buckden Pike: if you’re in Buckden, you’ll have to do the most famous walk in the area – the Buckden Pike Walk.
- Conistone Pie and Dib: explore some of the most impressive yet underrated limestone landforms near Conistone.
- Flasby Fell: walk one of the best sections of the Dales High Way.
- Troller’s Gill: an epic limestone ravine with hidden caves.
- Walks in Grassington: learn about the best walks in and around Grassington – one of the Dales’ most famous villages.
Read more: The Best Yorkshire Dales Walks Guide (coming soon)
What to Wear and Take
These are our five walking gear essentials for walking in the Yorkshire Dales.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight. In winter, you may need boots with better waterproofing.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Cray Gill Waterfalls.
Is Cray Gill Waterfall Kid-Friendly?
Yes, with supervision, it’s safe to do the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk with kids.
Is it Possible to Swim at Cray Gill Waterfall?
No, Cray Gill Waterfall, defined on Google Maps, is on private property, so it’s inaccessible to the public.
How Many Waterfalls Are There in the Yorkshire Dales?
There are hundreds of waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales!
- Plan your visit around the weather: the waterfalls look much better after heavy rainfall.
- Park safely: yes, it’s possible to park at the layby in Cray to access the waterfall. But, if the parking is full, don’t park unsafely on the road to squeeze in as this is really dangerous.
- 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.