The Keld Waterfalls Walk is one of the best waterfall walks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. By doing this walk, you’ll chase seven awesome waterfalls, including Catrake Force, Hoggarths Leap, Rainby Force, Wain Wath Force, Currack Force, East Gill Force and Kisdon Force. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the Keld Waterfalls Walk.
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The Keld Waterfalls Walk, Yorkshire Dales
The Keld Waterfalls Walk (AKA the Keld Waterfall Walk) explores seven spectacular waterfalls found along the River Swale in Upper Swaledale. There’s no doubt that the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is the most well-known waterfall walk in the Yorkshire Dales. But, its popularity draws large crowds. If you want to do a quieter and lesser-known waterfall walk in the Dales, then you’ll want to do the underrated Keld Waterfalls Walk (or even the Cray Gill Waterfalls Walk or Askrigg Waterfalls Walk).
You’ll find there are several Keld Waterfalls Walk guides online. But, none of them includes visiting all seven of the best Keld waterfalls, which are Catrake Force, Hoggarths Leap, Rainby Force, Wain Wath Force, Currack Force, East Gill Force and Kisdon Force. Many of the other guides miss visiting Rainby Force and Currack Force, which are a bit hidden. In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly how to find all seven of these seven stunning Keld waterfalls.
Where Are the Keld Waterfalls?
As you may have guessed, the Keld Waterfalls are found in and around the village of Keld, which is located in Upper Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. To help you get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area on Google Maps.
Now you know where Keld is located, let’s look at some details regarding the Keld Waterfalls Walk.
Keld Waterfalls Walk: Details (Overview)
Below, you’ll find the trail specs for the Keld Waterfalls Walk.
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 6.5km (4 miles)
- Time: 2 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 115m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Keld Car Park
- GPS-Guided Map: Wikiloc
Keld Waterfalls Walk postcode (parking): Dl11 6LJ
Keld Waterfalls Walk Map Route
There are many versions of the Keld Waterfalls Walk, depending on which waterfalls you visit. If you want to visit all of the best Keld waterfalls, you’ll want to follow the walk that Beck and I did. Below, you’ll find the Keld Waterfall Walk route and exactly where the waterfalls are located on this walking route.
Keld Waterfalls Walk: Directions, Description & Photos
In this trail description, we’re going to tell you all about the Keld Waterfalls Walk.
After parking in Keld, you’ll make your way through the Park Lodge Campsite (AKA Rukin’s Campsite) to find the first waterfall – Catrake Force.
Essentially, around halfway along the path from Keld to Hoggarths Leap, you’ll take a faint trail, to your right. This trail follows alongside the River Swale downstream, eventually reaching the upper falls of Catrake Force. This is where the trail abruptly stops. Apparently, it’s possible to continue to the base of the falls. Personally, we didn’t as it looked fairly sketchy and dangerous to get down and back out.
Unfortunately, from the viewpoint at the end of the trail, you won’t have much of a view of the lower falls at Catrake Force. Luckily, we had our drone, so we were able to capture Catrake Force in all its glory, to show you what it looks like if you were to see it from the base.
After seeing Catrake Force, you’ll then make your way to Hoggarths Leap. To reach Hoggarths Leap, you’ll continue upstream, passing some small riverside pitches associated with the Park Lodge Campsite.
Near the end of the path, you’ll need to duck and weave over some fallen trees to get close to the falls. From a rock platform, you’ll enjoy a stellar view of the cascades at Hoggarths Leap.
After seeing both Catrake Force and Hoggarths Leap, you’ll then retrace your steps to Keld. You’ll then do some road walking, joining the B6270, which heads north towards a hotspot of more Keld waterfalls. Along the B6270, you’ll see the Swaledale Yurts. Turn right to walk through the glamping site.
Although access to the base of Rainby Force is reserved for guests, you can still access the top of the falls. From the top of the falls, you’ll still enjoy a nice view of Rainby Force.
Wain Wath Force
After visiting Rainby Force along the Keld Waterfalls Walk, you’ll next visit Wain Wath Force. To reach Wain Wath Force, you’ll simply rejoin B6270 and continue further north. After passing Stonesdale Lane, Wain Wath Force is only a short distance ahead.
Wain Wath Force is certainly one of the most well-known Keld Waterfalls, so expect a few more people to visit this waterfall. At Wain Waith Force, there is an upper and lower set of falls, which are both worth exploring.
After visiting Wain Wath Force, you’ll simply retrace your steps to return to Stonesdale Lane. You’ll then turn left onto Stonesdale Lane, before continuing onto Crackpot Hall Road. Before entering a gate, we recommend turning right and wandering over the grass in order to see Currack Force.
You’ll find Currack Force is hidden away in the woods and so is easily missed. Although you’ll hear Currack Force once you enter the gate and cross the bridge, you won’t get a good view of the waterfall unless you wander along the field and access River Swale further downstream. From a small viewpoint, you’ll enjoy an excellent sight of Currack Force.
East Gill Force
After seeing Currack Force, you’ll enter the gate, cross the bridge and continue along Crackpot Hall Road towards Keld. The next waterfall you’ll see after seeing Currack Force is East Gill Force. Compared with Currack Force, East Gill Force is much more well-known as it’s located closer to the village of Keld, making access much easier. Along the walk from Currack Force to East Gill Force, you’ll enjoy stellar countryside views.
Certainly, expect a few more people at East Gill Force. Personally, we think the falls at East Gill Force are some of the best along the Keld Waterfalls Walk. There are several cascades at East Gill Force, which are all worth exploring and photographing.
After exploring East Gill Force, you’ll then cross a bridge and head up a track towards Keld. At the end of the track, turn left to head to Kisdon Force. Soon enough, you’ll see an unofficial sign directing you towards a side trail that leads to Kisdon Force. After passing some tall rock formations, you’ll arrive at Kisdon Upper Force. Make sure to head further downstream to reach Kisdon Lower Force, which is perhaps even better than the Upper Force.
Once you’ve scoped out the spectacular Kisdon Force, retrace your steps and return to Keld to complete the walk.
Helpful Information About the Keld Waterfalls Walk
Now you know all about doing the Keld Waterfalls Walk, let’s look at some useful information to help plan your visit.
How to Get to the Keld Waterfalls
To do the Keld Waterfalls Walk, you’ll want to get yourself to the small village of Keld. The simplest way to get to Keld 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.
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 Keld Waterfalls Walk parking, you’ll want to park in the village of Keld. If there is no free street-side parking available, you’ll want to head to the Keld Car Park (AKA the Park Lodge Car Park). This car park operates with an honesty box system, costing £3 for all-day parking and £2 for short-stay parking. Please let us know in the comments if these prices change.
Although it’s possible to use public transport to get to Keld, we don’t recommend it as services are very infrequent. Also, 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, Trainline and Dales Bus to plan your journey.
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 in Keld
Keld is only a small village with a handful of accommodation options. You can find lodging at Keld Lodge, Butt House B&B, Keld Holiday Cottages and Swaledale Yurts. In terms of camping in Keld, you can stay at the conveniently located Park Lodge Campsite (AKA Rukin’s Campsite).
Of course, if you’re visiting Swaledale from afar and need somewhere to stay, we actually recommend staying near Keld at the Tan Hill Inn.
Tan Hill Inn
The Tan Hill Inn is famous for being the highest pub in Britain. Certainly, the Tan Hill Inn is a well-known attraction and a must-see place to visit during a trip to Keld or Swaledale.
The Tan Hill Inn offers a variety of accommodation options including dormitory rooms, double rooms, family rooms and even glamping pods. Whilst, the country inn has an exceptional bar and restaurant with a number of beers on tap and delicious meals aplenty.
Other Keld Walks
Other than the Keld Waterfalls Walk, there are other excellent walks involving Keld. Below, we’ll look at the other best Keld walks.
- Crackpot Hall and Swinner Gill: starting in Keld, you can walk along Crackpot Hall Road, visiting the historic Crackpot Hall and beautiful Swinner Gill.
- Muker to Keld Walk: the circular walk from Muker to Keld, involves using both Crackpot Hall Road and the Pennine Way. Along the way, you’ll visit Crackpot Hall, Swinner Gill, the Muker Meadows and as many of the Keld Waterfalls as you like.
- Keld to the Tan Hill Inn: follow the Pennine Way and walk from Keld to the Tan Hill Inn.
Other Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales
Other than the Keld waterfalls, the Yorkshire Dales as a whole has plenty of mesmerising waterfalls to see. Below, we’ve listed other waterfall walks worth doing in the Dales.
- Hardraw Force: a famous waterfall located in Hardraw just north of Hawes.
- Cotter Force: a stunning multi-tier cascade waterfall that’s also located in Hardraw.
- Aysgill Force: a gorgeous waterfall that you can walk to from Hawes.
- Aysgarth Falls: another well-known set of waterfalls in the Dales.
- West Burton Falls (AKA Cauldron Falls): an impressive waterfall located near Aysgarth Falls.
- Hawes Falls: you’ll find these quaint falls thundering through the town of Hawes.
- Settle Caves and Waterfalls Walk: you’ll visit a couple of waterfalls and caves during this circular walk from Settle.
- 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: as mentioned, this is England’s highest broken waterfall above ground. It 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 underground waterfall in England during a visit to Gaping Gill.
Read more: The Top 48 Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales
What to Wear and Take
These are our walking gear essentials for the Keld Waterfalls Walk.
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 the Keld Waterfalls Walk
Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about the Keld Waterfalls Walk.
What Waterfalls Are in Keld?
Is the Keld Waterfalls Walk Kid-Friendly?
Most of the walk is safe to do with kids. The trails accessing Rainby Force, Currack Force and Kisdon Force are somewhat steep and slippery, so you could easily avoid visiting these waterfalls to make the walk super safe for kids.
Is Swimming in the Keld Waterfalls Possible?
The most popular waterfalls for wild swimming, include Wain Wath Force and Kisdon Force.
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
- Clapham: The Top 13 Things To Do During A Visit to Clapham, Yorkshire
- Ribblehead: 15 Awesome Things To Do In Ribblehead
- The walk is dog-friendly: you’re welcome to take pooch on this walk.
- Visit after heavy rainfall: the waterfalls are much more impressive after decent rainfall.
- 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.
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