Yorkshire Photo Explorer

Hackfall Woods

Fisher's Hall, Hackfall Woods

Hackfall Woods is a beautiful woodland landscape near the village of Grewelthorpe in North Yorkshire. Interspersed with follies, trails and viewpoints, it is a good place for photography. The woodland was actually landscaped by William Aislabie in the 18th century (who, with his father John, landscaped Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal)¹.

The main reason I wanted to visit Hackfall Woods was to see the end of the autumn colours. Not long after leaving the car park, where you can pick up a walking map, you get a stunning view across the valley. The vantage points of Lovers’ Leap and The Ruin provide a great view of the kaleidoscope of colours in the trees. If you like autumn colours, this is certainly a good place to come.

Hackfall Woods autumn colours

Descending towards the river, I spotted numerous mushrooms in the undergrowth. I therefore couldn’t resist a few macro shots. This is a good place for fungi photography, with plenty of light around to brighten up the photos. I also liked the fallen leaves to add some colour and interest.

Fungi, Hackfall Woods

I next made the quick walk up to Mowbray Castle, one of the Grade II listed buildings on site. Whilst there wasn’t much of a view, the building itself was interesting. Back down in the valley, I spent some time trying out some slow shutter speed pictures on the streams and mini waterfalls. I particularly liked the vibrancy of the bright green moss against the yellow-orange leaves on the ground.

Finally I headed towards Fisher’s Hall. This was my favourite of the follies, and has some great views over the River Ure. Nearby is Forty Foot Fall, which I have seen pictures of online. However there clearly needs to be a lot more rain as it was just a trickle on my visit. One to come back to, as it can be quite spectacular.

I really enjoyed my trip to Hackfall Woods and recommend it for an autumnal visit for colours, fungi, flowing water and ruins. Here are some of the photos from my trip:

Approximate post code (for sat nav) HG4 3DE
Parking There is a free car park off Thorpe Road, just north of the village of Grewelthorpe
Website http://www.hackfall.org.uk/

This is the location of Hackfall Woods:

This is the car park and entrance:

Notes for next time
  • Take the trails to the waterfalls and other side of the woods
  • Go when there has been more rainfall to see Forty Foot Fall and Alum Spring

¹ Hackfall [accessed 20 November 2016] http://www.hackfall.org.uk/

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