Yorkshire Photo Explorer

Scaleber Force

Scaleber Force

Scaleber Force is a very picturesque waterfall located near Settle in North Yorkshire. The falls cascade over several tiers and there are rocks to make interesting foregrounds. Even in February, they make a good photography location as the moss retains a vibrant green colour.

I visited on a very cold, rainy morning. The dark, overcast skies made it ideal for photographing waterfalls to avoid the harsh contrasts. I’d visited previously on a bright day around mid-late morning, which was not good from a photography perspective. If it is a bright day, I’d advise arriving early before the sun starts illuminating the waterfall. However I had no worries about sunshine this time around!

When you first get to the falls, they are partially hidden behind a tree. If you want a shot like the main photo above, you’ll need to climb up the waterfall tiers to get a better angle of view. The first one is quite high, but manageable if you don’t mind a bit of balancing and hauling yourself up. It is very slippery after rain though, so I’d advise caution.

Once up, I was quite taken aback with just how photogenic the falls are. I was also surprised at how clear the water is. After a few wide angle shots, I put on the zoom to try and get some details.

Scaleber Force detail

I think there are a number of good shots you can get here. On my visit the water was not too deep and you can wade across in wellies to try different set ups. However my visit was cut short when it started snowing. It was becoming impossible to take pictures without snow/rain drops on the lens, so I gave up and headed back up the steps the car.

Here are a few more photos from my trip to Scaleber Force:

Approx. post code (for sat nav) BD24 9LA
Parking If you come up High Hill Lane from Settle, the steep road will eventually level out. As you drive along the road, you will see a small wood/copse of trees ahead of you on the right hand side. Next to the trees and just before a sharp bend to the right, you will see a small layby with some steps in the wall and a sign post. You can park here:

There isn’t much space here, so if there is already a car parked, drive around the bend and over the small bridge. There is another space here on the right:
Directions If you’ve parked in the first space mentioned, go over steps in the wall next to the parking place (marked ‘welcome to Scaleber Wood’). Follow the path straight ahead. After a very short distance (about 10m), you’ll see the falls below you on your left. Keep following the path straight ahead and then steeply down and around to the left. There are rough stone steps all the way to the bottom of the falls. I visited when it was raining/snowing – be warned, the steps/stones are very, very slippery when wet.

This is the location of Scaleber Force (ignore the post code that Google Maps gives you on here – it is very wrong!):

Notes for next time
  • Try some shots from in the water or from the other bank
  • Try a few more detail shots

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