Amazingly spectacular, easily accessible, and immortalised in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Aysgarth Falls is the perfect place to inspire young explorers about the great outdoors.
When I think about the most memorable outdoor locations I visited with my parents, they all had the wow factor. That instant impact that almost makes your eyes pop out of your head. In fact, even now I’m an adult that hasn’t changed. And of all the places I’ve visited in my life, few have packed as much of an immediate punch as Aysgarth Falls.
I’d always wanted to go there since watching Little John wallop Robin Hood in the legendary quarterstaff battle that made this place an instant Hollywood tourist attraction. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves was my favourite movie growing up, and as soon as I heard this was where they filmed those famous scenes I had to go there.
I’d anticipated having to walk for miles through thick woodland to reach this magical destination, and I suppose the fact a road runs right over the top of the falls on a little humpback bridge takes the sheen off it ever so slightly, but the sight of those massive cascades soon erased any disappointment.
The upper falls are visible directly from the bridge, and are amazingly spectacular, but the lower falls are even more impressive. Aysgarth Falls in its entirety stretches for around one mile, tumbling over three broad sections of limestone steps and provides an awesome sight, particularly after heavy rainfall.
The lovely woodland walk through the lower falls is pushchair and wheelchair friendly, with steps leading down to viewing platforms at the most impressive spots, and there’s a car park located in the woods, right at the start of the trail. The upper falls are wonderful to visit in summer, with a big grassy area beside the River Ure that’s perfect for picnics.
This route continues out of St Joseph’s Wood on a little countryside loop with great views towards Castle Bolton, before swinging back round to the car park.
Pushchairs: the woodland trails are easy enough with a pram, but the countryside trail towards Hollins House will be more tricky. A child carrier may be the best option.
Dog owners: this is a great walk for dogs, but be aware of wildlife and farm animals. You’ll need to keep your dog on a lead in the fields.
Download the route: click here to download this route for free in the ViewRanger app, then follow it on your phone, smartwatch or tablet using the app’s active GPS features.