Aysgarth High Force: the upper falls
Aysgarth Falls are a triple flight of waterfalls, surrounded by forest and farmland, carved out by the River Ure over an almost a one-mile stretch on its descent to mid-Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales. They are found near the village of Aysgarth, in the North Riding of Yorkshire.
The falls are a grand spectacle during wet weather, as thousands of gallons of water cascade over the series of broad limestone steps.
The name 'Aysgarth' originates from Old Norse, meaning the open space in the oak trees.
About the falls
Aysgarth Falls have attracted visitors for over 200 years; John Ruskin, J M W Turner and William Wordsworth visited, all enthusing about the falls’ outstanding beauty.
In addition to the falls, there are walks which wind through the wooded valley, offering views of the river and falls. Wild flowers appear in the spring and summer, and wild birds, squirrels and deer may also be seen. Nearby is St Andrew's church, which has a large churchyard, reputed to be the largest in Britain. The church has a mediæval painted wooden screen rescued from the destroyed Jervaulx Abbey.
In art and popular culture
The falls have inspired poets and painters. Turner painted the falls, and Wordsworth came here during his honeymoon.
- The upper and middle fall was featured in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
- The television programme Seven Natural Wonders included the falls as one of the wonders of the North.