Wain Wath Force

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Wain Wath Force
Wain Wath Force, near Keld - geograph.org.uk - 9058.jpg
Wain Wath Force
River: River Swale
Fall: 5 feet
Co-ordinates: 54°24’32"N, 2°10’54"W

Wain Wath Force is a waterfall on the River Swale in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.[1] The falls are to be found half a mile upstream of the hamlet of Keld which has three other waterfalls in its vicinity, namely Kisdon Force, East Gill Force and Catrake Force.

Its name derives from the ford above the fall, waþ being the Anglo-Saxon word for a ford. 'Wain' may denote that it was passable for a cart or wain. 'Force' is a North Country word for a waterfall, from Old Norse.

Wain Wath Force is not a substantial waterfall in terms of height; it has a drop of only around 5 feet, but it is broad and beautiful. It forms as the river flows beneath the limestone cliffs of Cotterby Scar. Despite its modest height it is popular with visitors; the Coast to Coast Walk, a long distance trail, passes the falls on the north bank of the River Swale while the main motor road up Upper Swaledale passes on the south bank.


  1. Kelsall, Dennis: 'Walking in the Yorkshire Dales: North and East' (Cicerone, 2015) ISBN 978-1-85284-798-2; page 151