Waterfalls in the United Kingdom

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The waterfalls in the United Kingdom are many and various. The British rivers and hills together produce a wealth of beautiful cascades, too many to list. However the highest and most famed are given here, placed in a more orderly form than the wild, untamed waters themselves would ever contemplate.

Names and measurement

Waterfalls go by many names, according to local preference. In the Highlands, which have the highest of them and some of the most spectacular, they are named most frequently "Falls", a usage followed in most of Britain, or in Gaelic or formerly Gaelic areas "Eas", while the same word appears as Ess in Ulster. Throughout the north the word "Linn" is used for a narrow gorge through which a stream is forced and hence a waterfall also; this is from the Old English hlynn, meaning "torrent". Amongst the Pennines and the Lakeland Fells they take the name "Force", from the Old Norse word fors. In Wales the language embedded in the hills is Welsh, and the names Rhaeadr or Pisyll, or in the south Sgwd, may appear in the name of a waterfall. In southern England there are too few spectacular falls to make a judgment.

To measure the height of a waterfall is hard; there is a question as to whether to measure the single largest fall or the sum of a series of falls, and any list of the highest will be argued over endlessly on this account. Many falls make claims to the record for the highest in any county or region based on a series of tumbles, which may be impressive and is legitimate as the water does indeed fall that far, though those might also be considered a series of falls, and the visitor to the falls may make his own judgment.

Highest 11 waterfalls in the United Kingdom

Eas a' Chual Aluinn, Sutherland
Cauldron Snout

The list of highest waterfalls is often a cause of argument, due to the ambiguity of whether to measure the single largest fall or the sum of a series of falls. Many falls make a claim to the record based on a series of tumbles, but this table measures each waterfall by the tallest single drop.

Waterfall Height (feet) County
1 Eas a' Chual Aluinn 656 Sutherland
2 Steall Waterfall 394 Inverness-shire
3 Falls of Glomach 371 Ross-shire
4 Devil's Appendix 305 Caernarfonshire
5 Pistyll y Llyn 299 Cardiganshire/
6 Pistyll Rhaeadr 262 Montgomeryshire
7 Cautley Spout 249 Yorkshire
=8 Falls of Foyers 203 Inverness-shire
=8 Falls of Clyde 203 Lanarkshire
=10 Falls of Bruar 197 Perthshire
=10 Cauldron Snout 197 Cumberland
Co Durham

Notable waterfalls

High Force, Durham & Yorkshire
Falls of Glomach
Pistyll Rhaeadr
Aber Falls, Caernarfonshire
White Lady Waterfall, Devon
Name River Height (feet) County
Aber Falls Afon Rhaeadr Fawr 120 Caernarfonshire
Aira Force Aira Beck 66 Cumberland
Aysgarth Falls River Ure 100 Yorkshire
Baxenghyll Gorge River Twiss Yorkshire
Canonteign Falls 220 Devon
Catrake Force River Swale 30 Yorkshire
Cenarth Falls River Teifi Cardiganshire
Conwy Falls River Conwy Caernarfonshire, Denbighshire
Cotter Force Cotter Beck 33 Yorkshire
Dolgoch Falls Nant Dol-gôch Merionethshire
Dyserth Falls River Ffyddion 70 Flintshire
Eas a' Chual Aluinn Allt Chrànaigh 656 Sutherland
Eas an Fhir Mhoir River Etive 20 Argyllshire
Eas Bàn Garbh Allt Buteshire
Eas Coire nan Choire Allt Coire nan Cnamh Inverness-shire
Eas Mòr Allt Mor Buteshire
Easan Laogh Allt Coire Laogh Argyllshire
East Gill Force East Gill 15 Yorkshire
Esk Falls River Esk Cumberland
Ess-na-Larach River Ariff County Antrim
Ess na Crub Inver River County Antrim
Falling Foss Little Beck 67 Yorkshire
Falls of Bruar Bruar Water 200 Perthshire
Falls of Dochart River Dochart Perthshire
Falls of Foyers River Foyers 203 Inverness-shire
Ffrwd Fawr River Twymyn 130 Montgomeryshire
Gaping Gill Fell Beck Yorkshire
Glenashdale Falls Glenashdale Burn Buteshire
Golitha Falls River Fowey Cornwall
Gordale Scar Gordale Beck Yorkshire
Grey Mare's Tail Tail Burn 200 Dumfriesshire
Grey Mare's Tail Allt Coire na Ba Inverness-shire
Grey Mare's Tail River Conwy Caernarfonshire, Denbighshire
Hardraw Force Hardraw Beck 100 Yorkshire
Henrhyd Waterfall Nant Llech 90 Brecknockshire
High Force River Tees 315 Co Durham, Yorkshire
Horseshoe Falls River Dee Denbighshire
Janet's Foss Gordale Beck Yorkshire
Kinder Downfall River Kinder 98 Derbyshire
Kisdon Force River Swale 33 Yorkshire
Lady Exmouth Falls (mine leat) 220 Devon
Linn of Avon River Avon Banffshire
Linn of Dee River Dee Aberdeenshire
Linn of Quoich Quoich Water Aberdeenshire
Llech Sychryd Nant Hir Brecknockshire, Glamorgan
Low Force River Tees 18 Co Durham
Machno Falls River Machno Caernarfonshire
Mallyan Spout West Beck Yorkshire
Melincourt Falls Melin Court Brook 80 Glamorgan
Moss Force Moss Beck 328 Cumberland
Mynach Falls River Mynach 300 Cardiganshire
Ogwen Falls River Ogwen Caernarfonshire
Pecca Falls River Twiss Yorkshire
Pistyll Cain River Gain Merionethshire
Pistyll Du Nant y Graean Merionethshire
Pistyll Gwyn River Crawcwellt Merionethshire
Pistyll Gwyn River Pumryd Merionethshire
Pistyll Henfynachlog River Eiddon Merionethshire
Pistyll y Llyn Llyfnant Cardiganshire, Montgomeryshire
Pistyll Rhaeadr River Rhaeadr 240 Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire
Pistyll Rhyd-y-meinciau River Eiddew Montgomeryshire
Pistyll y Gaseg Ysgo Caernarfonshire
Pwll y Crochan Sychryd Brecknockshire, Glamorgan
Pwll-y-Gerwyn River Dare Glamorgan
Rhaeadr-bach River Rhaeadr-bach Caernarfonshire
Rhaeadr Cynfal River Cynfal Merionethshire
Rhaeadr y Cwm River Cynfal Merionethshire
Rhaeadr Du River Prysor Merionethshire
Rhaeadr Du River Gamlan Merionethshire
Rhaeadr Mawddach River Mawddach Merionethshire
Richmond Falls River Swale Yorkshire
Rival Falls River Doe Yorkshire
Rogie Falls Black Water Ross-shire
Rutter Force Hoff Beck Westmorland
Scale Force Scale Beck 170 Cumberland
Sgwd Clun-gwyn River Mellte Brecknockshire
Sgwd Ddwli Isaf Nedd Fechan Brecknockshire
Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf Nedd Fechan Brecknockshire
Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn River Mellte Brecknockshire
Sgwd Einion Gam River Pyrddin Brecknockshire, Glamorgan
Sgwd Gwladus River Pyrddin Brecknockshire, Glamorgan
Sgwd y Bedol Nedd Fechan Brecknockshire
Sgwd yr Eira River Hepste Brecknockshire
Sgwd y Pannwr River Mellte Brecknockshire
Spout of Garnock River Garnock 70 Ayrshire
Stanley Force Birker Beck Cumberland
Steall Waterfall Allt Coire a’ Mhail 394 Inverness-shire
Stock Ghyll Force Stock Ghyll Westmorland
Swallow Falls River Llugwy Caernarfonshire
Taylorgill Force Styhead Gill Cumberland
Thornton Force River Twiss Yorkshire
Wain Wath Force River Swale 5 Yorkshire
White Lady Waterfall River Lyd 100 Devon