Whilst returning home from a weekend in Northumbria, we visited Ashgill Force in the northern Pennines, south of Alston. This is an impressive waterfall with a drop of 17m (56ft), directly under the B6277 with a few smaller falls lower down the river. However it is out of sight and not signposted from the road, so is probably rarely visited. Certainly we had the spot to ourselves on a pleasant spring afternoon in March.
Location and Parking
Post Code: CA9 3HB
Ashgill Force is located 5 miles south of Alston on on the B6277. The waterfall is directly under the road, which crosses high above over a graceful sandstone arch. There are no signposts to the falls (that we could find!) but the spot can be located as the road takes a bend as it crosses the wooded ravine of Ashgill. There is limited roadside parking to the south of the bridge, in front of a white house.
From the parking spot, cross over the road and walk a few meters towards the bridge. Just before the bridge, there is a small gap in the wall, and a footpath down into the ravine. Ashgill Force comes into view after a double-back on the path. From the bottom of the ravine there is a path of sorts up the right hand side of the waterfall for a closer look, and in some circumstances it is possible to pass behind the waterfall. Care would be required, and we did not try this as it was rather slippery close to the falls.
Lower down, the river is crossed by a footbridge and there are a couple of smaller falls. The upper one is not well placed for photographing, but the lower fall drops into a small pool and makes a pleasant shot.