Crackpot Falls

The wonderfully named Crackpot Falls are located in the valley of Swaledale, close to the village of Reeth. They are not as well known as a number of other waterfalls in the Dales, but they are relatively easy to access, and are well worth a visit.

Location and Parking

Post Code: IP18 6LT & IP18 6HQ

The B6270 is the main road along Swaledale. If driving from the east, pass through the villages of Reeth and Healaugh. About 4 miles east of Reeth, just past the small village of Feetham, turn left up a minor road signposted to Crackpot. From the west, this junction is about 1.5 miles east of Gunerside. Continue on the minor road past a couple of junctions and following signs for Crackpot. Just after the road starts to climb, there is a gate on the left side, with space to park a single car in front of the gate. There is a sign on a side gate saying Private Property, but this probably refers to the path through this smaller gate and there should be no problem parking in front of the main gate as it is only for pedestrian access to the waterfall. Crackpot Falls are in sight from the gate, through the trees, and is reached just a couple of minutes walk along the track from the gate.

After visiting the falls, it is best to drive up to the farm of Crackpot to turn the car around.

Crackpot Falls

There are a number of trees around the falls, so a visit in winter may be best when there are fewer leaves on the trees to obstruct the view.

Crackpot Falls

There are some small falls directly above the main drop. A wider panorama view can bring those into the picture, however there is a tree in the centre which does rather split the image in two. However this does give a better idea of the overall setting. When we visited in January 2022, there was some bright blue hose piping on the opposite side of the falls, which I have removed with some careful editing. This is possibly some form of farming water intake, but one wonders whether a more sympathetic installation could be arranged.

Crackpot Falls Panorama

The smaller upper falls also make quite an attractive subject in their own right.

Upper Crackpot Falls

The area around Crackpot Falls is quite heavily wooded, so there are a lot of moss covered rocks about, so it is worth exploring for a few different compositions.

Moss Covered Rocks At Crackpot

A small way upstream of the main falls, there is a further small cascade, which is also worth a visit.

Small Cascades Above Crackpot

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