Last Updated on 28/04/2021
While international travel is grounded, we’re taking the opportunity to find some superb secret spots around our home in Yorkshire, England. We’ve been inspired to share some of our favourite secret spots in our new Hidden Yorkshire series. To kick things off, here is a guide on how to locate Folly Dolly Falls, West Yorkshire’s hidden waterfall.
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Folly Dolly Falls
Folly Dolly Falls is an impressive beauty spot that is pretty well hidden; if you don’t know where to look, you could easily miss it! Because it is tucked away, it makes for a great trip that you can enjoy in peace without many visitors.
In this guide, we’ll recommend where to park, how to locate the falls and the best time for visiting.
What You Need To Know
Location: Meltham, West Yorkshire
Where to park: alongside Morrisons supermarket (navigate to HD9 5QR and follow instructions below)
Walk time: approximately 30 mins from the car to the falls so a 1 hour round trip. You’ll want to factor in extra time for taking photos and reading the information boards though.
Terrain: fairly accessible on the greenway but gets challenging towards the waterfall. The steps are steep and slippy, and there are minimal paths near the waterfall. Ensure you have sturdy, waterproof shoes.
When to visit: generally recommended around autumn time or after heavy rainfall for the most impressive water flow. During especially cold winters the waterfall has been known to freeze, which would make an impressive spectacle!
If you are planning a visit to Folly Dolly Falls, please observe this advice to ensure that every visitor enjoys their experience.
- Don’t bring a picnic. There isn’t really space at the falls for a picnic so don’t pack one.
- If you do bring a snack for your journey, make sure you take all of your rubbish away with you.
- Do not hang around in the fields near the falls. These are private land and many are used to keep horses. They don’t want your company and if they consume any litter you drop it could be deadly.
- Respect the environment and the local residents. Please be conscious that you are a guest in Meltham and this area is home for the local community. Littering, graffiti and vandalism is not acceptable anywhere.
- Practice leave no trace and leave Folly Dolly Falls exactly as you found it. Do not leave anything behind, and do not take anything away with you. The only exception to this is if you see litter. Please help to keep the area as beautiful as possible by picking up a piece of litter if you see it and placing it in a bin. Think of how much good we can do if every visitor picked up one piece of litter on their visit!
How To Find Folly Dolly Falls
So, to kick off your visit to Folly Dolly Falls, you’ll need to locate a spot to park the car. The easiest thing to do is to drive towards the Morrisons supermarket in Meltham (HD9 5QR) but instead of turning into the car park, continue straight over the mini roundabout towards the residential estate. There should be space to pull up beside Morrisons before the delivery entrance on the right-hand side of the road.
Once you’ve found a safe spot for the car, follow the footpath into the residential estate, alongside the river. This will take you beyond the houses and onto a bridal path. Once you reach the route photographed below, your journey begins!
The route along Meltham greenway is obvious and easy to follow. As you continue down the path you will encounter what used to be the old turntable. This formed part of the testing track for the David Brown Tractor Company.
It is worth pausing here to read the information boards to learn about the geology and local history before you continue on the greenway.
Once you’ve read the information boards, you can continue along the greenway path. This area is a pretty, shaded woodland that makes for a pleasant walk. The path is fairly accessible at this stage but does get more challenging near the waterfall.
As you progress down the greenway, the woodland opens up to show some of the beautiful surrounding countryside. There are several little pathways branching off the main greenway, which you can climb to admire the scenery.
Getting To The Waterfall
To find Folly Dolly Falls, you need to keep an eye out for the gap in the fence pictured below. The greenway does extend beyond the gap so make sure you don’t pass it! From this point the terrain gets a little more challenging.
You’ll want to go through the gap in the fence, and head towards the metal gate on the left. Don’t pass through the gate however, swing right round the tree and follow the steps downwards as pictured below.
As you get to the bottom of the steps, be sure to look over to your right. You’ll find this cute little tunnel. The river flows through the tunnel, which cuts underneath the greenway and out to the other side.
Using the term ‘path’ would be generous here, but from the tunnel turn left and follow the river around the corner to get your first glimpse of the falls. The space for footing is narrow and muddy, even when visiting in summer, so be sure to watch your step!
What To Do At Folly Dolly Falls
Admittedly, there isn’t a large amount to do at the falls, as the shortage of space means you can’t really set up a spot to sit and it doesn’t accommodate a huge number of visitors.
That being said, it is a wonderful place to capture some beautiful photographs, step across on the rocks and (if you’re feeling brave) take a little paddle in the shallow water. You can also retrace your footsteps and take a path that branches off the stairs to the right, to walk up to the top of the falls as pictured below.
It’s a beautiful little hidden spot, which is a great place to explore and is usually free of other visitors so you can enjoy the natural wonder in peace.
When To Visit
It is generally recommended to visit the falls around autumn time, as the rainfall means that the water is gushing and looking impressive. However, we visited on a beautiful summer’s day after a week of persistent rainfall and it looked lovely. Plus the low water lever meant it was easy to cross the river to the other side. Occasionally, the waterfall has been known to freeze in winter so if you time it right you could find an impressive sight!
If you’re visiting during the height of summer after a dry spell, you’re likely to be disappointed! So hold out for a bit of rain. Trust me, it will be worth it!
Why Folly Dolly Falls?
The origin of the name name of Folly Dolly Falls is often debated. According to local folklore, there was a local woman who lived in one of the cottages above the waterfall who was jilted by her lover and took her life at the falls. However, historians suggest that the name stems from a nickname, most likely given to a clothier or ‘dolly’ who build his home in the remote setting, making it somewhat of a ‘folly’.
Will You Visit Folly Dolly Falls?
So here is our guide to visiting Folly Dolly Falls, will you be paying this beauty spot a visit when you’re next in the area? Be sure to bring your camera along, as you’re bound to get some wonderful photos whatever the time of year!
If you want to discover more incredible Hidden Yorkshire locations, see here for the complete series.
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