Posforth Gill Waterfall: How to walk to the Bolton Abbey Waterfall

Last Updated on 09/06/2023

Are you looking for a great outdoor adventure in the Yorkshire Dales? Look no further than Posforth Gill Waterfall – one of the best waterfalls in Yorkshire.

This hidden gem is tucked away just a short walk from Bolton Abbey and offers some amazing views during your walk there.

In this guide, you will discover how to get to Posforth Gill from Bolton Abbey, where to park, what else you can do at Bolton Abbey, and more!

So, if you’re ready for one of the most incredible waterfall walks in the Yorkshire Dales – let’s dive right into it!

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Posforth Gill Waterfall: One of the best waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales

There is a lot of choice when it comes to walks in the Yorkshire Dales, but this walk from Bolton Abbey to Posforth Gill Waterfall is one you don’t want to miss!

It is a great Yorkshire Dales walk for families and beginners as the terrain isn’t too challenging. For more experienced hikers, you can choose to extend your walk for more of a challenge.

Here is everything you need to know about visiting Posforth Gill Waterfall.

About Posforth Gill Waterfall

Here is everything you need to know about Posforth Gill Waterfall to help you plan your visit.

Where is Posforth Gill?

Posforth Gill Beck is located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park near the village of Bolton Abbey.

It is a fast-flowing stream that runs from the north, until it meets the River Wharf at Bolton Abbey.

There are several waterfalls on Posforth Gill Beck, but this guide shows you how to easily access the largest and most impressive of them.

This spectacular waterfall can be reached by taking a walk from Bolton Abbey which takes roughly 30 minutes.

During your walk, you will be able to admire the stunning views of rural England as well as some of the best Yorkshire Dales waterfalls.

Where is the Bolton Abbey Waterfall?

Posforth Gill Waterfall is about one mile from the Cavendish Pavillion at Bolton Abbey. It is around two miles from the ruins of Bolton Priory.

Why is it known as the Valley of Desolation Waterfall?

The Valley of Desolation is a stunning moorland landscape and popular destination for walkers.

Surrounded by rugged landscapes and picturesque views, the Valley of Desolation offers an unforgettable experience for hikers of all levels.

The valley makes up a section of the wider Barden Moor. The moorland landscape has been sculpted by centuries of wind and rain which have created dramatic views across the Dales including wildflower meadows, heather-covered hillsides, and rugged outcrops

Posforth Gill Waterfall often takes on the name of the valley in which it is situated, so you can often hear is referred to as the Bolton Abbey waterfall or the Valley of Desolation Waterfall.

As well as visiting the waterfall, the Valley of Desolation is also home to some great wildlife watching opportunities, with a variety of birds calling it home.

All these features make this area a must-visit when exploring the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Posforth Gill Waterfall in Bolton Abbey

How far is the walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall from Bolton Abbey?

Posforth Gill Waterfall is located about one mile north of Cavendish Pavillion at Bolton Abbey. It is about two miles from the Bolton Priory ruins.

The walk is easy but does include uneven terrain as you get closer to the falls. It will take around 30 minutes to reach the waterfall from Cavendish Pavillion and about an hour from the Priory.

Where to park to visit Posforth Gill Waterfall

The most convenient place to park when visiting Posforth Gill Waterfall is at the Bolton Abbey Riverside car park.

To locate the Riverside car park, navigate to BD23 6AN. There is a signpost indicating the car park entrance as you arrive.

Where to park to visit Posforth Gill Waterfall

Do you have to pay to go to Bolton Abbey?

There is no charge to visit Bolton Abbey, just to park your vehicle.

If you are visiting on foot, you won’t have to pay to enter the Bolton Abbey estate.

How much is parking at Bolton Abbey?

Parking at Bolton Abbey costs £15 per vehicle on the day.

If you book in advance, you can get a discounted rate of £12.50 per vehicle.

How to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall from Bolton Abbey

The walk from Bolton Abbey to Posforth Gill Waterfall is easy to follow and only a short walk. Here are the instructions so you can enjoy the walk yourself.

How to get to Posforth Gill Waterfall from Bolton Abbey

Firstly, start the walk outside Cavendish Pavillion. Cross the bridge to the opposite side of the river, then turn left. Follow the path upstream through a field.

How to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall From Bolton Abbey

Once you pass through the gate at the other end of the field, take the path uphill which leads away from the river. This path will bring you out onto a paved track.

Continue to follow the track in the upstream direction just a short distance. One the right-hand side you will see a signpost that indicates the route to the Valley of Desolation and Simon’s Seat. Follow the indicated path through the gate and into the field.

How to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall From Bolton Abbey

Once in the field, cross it diagonally to the left, sticking close to the house. This will lead to a gate with a wide track beyond it.

How to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall From Bolton Abbey

Follow the track as it skirts alongside woodland to the left and pastures to the right. Eventually you will pass a pond on your right.

Shortly after the pond, take the narrower path downhill to the left, rather than sticking to the main path. This path will lead you downhill to a bridge, and the waterfall shortly beyond it.

How to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall From Bolton Abbey

To return to Bolton Abbey, simply retrace your steps following the same route back.

Other things to do at Bolton Abbey

Once you have tracked down Posforth Gill Waterfall, here are some ideas of other things to do at Bolton Abbey to get the most out of your visit.

Walk around Bolton Abbey Estate

The Bolton Abbey Estate is a picturesque 30,000 acre estate that straddles the River Wharfe. It offers breath-taking views and plenty of walking and hiking routes for all ages and abilities.

From gentle strolls around the beautiful grounds to challenging hikes across rugged moorland, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs here.

Discover a wealth of history at Bolton Abbey, with priory ruins dating back centuries as well as striking waterfalls and lush woodlands offering great opportunities for wildlife watching.

Make sure to take advantage of the everything the Bolton Abbey estate has to offer when you next visit!

How to walk from Bolton Abbey to Posforth Gill Waterfall

Walk from Bolton Abbey to Simon’s Seat

If you are looking for a challenge, you can extend the walk from Bolton Abbey to Posforth Gill Falls by continuing to Simon’s Seat.

Simon’s Seat is a popular destination for walkers. It is a rocky outcrop with stunning views of the surrounding area.

Following a route through the Valley of Desolation, you can enjoy views of rolling hills and sweeping valleys. This picturesque spot provides plenty of opportunities to explore nature.

The complete circular walk from Bolton Abbey to Simon’s Seat is a challenging hike. The distance is over 13 kilometres or just over eight miles. The full route will take approximately four and a half hours to complete.

The route includes steep climbs in areas and it not suitable for pushchairs. Dogs are also not allowed on this route.

Despite the challenge, those brave enough to take it on will be rewarded with incredible views that are well worth the hike!

Walk from Bolton Abbey to Barden Bridge

If you are looking for a less challenging hike, the riverside walk from Bolton Abbey to Barden Bridge is a great alternative.

This 7.5km or 4.7-mile route follows a riverside path from Cavendish Pavillion upstream as far as Barden Bridge. Here, you can cross the river and walk back downstream on the opposite side.

The terrain here is easy to navigate and is suitable for pushchairs. The whole route will take around two and a half hours to complete.

How to walk from Bolton Abbey to Barden Bridge

Visit The Brownie Barn

The Brownie Barn in Barden is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat when you’re visiting Bolton Abbey.

Located just one mile away from the estate, The Brownie Barn offers delicious homemade treats and indulgent dishes that are sure to satisfy any craving.

Not only does The Brownie Barn offer tasty food, but it also provides breath-taking views of the Yorkshire Dales countryside which makes for an unforgettable experience.

Don’t forget to pick up a box of their delicious brownies to take away with you!

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or want to enjoy some traditional Yorkshire dishes, The Brownie Barn has something for everyone!

Ride the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway

Take a step back in time and explore the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, one of Yorkshire’s most engaging heritage railways.

This historic railway has been operating since 1888 and offers visitors an inspiring experience as they take a journey through this beautiful part of England.

Visitors can enjoy rides on vintage carriages pulled by steam locomotives as they pass through stunning scenery.

Embsay & Bolton Abbey offers a vast range of on-board dining experiences. From the curry express, ploughman’s lunch and fish & chip specials to afternoon tea, breakfasts or pizza and prosecco, these services make the perfect gift or celebration outing.

Bolton Abbey station is just a short walk from the priory ruins, making a steam train ride a fantastic addition to your day out at Bolton Abbey.

Places to stay near Bolton Abbey

Want to get the most out of your visit to Bolton Abbey? Why not extend your stay and spend a weekend or longer exploring this beautiful part of the Yorkshire Dales?

Here are some of the best places to stay neat Bolton Abbey on your next trip.

The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa

The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa is the perfect destination for those wanting to explore the best of Bolton Abbey in style.

Located within 30,000 acres of land on the estate, this four-star hotel offers luxurious accommodation and a range of top features including a pool, spa, fine dining restaurants, and breath-taking views across the Yorkshire Dales.

Whether you’re looking for an indulgent weekend away or simply want a beautiful place to unwind after your waterfall walk, The Devonshire Arms Hotel is the ideal place to stay.

Station Cottage

Station Cottage is the perfect accommodation for a visit to Bolton Abbey. Located within walking distance of the estate, this charming cottage offers guests a peaceful and comfortable stay during their trip.

The cottage has been lovingly restored and provides all the modern comforts one could need, including a cosy living area with a fully equipped kitchen, three spacious bedrooms and a private garden with a river flowing through it.

Station Cottage is ideal for couples or families wanting to explore everything that Bolton Abbey has to offer in comfort and style.

Catgill Farm Camping

Catgill Farm Camping and Glamping offers a unique outdoor escape for people planning a weekend getaway to Bolton Abbey and the Yorkshire Dales.

Located one mile from the estate, this family-run farm provides guests with a range of accommodation options from camping pitches to luxury glamping pods and bell tents with private hot tubs.

All of these provide an ideal base from which to explore the best waterfalls in Yorkshire as well as take part in other activities such as hiking, cycling or simply relaxing in nature.

With its stunning views across Barden Moor, Catgill Farm Camping is perfect for those looking for an unforgettable experience during their stay in the Yorkshire Dales.

Places to stay near Bolton Abbey - Catgill Farm Camping and Glamping

Howgill Barn

Our personal accommodation of choice for our getaway to Bolton Abbey was Howgill Barn at The Brownie Barn.

Located in a tranquil setting, it is the perfect accommodation for couples planning a visit to the area. This charming barn conversion offers a relaxing stay during your trip.

Each of the four holiday lets at Howgill Barns has a private garden, fire pit, living space, comfortable beds, and stunning views across the Wharfe Valley.

It is conveniently located right along The Dales Way so is the perfect spot for walking enthusiasts. Simon’s Seat can be reached in approximately 30 minutes from Howgill Barn, and from here it is possible to extend your walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall.

Only a few metres away you will find The Brownie Barn, a cafe and shop serving excellent breakfasts, sweet treats, and takeaway pizzas.

Howgill Barn is the ideal place to stay on your next visit to Bolton Abbey.

Places to stay near Bolton ABbey - Howgill Barn at The Brownie Barn

More waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales you need to visit

If you can’t get enough of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales waterfalls, here are some more waterfall walks in the Yorkshire Dales for your next visit:

  • Ingleton Waterfalls Trail – a beautiful circular walk which includes six stunning waterfalls.
  • Malham Circular Walk – includes the most impressive natural sights in Malham, including the magical Janet’s Foss Waterfall.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trails - Waterfall Walks in the Yorkshire Dales

How to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall from Bolton Abbey

So, this is your guide to how to walk to Posforth Gill Waterfall from Bolton Abbey. It is a charming Yorkshire Dales waterfall walk that is easy to manage and provides a fantastic addition to a visit to Bolton Abbey.

Have you visited Posforth Gill Waterfall? I’d love to hear about your adventure in the comments!

And if you want more Yorkshire waterfall inspiration, download your free Yorkshire Waterfalls Checklist for a list of the top 20 must-visit waterfalls in the region! How many have you visited?

Until our next adventure,

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