Posforth Falls

Posforth Gill and North Nab

Walk Summary

A lovely summer’s evening walk from Bolton Abbey’s Riverside car park visiting the two waterfalls of Posforth Gill and the trig point on North Nab.

Distance: 5.5 miles
Total ascent: 965ft
Walk Rating: ****
Parking: Bolton Abbey, Riverside
Route: Download Route [GPX]

Photo Gallery

Walk Report

The last few years I’ve enjoyed taking advantage of the long days of summer to head out for a walk after work. For various reasons that has not happened this year and this was in fact the first summer’s evening walk I’d managed in 2016.

This is a route I’d actually planned on doing last November but the heavy rains had rendered the crossing of Great Agill Beck completely impracticable. Instead, after viewing the awesome sight of Posforth falls in spate I’d walked up to Simon’s Seat and back. I was intrigued therefore to see the two waterfalls in more ‘normal’ conditions whilst also revisiting the North Nab trig point for the first time in 11 years.

“The contrast in conditions with my previous visit couldn’t have been greater especially on the second waterfall where the raging frothing torrent had been replaced by an atmospheric little drop into a dark shaded pool.”

Starting from the Riverside car park I crossed Cavendish Bridge and turned left along the quiet narrow Storiths to Barden road. Leaving the road at Waterfall Cottage I took the permissive path heading into Posforth Gill, more commonly known as the Valley of Desolation after the damage done following a terrific storm in 1826.

After nervously crossing a pasture featuring some rather active cows I passed below the outcrops of North Nab. Just near a small pond I spotted a couple of hares. Catching them in flagrante delicto their subsequent post-coital state rendered them surprisingly relaxed about my presence and I was able to get within ten metres of them with my camera.

Continuing on I dropped down to the first and most impressive of the two waterfalls. Indeed this lower waterfall is one of the most attractive in the Dales and it is perhaps surprising that is doesn’t have a specific name. The contrast in conditions with my previous visit couldn’t have been greater especially on the second waterfall where the raging frothing torrent had been replaced by an atmospheric little drop into a dark shaded pool.

After visiting the second waterfall I retraced my steps back to the main path which I followed out of the woods and on to the open moor. Shortly afterwards I left the path leading to Simon’s Seat to cross Great Agill Beck. From there I took the permissive path through green pastures, a seeming oasis surrounded by heather moors, to the ruins of Agill House and on to the beautifully located house at Broadshawe.

From Broadshawe I followed the house’s access track across Hazelwood Moor. When the track passed through a wall before dropping down to Bolton Park Farm I cut up the grassy slopes on my right before turning left to walk out to the waiting trig point on North Nab. I then continued my detour a bit further on to the end of South Nab where there was superb prospect of this section of Wharfedale, including a great view of Bolton Abbey.

Doubling back I returned to the main path for an easy walk on the track down to Bolton Park Farm. From there it was a simple walk back down to Cavendish Bridge to find that mine was now the only car in the car park – a surreal sight when it is normally so busy.

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