Travel & Tourism

Gaping Gill – the record-breaking waterfall you can only see twice a year

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 17th May 2024

There are a lot of incredible waterfalls in the UK – but did you know that the highest unbroken waterfall in England is right here in the north?

Gaping Gill is a record-breaking spot in the Yorkshire Dales, about an hour and a half from Greater Manchester.

Despite the Fell Beck waterfall being a massive 110-metres tall, it’s actually pretty difficult to see.

Unusually, the waterfall is underground in a huge cave system – and even more unusually, it’s only accessible to the public twice a year.

Those lucky enough to visit are lowered down into the massive chamber on a winch by a local pothole club.

Gaping Gill in the Yorkshire Dales. Credit: Instagram @yorkshire_brew

It’s not for the faint-hearted, or much fun for people who are scared of heights, but once your feet are on the solid ground at the bottom of the cave you’ll be in one of the most awe-inspiring settings in the country.

The Gaping Gill cave chamber is 129m long, 31m high, and 25m wide – so large you can fit an entire cathedral inside it.


Its cave system is connected to the famous Ingleborough Cave.

The first person to make it all the way inside was Frenchman Edouard Martel in 1895, who used a rope ladder to climb down and kept in touch with those on the surface using a telephone.

The Craven Pothole Club helps people to visit every August and the Bradford Pothole Club every May.


The rest of the time, all you can see from above ground is the cave’s opening on the slopes of Ingleborough.

Local photographer Tatiana Hepplewhite said after her visit: “Twice a year, England’s highest unbroken waterfall is open to the public.

“The catch? The waterfall, named aptly Gaping Gill, actually falls into the ground.

“Very helpful Bradford and Craven pothole clubs put a winch and take lucky members of the public, such as myself, all 100 meters down. How was it? In one word – awesome!”

The next trip down into the chasm will between the 25 May and 31 May for £20 per person.


Read more: The jaw-dropping country walk that passes a tower taller than The Shard

Featured image: Instagram, @alfie_moses