Discover Yorkshire’s Lesser-Known Natural Wonders

Yorkshire is not just about its iconic dales and moors; it’s also home to an array of hidden gems waiting to be explored. Dive into this guide and unearth some of Yorkshire’s best-kept secrets!

Caves and Potholes

Gaping Gill - the inside of a large cavern, with a waterfall entering from above, directly
Gaping Gill
  • Gaping Gill (pictured above): A vast cave where Fell Beck plunges dramatically inside.
  • Jubilee Cave: Situated near Settle, this cavern is a quiet escape from the more frequented attractions.
  • Victoria Cave: Beyond its natural beauty, this cave near Settle boasts significant prehistoric artifacts.
  • Hull Pot: Wander near Horton-in-Ribblesdale to find one of England’s largest natural holes.


  • Janet’s Foss (pictured above): Experience tranquillity by this waterfall surrounded by enchanting woodlands near Malham.
  • Scaleber Force: Nestled near Settle, this waterfall is a slice of serene wilderness.
  • Stainforth Force: Located on the River Ribble, it’s a spectacle in the autumn as salmon leap upstream.

Gorges and Ravines

  • Gordale Scar (pictured above): Marvel at this limestone ravine near Malham, featuring cascading waterfalls.
  • How Stean Gorge: Visit Nidderdale’s “Little Switzerland” for a stunning ravine experience.
  • Troller’s Gill: Near Appletreewick, this gorge is steeped in local legends of trolls and spectral dogs.

Reservoirs and Lakes

  • Swinsty Reservoir: Wander around this picturesque reservoir, enveloped by dense woodlands and trails.
  • Thruscross Reservoir: Discover the whispers of the submerged village of West End.
  • Leighton Reservoir (pictured above): Nestled in North Yorkshire, it’s a haven for bird enthusiasts.

Hills and Peaks

  • Otley Chevin: Revel in panoramic views overlooking Otley and the expansive Wharfedale.
  • Simon’s Seat (pictured above): Ascend this Wharfedale peak to discover ancient rock formations.
  • Sharp Haw: Near Skipton, this vantage point offers a bird’s eye view of the Dales.

Coastal Features

  • Hayburn Wyke (pictured above): Unearth this secluded cove where a waterfall gracefully meets the sea.
  • Spurn Head: Venture to East Riding to witness this narrow, ever-changing sand tidal island.

Woodlands and Forests

  • Hackfall Woods: Explore waterfalls, grottos, and rustic temples nestled near Masham.
  • Nidd Gorge: Journey near Harrogate and let the River Nidd guide you through this serene gorge.

Limestone Pavements and Outcrops

  • Norber Erratics: Wander near Austwick and tread on a distinctive limestone pavement and find glacial erratics in boulder fields.
  • Parson’s Pulpit: Behold the limestone escarpment offering panoramic views, located near Kilnsey Crag.

Rivers and Streams

  • The Strid (pictured above): Experience the might of the River Wharfe as it narrows dramatically near Bolton Abbey.
  • Stainforth Force: Just upriver from Settle is this small cascading waterfall with a pool below and seasonal salmon migrations.

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