In the second part of our mini Tour of The Dales exploring the Tour de France route we’re having a look at Hardraw near Hawes and the Buttertubs Pass, a strenuous climb from Wensleydale into Swaledale.
The Buttertubs which give their name to the pass, whilst being an interesting geological feature, aren’t all that exciting from a photographic point of view, but are work a quick stop on any trip between the two northern Dales. Of much more interest to the photographer, down on the Wensleydale side near Hawes is the magnificent Hardraw Force, tucked away behind the famous Green Dragon Inn in the tiny village of Hardraw.
Just a short walk behind the pub (where there’s a small charge to visit the waterfall) the mighty Hardraw Force is England’s highest single drop waterfall. After heavy rain it can be a raging torrent, but in slightly drier conditions it’s more gentle, and if the rocks aren’t too slippery you may have the opportunity to walk right behind it, which provides a more unusual view of the falls.
Although the return path on the other side of the beck isn’t fully accessible due to erosion, it’s worth a wander some way down the path to look back towards the waterfall. In late spring and early summer the fresh green foliage and flowers along the path provide a nice lead-in to the Force.
If you’d like to join us in Wensleydale for some waterfall photography, take a look at our Aysgarth Falls Photography Workshop.