Goitstock Wood is a small area of broadleaf woodland near Cullingworth in West Yorkshire and, together with Harden Beck that flows through it, it is a designated Site of Ecological and Geological Importance. It’s a lovely spot for an autumnal walk with good autumn colours (particularly around the Hallas Bridge end of the woodland on my latest visit) but the highlight of this location is the delightful Goitstock Falls a short walk downstream from Hallas Bridge, which is worth a look at any time of year.
Above the falls there is a nice rocky section with pools of still water which are great for reflections – and the fallen autumn leaves made this scene particularly interesting.
Just upstream of the main falls there is a smaller cascade which is worth a quick look.
However, the main waterfall requires a much longer stop, with a variety of viewpoints along the beck offering options for close-up studies of the falls and wider views taking in surrounding rocks, trees and (on this occasion) a carpet of fallen leaves.
The wider shots seemed to work best on this visit, making best use of the surrounding autumnal trees. As always, I had picked a nice still overcast day for my visit – the diffused light working best with the moving water and autumn colours. This, of course, resulted in some quite lengthy exposures – so don’t forget the tripod on your visit!
Further downstream there were some exposed rocks with water swirling around them which made a great little details subject, with a few autumn leaves adding a touch of colour.
Although this is a nice peaceful spot for a walk, there is plenty of evidence of the industrial past along Harden Beck. In fact, there were once six mills along the beck – some still exist and have been converted for residential use, but Goit Stock Mill itself burnt down in 1927. However, the old chimney still remains – which is further up the bank on the edge of the woodland, and is worth a look on the return path to Cullingworth.
The woods can be accessed down Hallas Lane from Cullingworth. I used OS Map OL21 South Pennines and the waterfalls can be found roughly at grid reference SE076367 (it’s right on the edge of the map, so you may need sheet 288 as well if you want to walk further downstream towards Harden.