Yorkshire Waterfalls 5 – West Burton Falls

We’ve mentioned West Burton Waterfall (also known as Cauldron Force) numerous times on the blog – Sam had a look at the ever changing Cauldron Force last year, examining how different it looks on each visit.  However, it’s such a fantastic subject – one of the locations painted by Turner on his travels in the Yorkshire Dales – so no series on Yorkshire Waterfalls would be complete without a visit to wonderful West Burton!

Patterns in Walden Beck below West Burton Waterfall
Patterns in Walden Beck below West Burton Waterfall

The waterfall is situated in West Burton village in Wensleydale, not far from Aysgarth Falls so it’s well worth a look on any trip to those more famous falls on the River Ure.  Situated in a rocky amphitheatre surrounded by overhanging trees, it’s a shady spot which makes it great for moving water photography as the waterfall doesn’t often catch any direct sunlight making it easy to photograph.  The resulting lengthy exposures will mean (as ever) that a tripod is an essential piece of kit to have with you.

West Burton Waterfall after (very) heavy rain
West Burton Waterfall after (very) heavy rain

When the water level in Walden Beck is low there are plenty of exposed rocks to stand on and a multitude of different viewpoints to photograph the falls from, along with other interesting features in the stream – it seems to reveal new patterns and shapes on every visit!  After heavy rain the falls are more dramatic – though I always like West Burton Waterfall in its gentler mood when the mossy rock is visible behind the drops of water – this is when I think that my favourite waterfall looks at its best!

If you’d like to photograph West Burton Waterfall with us, it’s one of the highlights on our Aysgarth workshop (the next visit in June is fully booked, but we have spaces on the workshop in October at the time of writing).

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