Cautley Spout, England’s highest cascade waterfall, isn’t actually in the Lake District. But it’s pretty close by in the beautiful Howgills. It’s in the newly incorporated part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and is just outside of Sedburgh.
And… it’s a fantastic easy family walk! You can either walk the very easy 1 mile up to the base of the falls, and return back (2 miles total). Or you can continue on for another, much tougher half a mile, up the right side of the falls, climbing steeply uphill, until you reach the top of the falls (3 miles total).
The views from the top are absolutely stunning (even on a fairly grey and cloudy day like we had today). Although it’s a hard 0.5 mile slog up very steep, and when wet, slippery terrain. The view you get from the base of the falls, looking out over the valley is still superb, so if you’ve got small children with tired legs, or don’t fancy the difficult climb, don’t feel guilty about having your picnic at the bottom of the falls!
You can park in a small lay-by at the start of the walk, grid reference 698969 on OS map OL19. The parking spot is only small, and comes moments after the Cross Keys Inn on the left side of the A683, coming from Sedburgh. Or put postcode LA10 5NE into your SatNav, although remember this is only a guide.
From the lay-by, you’ll see the signpost below, which you follow down and over a beautiful little wooden bridge.
Follow the very easy to navigate path until the falls come into sight on your right. Head towards them. It’s quite difficult to get lost here as the falls give you a visual reference at all times.
Once you’ve finished, head back the way you came for this very scenic 2 / 3 mile out and back walk. You’ll find a route map in the photos below.
After our walk we visited the rather quirky, 400 year old, Cross Keys Temperance Inn. If, like us, you’re not sure what that is, it means there is no liquor license! Although you are welcome to bring your own with no corkage charge. The place was decorated in some beautiful traditional furnishings, harking back to its days as a farmhouse and coaching inn. You’ll find original Yorkshire flagstones, an 18th century Yorkshire Settle and a wind up gramophone, amongst many other things.
There’s also a glassed veranda and some outdoor seating which have fantastic views up to Cautley Spout. You’ll find full details of their opening times on the Cross Keys Inn website.