Cauldron Falls originally gained popularity more than 200 years ago in 1816 when the English romantic painter William Turner sketched a scene here, making it a desirable place to visit. Although in our opinion, there are better waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales, this is a relatively large waterfall that is well worth stopping to view during a walk or drive nearby.
The waterfall is located within a small village of West Burton; the area is home to several cottages which are rented out as holiday homes, there is a small tea room and local village pub.
It’s got the traditional Yorkshire Dales feel to it, complete with a small farm milk van which locals regularly use to get a steady supply of Yorkshires finest.
Cauldron Falls are just off the village green and are well signposted as you enter and exit the village from Front Nook.
There’s a small area to park right next to the falls, although we didn’t know this at the time (and aren’t even sure if parking is permitted for those visiting and not staying at the cottages just to the side, although we saw no signs saying otherwise).
However, there’s also extensive street parking along with Front Nook, along the village green all the way up to the Parish Church area, which is where we parked.
Parking in both areas is free, and there didn’t seem to be any timing/permit restriction times enforced.
From wherever you might park, it’s only a five minutes walk to the falls, which are located just 50m or so from the side of the road.
You’ll find the entrance to the falls is relatively large and open, and you can, in most cases, see the falls (or at least the people on the benches eating or sitting by the falls from the side of the road). The area isn’t paved but is relatively flat and level.
On the left, you’ll find a bridge which will take you over to the other side of the beck. The bridge allows you to get up close to the waterfall and creates a viewing platform from the left and right.
Unlike some of the other waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales, this is somewhere where you can swim.
The water is relatively shallow and comes up to around knee level on an adult when wading. The water is perfect for shallow paddling and is safe for children to explore.
You can’t swim directly under the waterfall as it’s almost too shallow; a better area would be down just below the bridge, where it’s slightly deeper. The only problem is the access to this area is through a small gap in the rocks just over the bridge alongside the cliff-side.
At the far left-hand side of the waterfall, you’ll find a small cove that runs alongside the cliff-side for around 10 metres right up to the waterfall itself. The cove isn’t deep and is somewhere you can easily see to the back off from outside of it.
Consider visiting the falls during the quieter times of the day, either in winter, early morning or early evening, for a chance to spot some incredible local birds such as the Dipper and Grey Wagtail.
As Cauldron Falls, it’s not as well documented as some of the other waterfalls in the area, nor as big you’ll find it’s relatively peaceful.
We spent around an hour simply walking around the small area where the falls lie. Despite their relatively close proximity to the village, you can often feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere, a secret hideaway, if you will.