Mossdale Falls

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Mossdale Falls

Mossdale Falls was one of the remotest sites visited by Turner as part of his 1816 grand tour.  He arrived late in the afternoon of Saturday 27 July before staying the night at the Green Dragon Inn in Hardraw.  Mossdale is now a little-known complex of falls at the very head of Wensleydale, about eight miles north west of Hawes.  Mossdale Beck tumbles down a number of falls on the north flank of Widdale Fell.

1816 was one of the wettest summers on meteorological record and the falls must have been particularly impressive when Turner saw them.  While in Turner's imagination the falls have taken on a grandeur perhaps more appropriate to the Alps than the Pennines, this was (and still is) remote and dramatic ground, and in vivid weather as sublime a landscape experience as one could wish for.

Dogs accepted

Turner's Viewpoint

Turner made a few sketches at this site, but it was the upper falls that caught his particular attention and from that he made a wonderfully dramatised and atmospheric watercolour (Mossdale Fall, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Wilton number: 572).

The location remains remarkably unchanged today albeit for a railway viaduct (now disused) which was built across the top of the falls during the 1870s.

Discover The Landscape

The Turner Trails bench is located next to Mossdale Gill beside a public footpath, near the falls. The footpath can be accessed from Appersett, offering a pleasant walk along field paths beside the River Ure and Mossdale Gill up to the falls.

Mossdale Falls Trail

Download our walking trail and enjoy one of the remotest sites visited by Turner along this long walk of 11 miles for experienced walkers only.

The Venue


Mossdale Falls, off the A684, nr Hawes, North Yorkshire, DL8 3LS

Map reference: SD827919

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Directions to Mossdale Falls:

Follow the A684 Hawes-Garsdale road to Appersett. Mossdale Falls is approximately two miles NW along the A684 and can only be accessed on foot, 3/4 mile up a public footpath from the road.

There is some informal parking on the opposite side of the road, shortly before the footpath. Alternatively park in Appersett and follow the riverside footpath to the falls about 2 miles away