North York Moors Waterfalls
The North York Moors contains some rather beautiful waterfalls. In this guide, I will show where you may park, the location and some of the settings I used to capture the shots.
This waterfall is located close to Goathland with access and parking at Beck Hole. The stream or maybe I should refer to it as Eller Beck runs from high up in the Moors entering the river Murk Esk at Beck Hole. Parking is available at the side of the road in Beck Hole but only for a few cars. To get to the falls you need to follow the public footpath upstream on the left bank, You will see the signpost close near the layby closest to the bridge. Follow this path until you arrive at the waterfall. There is one smaller waterfall before you get here too which is quite interesting to photograph. I recommend taking Wellington boots here so you can stand in the stream for different compositions.
For this image, I used a 3-second exposure at f/10 ISO 100. This long exposure duration gives the water a silkier/dreamy feel. I had the camera set up on my tripod for this shot too which was in the stream, this is where boots come in handy. Attaching a polarizer too is beneficial to reduce glare and reflections making the water darker and the white water stand out. It also increases contrast and saturation.
Water Arc Foss
Water Arc Foss
This waterfall is located under The North York Moors Railway and to get to it just follow the same guidance to Thomason Foss. If you visit here first you will need to backtrack a little and take the path up the banks of the ravine so your above Thomason Foss. At some point, you will be on the edge boundary of the North York Moors Railway following a path until you eventually reach the bridge over Eller Beck. Going under the bridge the path then forks off back down to Eller beck where you will see the waterfalls. It is necessary at this point to cross the stream to get the best compositions here. Be wary of slippery rock though as there are some really really slippery ones. I personally think the best time of year to visit these waterfalls is in Autumn. With the colours so vibrant and interesting it just makes the whole scene much more dramatic. The addition of mist will also improve the feel of the image and unfortunately, as of yet, I have no luck on that one.
This scene is perfect for a long exposure to again make that water silky and dreamy. Using a polariser not only reduces glare and increase saturation it also reduces light entering the lens by around two stops. This allows for a longer exposure duration. For this image, I used a 3.5-second exposure at f/16 ISO 100.
Before the TV series Heartbeat Mallyan Spout put Goathland on the tourist map where Victorians would come to visit this spectacular 70ft cascading waterfall. In winter the falls sometimes freeze making some spectacular icicles.
Parking on the verge-side near The Mallyan Spout Hotel is free. From here head to the hotel and follow the public footpath down to the River Esk. Here the path splits. Following the path to the left will eventually bring you to the waterfall.
Once again I like to use a long exposure to create that silky smooth water. In this image, I used a 1.6-second exposure at f/8. I didn't use my polarizer for this shot as I wanted those icicles bright and contrasty. A polarizer would have reduced the light reflecting and the effect would not have been as good.
Situated in beautiful woodlands and close by to Midge Hall is this 30ft waterfall. Above the falls is a cottage which was formally a gamekeepers residence in the Victorian era but that fell into disrepair in the 1960s. It has however been taken over by its current owners and is a perfect place for a break after you have finished photographing here.
Parking for the waterfalls is in the carpark situated down Foss Lane. It's free to park here too. Exit the carpark and continue to follow the signposts down to the waterfalls. Now here is the tricky bit. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get down to the waterfalls at the viewing area, in fact, to do so is too dangerous. Instead, you need to walk downstream a few hundred yards to find an area where the banks of the ravine are not to steep. It is still tricky and slippery on the banks so be careful. Once at the bottom it is just a case of walking back to the waterfall upstream.
It is best to wear appropriate footwear not only for scrambling down to the ravine but also the shallow waters you may have to step in to get your compositions. I used this boulder for my foreground subject and I was standing in water at the time.
Because you are down in a ravine and the tree canopy from the trees reduces light entering the area it can be fairly dark. The exposure time for this image was 30 seconds at f/8. I still used a polarizer for the shot to reduce glare on the surface of the water allowing the colours from the river bed to come through in this image.