Forget the tourist packed waterfalls of Ingleton and head a few miles further west to explore the beautiful caves and waterfalls of Dentdale without the hordes of tourists.
Start your adventure in Thornton In Lonsdale just west of Ingleton and take the road north, Thornton Lane, this beautiful road is a joy to drive. Ten minutes drive north (3.8 miles) and you will arrive at Yordas Cave. It is identified by the first small woodland you will see on your left hand side after leaving Thornton In Lonsdale.
Park next to the gate by the woodland and it’s a few minutes walk to the cave entrance which sits at the bottom of a small gorge.
You’ll need a head torch and wellies to enter the cave as a stream runs through the main chamber which is 55 metres long and 15 metres wide. Don’t forget to look up too! If you explore to the back right hand corner of the main chamber you will see an incredible 30 foot waterfall! It is spectacular and the sound is tremendous echoing through the cave. Take a helmet if you’d like to explore further.
Once back out of the cave follow the gorge, it’s a lovely scramble and a great place for a picnic.
Follow the road north, it’s stunning, it’s single track with lots of gates to open and close.
The drive itself is wonderful even if you don’t stop anywhere. A few miles further along takes you to Gastack Beck Falls. Park right next to the upper waterfall.
It’s the easiest to get to and the most impressive. It’s a fabulous place to spend the night, a direct view of the waterfall from your camper and the sound of the water is thunderous in a good way! Camping here is accepted by the local farmers, who even wandered over for a natter!
Check out my video here:
In total there are about six waterfalls to see all within easy walking distance of each other. A couple of the waterfalls are suitable for wild swimming depending on how brave you are feeling. They are very secluded and I didn’t spot a single person while I was exploring beyond the upper waterfall. The surrounding area is beautiful.
I would also recommend a trip to Dent a lovely village a few miles further north. The River Dee runs at the side of Dent and forms part of the Dalesway footpath, walking in either direction along the river is exceptionally picturesque.
There are several options for camping, if you’d like to camp for free I’d recommend next to the bridge. It’s a few minutes walk to the nearest pub in Dent and has for a long time been accepted by locals. It’s very easy to find once you reach Dent, there’s no chance of getting lost. Alternatively, there are lots of campsites in Dent to choose from.
The George and Dragon is the only pub currently open in Dent, I’d recommend booking if you’d like a meal. There’s a few cafes and it’s a lovely village to wander through with it’s cobbled street.
If you’d like to get some good walking combined with fabulous 360 degree views and stunning tarns then I’d recommend an alternative walk up Whernside (one of the three famous Yorkshire peaks).
This isn’t the normal walk from Ribbleshead Viaduct but a route recommended to me by a local farmer. Click here to read my blog Take The Easy, Tourist Free, Route To The Top Of Whernside. The starting point is on the road between Yordas Cave and Gastack Beck Falls.
Dentdale is truly a wonderful part of the Yorkshire Dales, grab yourself an Ordnance Survey Map of the area and find your own places to explore. I found Yordas Cave and Gastack Falls by simply looking at the map for caves and waterfalls which are all clearly marked and then just jumping in the camper!
Love your information on IT platform? Silly old man no IT skills understanding. But managed to read a couple of your written words.
Did 500 route 2 years ago with my Weimaraner dog in T5. ( No facilities wife would not join me!). Further cancer issues for me force sale of VW. Decided to buy MH with facilities, blow pension not going to be here to spend it.
Any wild camping spots/routes would be appreciated very much, anywhere in the UK.
Sorry to hear you have to sell your VW.
If you enjoyed the NC500 check out my blog on the south west of Scotland, it’s a stunning place to explore:
You look after yourself and enjoy your adventures when we’re allowed to travel again.
Safe travels, Ana