Last year was the second wettest on record in the United Kingdom, only being beaten by 2000. While England suffered the wettest year on record, 2012 was the third wettest for Wales, the 17th wettest for Scotland and the 40th wettest for Northern Ireland.
Against this background I thought it maybe opportune to share with you some of our wonderful waterfalls.
We start off in Cornwall and one from my trip in the Spring of last year. Golitha Falls is a famous beauty spot on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor and is an area of woodland occupying a steep-sided valley gorge, with the River Fowey flowing through it in a series of spectacular cascades. Although a small fall in relation to its height its wonderful location more than makes up for it. I was fortunate to visit at a particularly quiet time of day and therefore gained the maximum benefit from its peace and tranquility.
And now one from Wales and the Brecon Beacons, Sgwd Henrhyd. This spectacular and beautiful waterfall has an unbroken drop of approximately 90 ft. It is therefore the highest waterfall in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It may not compare with the Angel Falls of Venezuela for height or Niagara for sheer size and grandeur but it is certainly their equivalent if measured in terms of sheer aesthetic beauty. The final scene of “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed at the waterfall, where it doubled as the entrance for the Batcave. You may find the image looks slightly hazy and blurred particularly around the fall itself and this is because on the day I visited there was a fairly strong wind blowing the spray around. In fact after this shot it was a quick dry off for the camera and away.
Onwards now to the Yorkshire Dales and West Burton Falls or Cauldron Falls has it is otherwise know. West Burton is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in the Yorkshire Dales National Park with a large village green and no through road. Cauldron Falls is one of the waterfalls drawn by Turner during his tour of the North of England. The falls are often benign and only reach the force shown in the image after substantial rainfall which was the case when I visited. In fact it was still raining when this was captured.
Scotland next and firstly the Isle of Skye. The Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock, South of Staffin on the Trotternish Peninsula coastal road. The distinct rocky cliffs were formed during the Jurassic era, with horizontal sills of volcanic material pushed between older strata. The disintegration of the cliffs originates fragments with a peculiat cylindrical shape. The falls come from Loch Mealt nearby which passes under the road. Here the Loch cascades down into the sea entailing a drop of 250 feet to a shoreline of (inaccessible) caves and arches.
And finally on this trip we visit Glen Orchy. Glen Orchy is about 11 miles long, and runs south-west from Bridge of Orchy to Dalmally following the River Orchy through the Caledonian Forest. There are no settlements in the glen: just a few isolated buildings. The Eas Urchaidh and Eas a’ Chathaidh are waterfalls within the glen.
That concludes our brief trip around some of our waterfalls and with the prediction of future years continuing to be plagued with more wet weather there are sure to be more opportunities to visit and capture more of Britain’s best waterfalls.