Hardraw Force is a waterfall on the Hardraw Beck in Hardraw Scar, a wooded ravine just outside the hamlet of Hardraw at the foot of Buttertubs Pass and the head of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales. The Pennine Way long distance footpath passes close by.
Comprising a single drop of 100 feet from a rocky overhang, Hardraw Force is claimed to be England’s highest unbroken waterfall – at least discounting underground falls. (The underground waterfall inside nearby Gaping Gill on the western flank of Ingleborough has an unbroken fall of over 300 feet.)
Geologically, the bed of the river and plunge pool is shale; on top of that is sandstone and the top layer is carboniferous limestone.
The falls were used as a location in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, in the scene where Maid Marian catches Robin Hood bathing under a waterfall.
Hardraw Force is the setting for a brass band competition held annually on the second Sunday in September. The competition was first held in the falls’ natural amphitheatre in 1884 when six bands took part; the competition lapsed in 1927 but was revived in 1976 and has gone from strength to strength since. In recent years two other musical events have started up at the falls: the Hawdraw Bash is a Folk Rock concert in early July and the Hardraw Gathering is a three-day festival of traditional music at the end of July.