Six of the most beautiful waterfalls in Britain, from Devon to the Isle of Skye

Surging, foaming, trickling, crashing, cascading or flowing, waterfalls paint the landscape with rainbow-scattered spray and misty plumes. Here, we celebrate these streaks of molten silver, from wild moor to woodland dell, as picked out by our picture editor Lucy Ford.

Photography: Chris Puddephatt/Jackson Photography; Getty; Jeremy Flint/AWL Images; Guy Edwardes/

Loch na Gainmhich, with Wailing Widows tumbling down. Credit: Chris Puddephatt

Drivers of the NC500 route around the north of Scotland would do well to leave the A894 and walk up Quinag, a mountain in Assynt with three Corbett peaks (between 2,500ft and 3,000ft high). Some 10,000 years ago, a glacier scooped out the hollow that now cradles trout-rich Loch na Gainmhich, from which the freezing waters — known to some as Wailing Widows — tumble heedlessly down past the ancient cliffs.

Becky Falls, Devon. Credit: Getty

Emerald-green banks, mossy from ceaseless wettings, line another Ice Age creation, the valley of Becky Falls, near Newton Abbot in Devon. Becka Brook runs in flights down a waterfall that ranges from 70ft high to 35ft wide in its entirety, tripping and falling over boulders on its way.

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Ben Nevis with the white water of Steall Waterslide. Credit: Getty

Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, offers a precipitous slope down which many falls dash, ever-augmented by rain on the tops.

The Loup of Fintry Waterfall, Glasgow. Credit: Jeremy Flint / AWL Images

The lowlands, too, offer watery spectacles galore, here, the Loup of Fintry waterfall near Glasgow.

The Fairy Pools, Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye. Credit: Getty

Would you dare disturb the little people by bathing in the Fairy Pools of Glen Brittle on the Isle of Skye? It was here in 1601 that the Battle of Coire na Creiche was fought between the MacLeods of Dunvegan and the MacDonalds of Sleat, the waters of Allt Coir a’Mhadaidh seeming to run red with blood. The Macleods won the day, but such was the horror that the clans never fought again.

Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, aka Upper Gushing Falls, Brecon Beacons. Credit: Guy Edwardes /

Amid the watery wonderland that is the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales, Sgwd Ddwli Uchaf, one of a series of dramatic curtain falls along the Nedd Fechan river, lives up to its name. In English, it is Upper Gushing Falls, sluicing down through Waterfall Country to its pair, Sgwd Ddwli Isaf (Lower). With a fall of 15ft, it is a highlight of walks around Pontneddfechan, a magnet for photographers in tranquil June, as here, golden, leaf-scattered autumn or muddy winter.