We love finding waterfalls. There’s something so mesmerising about them. When we found a 3-mile circular route in the North York Moors from Goathland that included two, Mallyan Spout waterfall and Thomason Foss, we knew had to give it a try.
We’ve got a little disclaimer to make… We took a wrong turn pretty early on in this route! So keep reading if you want to find out what we thought of the two waterfalls, but definitely read the North York Moors route if you want to go the right way.
Finding Mallyan Spout Waterfall
We arrived at Goathland at around 12:00 pm and parked on a grass verge (Google Maps) just up the road from the Mallyan Spout Hotel. To the right of the hotel (as you look at it) there’s a gate and downhill track that leads you to Mallyan Spout.
We headed down the track which leads you to the riverbank. Up to this point, the route is really easy. There may be a bit of mud on wet days on the track, but nothing to worry about. Once you reach the bottom, the track turned rocky and slippery very quickly.
If you are planning to walk this route, make sure you’re wearing suitable footwear. We both wore walking boots which were very ideal for scrambling on the rocky path that lay ahead. After 20 minutes of slightly nervous scrambling, we found ourselves gawking up at the 60ft waterfall directly in front of us. It was an impressive sight!
The water descending from Mallyan Spout Waterfall originally rose from springs in the moorland above Goathland. The water finds its route downhill until it has nowhere to go but over the edge of Mallyan Spout, creating a beautiful, natural setting among the eroded cliffs and riverbank. As you can imagine, the rocks around here get very wet and slippery. So, if you wish to go up to the waterfall to take a picture with it, which of course we just had to do, proceed with caution.
Getting back on track
As we mentioned at the start, we took a little detour (got lost) after Mallyan Spout. We got carried away with the waterfall and carried on walking. This led us through West Beck and Scar Wood. After a while, we figured out we were heading the wrong way because we were getting further away from Beck Hole and Thomason Foss.
The correct route to take would have been turning around at Mallyan Spout. Once you get back to the bottom of the track from the hotel, there’s a sign literally pointing you in the right direction. So, yeah. I don’t know how we missed that one.
Eventually, we came to some stairs leading up the side of the hill and this brought us up to a small alpaca farm and the main road. The alpaca farm was kind of like our consolation prize for getting lost. The main road led right back to where we parked the car, so if you wanted to go and see the alpacas, there’s just a short walk away (Google Maps).
We recalculated our route over to Thomason Foss. This would take us all the way through Goathland. This is the final leg of the actual route. There’s a village shop and a cafe on the route, so if you were wanting to refuel, you’ve got a couple of options.
BBQ by the River
When we go out, we always like to take a picnic with us. We look out for interest places to stop off and eat, usually somewhere with a nice view. On this occasion, we decided to take a disposable BBQ with us.
Important note: when having a BBQ somewhere like this, you need to be extremely careful. A single spark could cause a huge fire like the ones we saw over Easter in the North York Moors. Fortunately, it had been raining the night before so the area around us was already quite wet.
At around 14:00 we settled down at a spot right by Eller Beck, just a short walk from Thomason Foss. We then got out our BBQ and cooked our sausages. I’ve got to say, having a BBQ on the bank of a river was really quite wonderful. The sound of the river and the distant rumble of Thomason Foss really made it so peaceful.
We saw a few other walkers going along the other side of the river. This was the actual route we should have taken, but hey, we like to make our own adventures.
Getting to Thomason Foss
After packing everything away into our backpacks (including our BBQ in a few carrier bags), we started to think about getting back on track. Unfortunately, this was on the other side of the river. We searched for a few minutes but we couldn’t see any bridges to get us across.
Our only option to get back on the route was to go across the river on the rocks sticking up from the bottom. We were apprehensive, as we had our camera with us, as well as our phones. Hopping from slippery rock to slippery rock, we made it across. This gave us such an adrenaline rush, as well as a few nerves, too.
At 15:15 we made it to the bottom of Thomason Foss. Much smaller than Mallyan Spout, but by no means less beautiful. It makes a great place to stop for some pictures, especially because it’s not as busy as Mallyan Spout either.
We were able to set up our camera for a couple of photos, precariously balancing it on rocks with a timer set. Thomason Foss is a very peaceful area if you time it right. There are loads of big rocks to sit on and enjoy the breathtaking view in front of you. After our rest, we set off, now back on track, towards the main road up and back to the village.
Our Experience of the Mallyan Spout Waterfall Walk
Overall, this walk took around 3 hours, but this includes stopping for a bbq along Eller Beck and admiring the alpacas at the farm-house. The ‘diversion’ we took definitely added on some time, too. Nonetheless, we had a great experience here, especially since there weren’t many people along our route. Because of this, we had some amazing photo opportunities near the waterfalls, even if we didn’t take full advantage of it this time. We’ll be planning another trip back here soon.
If you have visited Mallyan Spout or Thomason Foss we would love to hear about your experience. Did you follow a specific route or did you find yourself improvising the route, too? Let us know in the comments or get in touch on social media @MakeLifeWildUK.