Last Week’s Shoot – Stainforth and Winskill

Last week’s shoot was actually a workshop recce for Natural Light Photography Workshops along with Sam Oakes and his dog Ella, a black labrador, and proved to be quite a fruitful day for waterfall images…

Goat Scar Lane above Stainforth in Ribblesdale
Old Barn on Goat Scar Lane above Stainforth in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire Dales

We parked in Stainforth and walked up the old Goat Scar Lane which rises steadily up towards Catrigg Force waterfall.  As this hill rises above the old barn we stopped to admire the view down the lane and across Ribblesdale.  It was an overcast day with poor visibility but the scene with the barn and dry stone walls seems to work well in any weather.

Catrigg Force near Stainforth in Ribblesdale
Catrigg Force in a Limestone Gorge near Stainforth

Up at the waterfall we stopped for quite a while exploring along the side of the beck and the (rather slippery) rocks.  The beck was quite low which allowed access out into the middle of the stream bed for a closer look at the falls.  Ella enjoyed this stop very much, running backwards and forwards across the beck, introducing a black smudge into one or two long exposure images (I edited those out…)!

Lone Tree at Winskill Stones
Lone Tree on Limestone Pavement at Winskill Stones

From Catrigg Force we set out across the open moorland towards Winskill Stones and the lovely lone tree on some limestone pavement.  The sky was pretty bleak and uninteresting here, but the stones and subtle colours between them looked nice in the overcast conditions.  There are good views to be had from this moor towards Ingleborough across the valley and also up to Pen Y Ghent on the same side of the valley in better conditions – so Sam just had to take my word for it that we’d be able to see Ingleborough on a better day!

Stainforth Force on the River Ribble
Stainforth Force or Stainforth Foss on the River Ribble

From Winskill Stones we made our way towards the top of Stainforth Scar, trying a permissive path at Lower Winskill along the way before descending some rather slippery stone steps through the woods back to Stainforth where we continued on to the spectacular Stainforth Force waterfall on the River Ribble.

Stainforth Force on the River Ribble
Stainforth Force and Autumn Leaves Detail

This was worth a long stop, with touches of autumn colour left along the riverbank and the odd fallen oak leaf adding a bit of interest to close-up images of the cascades.

Stainforth Packhorse Bridge and the River Ribble
Stainforth Packhorse Bridge and the River Ribble

The river was also quite low with lots of exposed rocks below the lovely old packhorse bridge.  The still water also offered nice reflections of the bridge (except when interrupted by a swimming labrador!).

All in all it was an excellent shoot despite the poor visibility (not an issue for the waterfalls, of course) so we think it will also have potential for a workshop – keep an eye on our workshops blog over on the Natural Light Workshops website for future news on that!

About marksunderland

Mark Sunderland is a retired landscape and travel photographer still taking the occasional photograph! For image licensing and prints see

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