Hackfall clings to the sides of a steep and rocky gorge in North Yorkshire that plunges 120 feet down to the river below. It looks like Nature untamed but most of the woods were artificially conceived and crafted. Follies, ruins, streams, cascades, weirs, waterfalls, and extraordinary and magical views loom out from the trees at every turn. Lost for nearly a century, Hackfall, enchanted and enchanting, is now enjoying a glorious renaissance.
“Hackfall” wrote an 18C visitor, “is romantic beyond description, it has every beauty nature could bestow; ” This 120-acre spread of wild and ancient trees has been called one of the most beautiful woodlands in England.
A hugely popular destination on the Grand Tour and again in Victorian times, Hackfall amazed, enthralled and stirred the romantic imagination of its visitors. At the height of its fame around 30,000 came to walk there and marvel. Turner painted it, and Wordsworth loved it. And When George 111 presented a tea service depicting notable English scenes to Catherine the Great, two of those scenes were of Hackfall.