River Wharfe

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Beckermonds, Langstrothdale Chase

River Ouse at Wharfe's Mouth, near Cawood

The River Wharfe is a river in Yorkshire, England. For much of its length it is the county boundary between West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. The name Wharfe is Celtic and means "twisting, winding".

The valley of the River Wharfe is known as Wharfedale. The river source is at Beckermonds, Langstrothdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and flows through Kettlewell, Grassington, Bolton Abbey, Addingham, Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Otley, Wetherby and Tadcaster. It then flows into the River Ouse near Cawood. The section of the river from its source to around Addingham is known as Upper Wharfedale and has a very different character to the river downstream.

The river is approximately 97km long before it joins the River Ouse. It is a public navigation from the weir at Tadcaster to its junction with the River Ouse near Cawood and tidal from Ulleskelf.



The river source is the confluence of Oughtershaw Beck and Green Field Beck in Langstrothdale near Beckermonds. It flows east and south east taking the flows from many small streams, whose sources are the shake holes from Yockenthwaite Moor on the north bank and Horse Head Moor on the south bank. After Hubberholme, the river flows south past Buckden and Starbotton and then south east past Kettlewell before flowing south again. Near Conistone are the gentle waterfalls of Scar Lash. Shortly before reaching Grassington, the river turns south east over Linton Falls. South of Appletreewick, the river flows south west for a short distance until it reaches Gill Beck and returns southward. To the north of Bolton Bridge, the river narrows and goes over waterfalls in an area known as The Strid. The river winds south and south east towards Ilkley where it heads east through Otley and Collingham. It briefly flows north to Wetherby before turning south and then south east past Ulleskelf to the confluence with the River Ouse.

Water levels

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