Ebbing and Flowing Well

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Ebbing and Flowing Well MYD36570 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Ebbing and Flowing Well MYD36570 (c) YDNPA, 2023

This famous well is situated at the foot of Giggleswick Scar. The waters within it were reputed to rise and fall by as much as 2 metres and it became a tourist attraction in the Victorian era. Michael Drayton wrote a poem about it ascribing the ebbing and flowing to a nymph who was turned into a spring by the gods to escape the attentions of a satyr:

“They turned her to a spring, which as she then did pant,

When wearied with her cause her breath grew wondrous scant

Even as the fearful nymph, then thick and short did blow,

Now made by them a spring, so doth she ebb and flow”

Curiosity eventually got the better of some locals who excavated the well in an attempt to find out why the spring behaved as it did. Ever since the well has refused to perform.


www.bath.ac.uk/lispring/sourcearchive/front.htm – archive of Source, a journal that contains several articles about Yorkshire wells and springs by Edna Whelan


On the B5480 about 1.1miles NW of Giggleswick (Hartshead Hotel). This is a very busy road and there is no safe parking in the immediate vicinity of the well. There is a lay-by on the right hand side of the B5480 about 0.7 miles NW of the Hartshead Hotel.It is possible to park here and proceed on foot for about 0.4 miles. Look out for a road junction on the left,followed by a sign board for Huntworth Stables.The well is about 4.5 metres past this board, on the right hand side of the road.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Giggleswick. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Viewable from roadside. Note that this is a very busy road, and caution is required both approaching the well and whilst viewing it.