Friday, 3 March 2017

NAKED AMBITION: HARDRAW FORCE



Stand by ladies.  Hot on the heels of Colin Firth diving into the lake at Lyme Park and Aidan Turner baring his torso in Poldark, here we have another male heartthrob stripping off, only this time we get the full frontal.  In 1991 the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was released, starring Kevin Costner as Robin and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Maid Marian, just two of an illustrious cast.  In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, Maid Marian happens upon a naked Robin Hood bathing in a beautiful waterfall. 

The waterfall in question was Hardraw Force, just one of a number of spectacular waterfalls to be found in the north of England – Hardraw is old English for ‘shepherd’s dwelling’.  Another one, Aysgarth Falls, was used in the same film for the fight scene between Robin and Little John.  Located just under a mile from the town of Hawes in Wensleydale, Hardraw Force has its origin in Hardraw Beck, in Hardraw Scar, a wooded ravine.  With a drop of 100 feet, the waterfall claims the title of England’s highest unbroken waterfall, not including underground ones. 

Near the waterfall is a 13th century pub called The Green Dragon which, last year, went up for sale for 1.5 million pounds.  The price included not only the pub but 5.5 acres of parkland, a visitor centre, a campsite and Hardraw Force waterfall itself.  Apparently when the owner at the time of the sale originally bought the pub in 2001, the leaks in the roof were a rival for the waterfall itself. 

As an aside, the inn was visited by the painter JMW Turner in 1816, and Turner painted the gorge into which the waterfall plunges in the painting titled Hardraw Fall.  


File:Hardraw Force (6250).jpg
Photo by Nilfanion, via Wikimedia Commons

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