Our Walking Group on 6th July was a much anticipated visit to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Some of us had never been before. Others had not been for a good number of years. It was a lovely day to be walking. There was sunshine from beginning to end but also enough of a breeze to make the walk pleasant.
We had slightly over an hour’s journey to get there. This was also a lovely experience in itself to see the views of the surrounding areas. We arrived at the Visitor Centre shortly after 10.00am and set off past the 1865c Wesleyan Chapel (now Malham Methodist Church). After crossing Malham Beck and through the woods, we encountered the first of several fantastic attractions, Janet’s Foss, a picturesque waterfall, in which people were already cooling off. Foss is the old Scandinavian word for waterfall and according to legend Janet, or Jennet, was the Queen of the local fairies and lived in a cave behind the waterfall.
We took a climb away from the waterfall to the Gordale Scar campsite and then along a path for half a mile that leads to Gordale Scar waterfall. The Scar was created during the Ice ages, melt water creating a cavern that eventually collapsed to create the waterfall and gorge, including smooth rocks formed by tufa deposits.
Our “walk” then continued up the waterfall. This is definitely more of a scramble which required hands and feet. Described by Paul just before as ‘a few minutes of fun’ it was certainly a challenge and definitely not the best time to get a spot of cramp whilst I was half way up! However, thanks to a bit of determination and some assistance from each other, we managed to get up to the path at the top left and then continued our climb away from the Scar. Oh and yes, it was fun! The climb did become easier as we headed away from the valley. A breather was then needed though. NB – An alternative route is possible if you don’t fancy the Scar.
Malham Tarn and Cove
Our walk was much flatter from hereon in. We continued along the tracks and fields to Malham Tarn, a natural lake, which looked very peaceful and picked up a path which led to a dry valley. We ascended to the grassland above where we had our lunch stop.
After lunch, we picked up the dry valley once again and then continued to Malham Cove. This was formed during the Ice Age 12000 years ago, and the limestone pavement which is above. We crossed the blocks to experience some great views over Malham and beyond. We could see the path down below, which would take us back to Malham. But first we headed down the steeper steps to the Pennine Way. The views of the Cove were appreciated here.
We completed our walk back along the Pennine Way and the route back to the car park. All agreed that we had experienced a great day out, with fantastic walking, weather and attractions; with the odd challenge thrown in. Thanks to Paul for arranging the walk, and for driving us there and back.
Best foot forward, David Robinson