Saturday, 27 August 2016

Malham, North Yorkshire

A 10 mile walk taking in Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar, Malham Tarn and Malham Cove.

This walk has been on our to-do list since we saw it on Julia Bradbury's Walks with a View earlier in the year.  We are keen to explore more of the Yorkshire Dales now we're living only a stone's throw away and as the forecast looked dry for today we decided to go for it.

We have recently bought a camper van so this was our first trip out in it, just out for the day to give it a test run.

We arrived in Malham at 8.30 and parked easily for free at the side of the road.  We were really glad we'd made an early start as the Malham Show was also taking place today and the area was already getting quite busy.

We set off towards Janet's Foss along the well marked and signposted  path.  Before long we entered a wooded ravine, this part of the walk was simply magical, so peaceful and picturesque.

We were soon at Janet's Foss waterfall.  The name Janet (or Jennet) is believed to refer to a fairy queen who is said to inhabit a cave at the rear of the waterfall.  Foss is a Nordic word for waterfall and in England has translated to 'force' in many waterfalls.

Janet's Foss

The cave can be seen to the right, three quarters of the way across

We then continued along the path, out of the ravine and on to Gordale Scar.

Fantastic scenery

Gordale Scar

As we rounded the corner nothing could have prepared us for the breathtaking sight of the scar!  The sheer height of the rock was mind-blowing.  We had initially planned to scramble up through the scar as had other walkers that joined us at the bottom but out of a group of about 15 of us there was only 1 person who was prepared to scramble up the slippery rocks, the rest decided to turn back and take a detour.  This was disappointing but we decided on balance that this was the best thing to do as there had been a lot of rain over the last few days and in these conditions it would probably have been foolish to attempt it.  So we back-tracked and took the detour, this added a couple of miles onto the route.

Before long we found ourselves at Malham Tarn, at 377 metres above sea level it is England's highest freshwater lake.  Malham Tarn featured on the news a couple of weeks ago as the National Trust have released 100 water vole into the lake.  They are England's fastest declining mammal and it is hoped that the animals will recolonise the tarn and its surrounding streams - fingers crossed!

Feeling brave

Wish they were all this friendly

Amazing views

'Back a bit... just a bit more...'
Limestone Pavement
The limestone pavement was simply amazing, really enjoyed walking around and exploring at the top of the cove.  The sheer drop over the edge was a little scary though and getting close to it made me feel a little uneasy as I could see the 250 ft drop below.
The limestone pavement featured on the Harry Potter film The Deathly Hallows

Then it was down the many steps to the bottom where we could take a closer look at the cove and find the answers to the earthcache.
Malham Cove
Malham Cove was in the news at the end of last year, for the first time in living memory Storm Desmond caused water to flow over the cliff here.  See news item here.

Then it was only a short walk back to Malham itself where we popped in to the visitor centre before heading back to the camper for a brew.   The village was now quite crowded with visitors to the show and there was also a running race taking place. 

This walk is definitely one of my favourites of all time, it was just the right length of walk at 10 miles and had so much interest at every turn also there were only a handful of caches to find which suited me fine, not too much stopping and starting and more time to look at the scenery.  Fantastic and highly recommended.

We rounded off the day with a chippy tea in Settle before heading home.
Looking forward to more adventures in the campervan.

No comments:

Post a Comment