White Walls and Waterfalls
Lucky to grab time out on a rare sunny day, in what has to be one of the wettest summers in forever, and walk in Yorkshire.
Open sky, snaking walls and waterfalls.
Malhamdale, with it’s picture perfect village,
sits in the south of the Yorkshire Dales.
A multitude of walks to fit the ability of most.
My last walk there a couple of years ago was in June.
We took a slightly different route and there was far less water in the falls.
Janet’s Foss is far more impressive this year, so there are some advantages to a wet summer.
Unfortunately I was thwarted for a second time in a scramble up Gordale Scar. Water to soak and grease the rocks to ice.
Still, the enforced detour gave some dramatic views of the scar and the dales around. What appeared to be a torrent of water close to, looking punitive from above. Hard to believe the responsibility for the gash in the landscape this small stream.
Once above Gordale we’d done the only real uphill of the day, on this route at least, and it was an easy stroll over undulating limestone. A myriad of tracks and ancient highways crossing the area.
Malham tarn sits back on the limestone plateau, three miles north of Malham. A blue saucer on the landscape it’s only 4m deep at its deepest and spills out into a stream which soon disappears into the limestone not to appear till south of Malham, not at Malham Cove as once thought.
We picked up the Pennine way to head south back. My last experience of the Pennine way was deep, wet, miserable peatbog on a dismal crossing near Kirkby Stephen when I walked the Coast to Coast.
This was totally different. A much more pleasant experience. Winding down a dry gorge to the limestone pavement at the top of the cove. A graveyard of giant bones.
Harry Potter fans can see where Harry and Hermione camped in the Deathly Hallows. The white bleached rocks perfect traps for unsuspecting ankles.
Above the Cove
It’s impossible to see the full sweep of the cove from the top, even when peering over the edge.
A climbers paradise, most of us just go down the steps. April to end of July peregrine falcons nest in the cove, calling out as they hunt from their cliff. Climbing is on hold.
A stream slips out from under the cliff and traces the easy path back to the village.
Map – just over 9 miles