Around Malham.

Start. Malham.

Route. Malham - Mires Barn - New Laithe - Mantley Field Laithe - Foss Wood - Janet's Foss - Gordale Bridge - Gordale - Gordale Bridge - Malham Rakes Lane - Malham Cove - Malham.

Notes. Today I dissolved rather than walked, paddled rather than plodded, wet was the order of the day, I was going rambling whatever the weather, whether I could get to Malham was another matter. Floods and torrential rain of biblical proportion welcomed me to the Yorkshire Dales, the weather gods had thrown the gauntlet down, daring me to travel, I did and got there eventually. Malham was surprisingly busy, have ramblers got no common sense, obviously Christmas has driven us all mad, reluctantly I joined the crowds.

I left the car park at the back end of a procession of around thirty people. To the rear of the smithy a clapper bridge spans Malham Beck, like Lemmings we all crossed turning right to follow the path to Gordale Scar and Janet's Foss, at the first stile the beck had escaped it's watercourse flooding the path and adjoining fields, twenty six of the original thirty turned back, the other three including me scaled the field gate, edged along the top of a dry stone wall, without dislodging any stones, inched along the bars of another gate before dropping into water and legging it for high ground, looking rather smug with dry feet I wandered on, the path was quiet now.

Onwards I dissolved passed New Laithe and Mantley Field Laithe before entering Foss Wood guardian of Janet's Foss, the waterfall was quite spectacular but there was better to come. The path guided me onto Gordale Lane, over Gordale Bridge I walked to gain access to Gordale. As I entered Gordale Scar the shear rock walls amplified the sound of falling water, the noise was deafening, the cataracts that guard the head of Gordale were in angry mood today, quite breathtaking. Having had my fill I re-traced my steps to Gordale Bridge where I joined field paths leading to Malham Cove. The cove was as awesome as ever but with the rain coming down in torrents and the fact I was now exposed to the wind I quickly descended to start the short walk back to Malham.

view route map.


The clapper bridge situated behind the smithy, nearly always sited near a ford most clapper bridges in the Dales date back to medieval times.

Malham seen from the path to Janet's Foss.

Across limestone pastures the entrance to Gordale.

Let Gordale Beck carry your eye into Foss Wood.

Janet's Foss, ever wondered where these strange names we readily accept today originate, foss is old norse for waterfall and this particular fall is home to Janet queen of the fairies.

Viewing the head of Gordale Scar.

I can honestly say this is one of the worst places I've ever tried to photograph, the walls are so high the sun never reaches the cavern floor, your in a confined space and there's nothing to give the scene perspective.....

.....unless some fellow ramblers turn up.

En route to Malham Cove looking to Cross Field Knotts and The Weets rising above Hawthorns Lane.

Misty views over Malhamdale.

Malham Cove as seen from the east.

Walls of limestone around 260ft high, this is Malham Cove.

Malham Beck, here's a clapper bridge I wouldn't fancy crossing today.

A final look to Malham Cove, and guess what? it's stopped raining.

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