Malham Limestone.

Start. Malham.

Route. Malham - Mires Barn - New Laithe - Jannet's Foss Wood - Jannet's Foss - Gordale Bridge - Gordale Scar - New Close - Street Gate - Lings Plantation - Malham Tarn - Tarn Foot - Water Sinks - Comb Hill - Waterlows - Malham Cove - Cove Road - Malham.

Notes. One hundred years ago a place of Mills and Mines, today a place of farms and tourism, they come by the coach load to visit the majesty of Malham Cove, an arching amphitheatre of limestone rock 250ft high. The walking fraternity also get the chance to visit Gordale Scar a vast ravine complete with waterfall, and Malham Tarn nestled in a hollow 1,237ft above sea level, an enigma in limestone country as water usually seeps underground, as is evident at the Water Sinks guarding the head of a dry valley passed en route. With limestone sparkling in the sun it was a perfect day to explore the delights above of Malham.

Behind the small smithy a clapper bridge spans Malham Beck, I crossed said bridge turning right to follow a well used foot-path. Passed Mires Barn and New Laithe I strolled, through delightful Janet's Foss Wood to reach a super cascade, home to Janet queen of the fairies. My route crossed Gordale Bridge before wandering into the scar itself. Hemmed in by massive limestone cliffs there was only two ways out, re-trace my steps or risk embarrassment scrambling up the waterfall, I opted for the latter ascending the chock stone in the middle of the fall. Gordale Scar may be a powerful sight, just as awesome, the limestone scenery above the scar, a world of tumbling water, sheer cliffs and shattered rock giving way to a deep cut gorge, the path ascended to the lip of the gorge and I ascended with it.

Once on open moorland Yorkshire's broad acres stretched out before me, a green path guiding me to Malham Tarn, a glacial lake, location for Charles Kingsley's famous 1863 children's novel The Water Babies. From the tarn I passed Water Sinks to enter a dry valley, cut by a raging river at the end of the last ice age, it makes for a spectacular walk back. Into a narrow gorge I wandered, limestone cliffs growing in stature the further I strolled, the path skirted what was once a large waterfall before continuing between limestone cliffs terminating at the splendour of Malham Cove, formerly a waterfall to rival Nigeria. I picked my way over the limestone pavements above the cliff face before descending into Malhamdale. On the short walk back to the village one can't help but turn to look over the shoulder at the magnificence dominating the valley head, and of course look forward to the next visit.

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Malham on a day of blue sky and scudding cloud.

Kirkby Fell above Malhamdale.

Janet's Foss one for the children, folk law tells us the cave hidden by the fall today is home to Janet Queen of the Fairies, once used by local farmers as a sheep dip. not very regal, I don't suppose Janet would have approved.

New Close Knotts guards the entrance to Gordale Scar.

The towering cliffs of Gordale Scar, my route ascends the fall at the head of the gorge, it looks like I've got an audience.

Above the fall looking to the narrow entrance to Gordale Scar.

It seems I've entered a world of shattered rock and falling water.

The upper fall at Gordale.

Limestone scenery above Gordale Scar.

A final look into the gorge above the scar, I'm ascending to sheep pastures, Yorkshires broad acres.

Striding through New Close looking to Highfolds Scar and Great Close Hill.

The Georgian pile of Malham Tarn House backed by Highfolds Scar.

Fountains Fell across Malham Tarn.

In sunlight and shade, New Close Hill.

Spectacular views from above an extinct water fall, the dry river bed leads to the splendour of Malham Cove.

The cliffs of Comb Hill where water once cascaded.

Looking back between the limestone cliffs of Waterlows and Ing Scar.

The cliffs of Malham Cove.

Spectacular limestone pavements above the cliffs of the cove.

The wonderful view from Malham Cove.

If you get dizzy don't look down.

Looking back to Malham Cove.

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