Weets Top from Malham.

Start. Malham.

Route. Malham - Aire Head - Scalegill Mill - Hanlith Bridge - Hanlith - Windy Pike Lane - Hanlith Moor - Weets Top - Weets Gate - Hawthorns Lane - Gordale Scar - Gordale Bridge - Sheriff Hill - Malham Cove - Cove Road - Malham.

Notes. Today I walked on new ground,(most of the way), map in one hand, head scratching finger in the other, no GPS it's out of order, so it's back to basics. Come for a wander with me on the moors above Malhamdale, lets call it the quiet quarter. You'll need a good pair of boots on the end of your legs, it's bound to be wet under foot, and lets be honest, you can't visit Malham without poking your head into the magnificence of Gordale Scar and taking a quick look at the sheer cliffs and unique limestone pavements at Malham Cove.

No sun as I headed out of Malham, the west bank of Malham Beck guided me into sheep pastures, a re-assuring finger-post announced this was a foot-path. Through wet fields I wandered, stiles made for easy crossings of dry stone walls, I was soon wandering along the edge of a wide mill race, on reaching Scalegill Mill the mill it once powered, the path skirted the buildings to join the access lane, this narrow ribbon of tarmac guided me in the company of the River Aira to Hanlith Bridge, I crossed the single arch to enter the village.

The road climbed passed tasteful properties, S-bends eased the gradient, at the last building the tarmac ended to be replaced by one of Yorkshire's many green lanes. Between dry stone walls I continued, this rough track deposited me on Hanlith Moor, an extensive tract of open moorland. Across this vast moor I traversed avoiding the wet bits the best I could, after passing through a gate an unexpected finger-post announced I'd reached the path to Weets Top. The top greeted me with a trig point, and medieval monastic wayside cross. I hadn't seen a sole all morning, things were about to change, I was about to grace the tourist honey pots of Gordale Scar and the unforgettable Malham Cove.

I passed through Weets Gate, had a brew in the shadow of Weets Cross then descended the stoney lane to access Hawthornes Lane. I continued down hill tarmac under foot, the cliffs of Gordale rising to my right, once in the valley a well trod path ushered me to the overhanging cliffs and waterfalls of Gordale Scar. I had the gorge to myself, the first time ever, just me and the sound of water echoing around the high cliffs of this once vast cavern, Having had my fill I re-traced my steps to Gordale Bridge where a finger-post invited me to Malham Cove, who could resist an invitation like that. With the path that guides many thousands of visitors a year through the limestone splendor of Malhamdale under my boot soles I wandered over the hill to Malham Cove, marveled at the unique limestone pavements and sheer cliffs, mingled with the day trippers and drank in fine views before wandering back to Malham. A grey day but a good one, many thanks Malhamdale.

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Weets Top as seen from Malham.

The cliffs of Malham Cove rise above the grey buildings of Malham village.

My guide on this section of the walk, the head race that once powered the machinery at the Scalegill Mill.

Scalegill Mill, a manorial corn mill once stood on this site dating back to 1279, there has probably been a mill here since Roman times, the present building dates from 1795, and is now private housing.

In Windy Pike Lane looking to Calton Moor.

Feeling very alone, traversing the desolation of Hanlith Moor.

Looking to Kirkby Moor over Malhamdale.

Stopping for a breather on Hanlith Moor looking to the blue/grey outline of Flasby Fell.

The prospect south from near the summit of Weets Top.

Weets Top featuring the wall builders art.

Alluring views from Weets Top, the hills bordering Wharfedale.

Great Knott and Cross Field Knotts and New Close Knotts guard the entrance to Gordale.

Weets Cross, a medieval monastic wayside cross, route marker and boundary stone.

Between the dry stone walls of Hawthorns Lane looking to Kirkby Fell over Cawden.

Impressive in anybody's book, the entrance to Gordale Scar.

The overhanging cliffs and water filled ravine that makes Gordale Scar a tourist magnet.

Looking to Hawthorns Lane with Weets Top rising to the right.

Extensive vistas from the limestone pavements above Malham Cove.

The rock walls of Malham Cove viewed from the East.

Looking back to the white cliffs and gently curving face of Malham Cove.

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