Sunday, 8 May 2011

Malham Tarn & Gordale Scar

panorama of Malham Tarn
I took advantage of the recent long weekends to go one some fabulous walks. With Claire and our friend Jase we headed on down through Richmond and along Wensleydale to make our way to Malham Tarn. Although it wasn't all that far the winding Dales roads meant it took us almost two hours to reach our destination, although the scenery we drove through made it worthwhile.

We parked at a car park at the top of Malham Tarn, which was nice and quiet - pretty good considering the crowds that were out on a bank holiday weekend.

Malham Tarn from the bird hide

The walk around the top of Malham Tarn is well worth doing. You walk through woodland with a couple of buildings on the water edge including a bird hide, boat house and the big outdoor centre. It is very different to the "other" Malham, the village and Cove.

We emerged from the woods onto a lush pasture beside the water that made a perfect picnic spot. The limestone cliff faces give an idea of the spectacular scenery that lies ahead.

limestone pavement
We headed away from the tarn following the signpost for Gordale Scar. I have been there maybe 15 years or so ago, having just seen it from the bottom.

approaching Gordale Scar from the top
This time we were approaching from the top, and from out of nowhere we noticed a large canyon opening up on our right.

This got bigger and bigger until we found ourselves coming down the very centre of Gordale Scar. The size of the Scar cannot fail to impress!

looking out of Gordale
We spent a couple of moments gazing back up at the scramble section and watched some rock climbers on the rock face.

We followed the path out of the Scar, crossing the campsite and stopping for an ice cream an a near-perfect setting.

In my next post I will share the journey and pictures that took us past Janet's Foss and onto the Pennine Way to take us back up through Malham.

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