Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Pennine Way Through Malham

Having made a fantastic walk along the waterside of Malham Tarn down to Gordale Scar, we stopped briefly for an ice cream before heading onwards towards Malham.

We took the footpath that took us to the very picturesque waterfall of Janet's Foss. We weren't the only ones there, it was packed and there wasn't much of an opportunity for good pictures. The walk through the woods was very enjoyable once we left the crowds behind, and the scent of wild garlic accompanied us all the way.

We left the woods behind and crossed the meadows with Gordale Beck bubbling alongside us. We made a brief detour on the path approaching Malham village - the bull blocking the path didn't look like one you wanted to start an argument with...

Malham is a lovely little village, on a bank holiday is was invaded by tourists and you could see why, the buildings, pubs, streams and surrounding countryside is magical.

We still had plenty to see so we decided against stopping for refreshments, heading on up towards Malham Cove. The view ahead of us was quite breathtaking, as Malham Cove slowly started to reveal its full glory.

We went right up to the foot of the Cove and from there you could appreciate the full 80 metres in height and 300 metres of width of this spectacular place. As with Gordale Scar, this is a paradise for climbers, and for the time being it is also an important site for the RSPB with a pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting on the side of the cove.

We took the steps up to the left side of the Cove before reaching the limestone pavement at the top. This is yet another breathtaking sight, with huge slabs of limestone separated by deep fissures.

We explored the top of the Cove for a while, before following the Pennine Way back up to Malham Tarn, along the bottom of a dry valley.

We retraced our path along the side of the Tarn, stopping briefly when we spotted a couple of deer in the distance. We made it back to the car just as the first drops of rain were falling, saying goodbye to Jase before heading home.

For more information on the area around Malham please visit this site which I found very interesting.

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