We stumbled upon Malham in Yorkshire whilst we were travelling to our latest venture, Lake District. Little did we know there were three hidden gems scattered across Malham, all fairly close to each other as well. The three gems were Malham Cove, Gordale Scar, and Janet’s Foss, all which we talk about more in this article!
There are many different routes you can take to discover all three gems, but the one we
opted for was starting at Janet’s Foss before reaching Gordale Scar. We then headed towards Malham Cove, however some people actually climb up Gordale Scar, and head on to Malham Cove from there. But we had been awake since 4am, so we weren’t ready for such an adventurous hike just yet!
How to get there:
Malham is located near the head of Malhamdale, north of Skipton and Gargrave in the Yorkshire Dales. Full Address;
Malham National Park Centre
How Long Is The Walk?
To discover and explore all three locations, you’re probably looking at around 3 hours, as the walk distance is 7.5 miles, so quite lengthy!
How is The Route?
Once you have left the car park, head towards the centre of Malham and once you pass the chapel/church , you should then be able to see the footbridge. You can then follow the footbridge and the gravelled path, through the wooden gate until you see the sign for Janet’s Foss.
On the way to Janet’s Foss, you’ll be passing through loads of gates, however keep walking and you should approach a National Trust owned wooded gorge, which eventually leads up to Janet’s Foss. You can then admire the wonderful waterfall as well as the secret cave!
From Janet’s Foss, you can take the path which climbs away up to the left of the waterfall to pass through a gate. Once passed through the gate, take a right onto a lane and follow the footpath signs to Gordale Scar to the left passing along the very broad path. You should then be able to see and pass through the Gordale Scar private campsite.
Keep on the path as it draws around the corner to reveal the Scar itself. The walk now heads up the waterfall, however as previously mentioned, we didn’t fancy the scramble, hence we took the alternative route.
From Gordale Scar to Malham Cove
From Gordale Scar, head back towards the lane and look for the signs for ‘Malham Cove’. Follow the wide path across the field and head towards the hill with the wall on the right hand side. You should then be able to see a wooden ladder stile. Climb over this and continue across the field to eventually stumble upon some man made steps and through a gate.
Once you follow this path you will be greeted by the land around Malham Tarn. Fun fact; Malham Tarn is one of only two natural lakes in the Dales, the other being Semer Water.
Once you’ve finished admiring the lake, follow the signs again labelled ‘Footpath Malham Cove’. It should be pretty straight forward now as the signs all head towards the cove, you’ll know your near when you pass over either of the two stone stiles in the wall and limestone pavement.
Take great care when crossing the clints and grikes of the limestone, as you’ll be 230 foot high. Down below can be seen the very well defined path back to Malham, which you can follow to return to the car park!
An amazing experience and even better when you get to discover not one, not two, but THREE amazing gems! The Gordale Scar is truly breath-taking from the offset, with the echo of the waterfall enhancing as its entrapped within the valleys to magnify the sounds and experience! It’s an easy low altitude trek of the journey which must be fulfilled whichever route you take.
Upon reaching Malham Cove, we found crossing over it the most hardest/challenging of the trek due to the huge irregular surfaced slippery stones (not to mention foot sized gaps), so please take care. Moral of the story; absolutely do this hike. The views and scenic landscapes is a good enough reason alone BUT make sure your well equipped for the trek!