circular walk from Malham to Malham Tarn
and Gordale Scar
This walk combines a number of contrasting features.
There is Malham Cove with its limestone pavement on its top;
Malham Tarn one of only two natural lakes in the Dales; the unique
Gordale Scar and waterfall; and Janet's Foss.
Details of these features and the unique geology of the area can be found at malhamdale.
6.40 miles; walking time required about 4 hours)
Warning: the walk down into Gordale Scar is very steep with a short final descent between two waterfalls!
The walk starts at the FP just to the right of the Lister Arms and leads through the mediaeval field system before dropping down to Malham Cove. At the Cove the walk continues on the left-hand side. (30 min)
After the steep climb up 500+ steps of the stone stairway bear left and follow the path uphill with the stone wall on the left to the ladder stile. (the limestone pavment can be viewed a little way on the right).The walk now becomes easier over Ewe Moor along the grassy path going gently uphill to the next ladder stile. After the third ladder stile the grassy track becomes even wider and leads over the top to the car park close to Malham Tarn. Turn right along the road and then left at the car park. (60 min)
Follow the Penine Way sign to the Tarn after which the path goes by the right hand edge of the wood. Now head due east between the two woods seen ahead. After crossing the farm track head for the left hand wood - Great Close Plantation - along the stone wall on the left.
After the wood turn right along the farm road and follow the wall on the left to the stone stile for the FP to Gordale Bridge. (40 min)
The path is over grassy moorland to the stone stile leading into Gordale Gorge. After a short while the path now becomes more arduous with a short final vertical descent into Gordale Scar. (45 min)
At Gordale Bridge turn right along the road for 100 yd and then left into the entrance to Janet's Foss. The path descends through the beautiful wooded Gordale Beck ravine and continues through wild flower meadows to the River Aire. On reaching the Aire turn right for Malham. (45 min)