BB0621:  The Malham Experience

"This spectacular walk is the southern Yorkshire Dales classic and probably the most popular of all walks in the National Park. And that includes the Three Peaks. The circular course crosses some of the best limestone scenery in the Dales and in turn visits Janet's Foss waterfall, awesome Gordale Scar, quiet Malham Tarn and finally the towering limestone scar at Malham Cove." 

So says Mike Brockhurst's web site and for a description of the walk Bryan, Tony and I took on Thursday, let me direct you to Walking Englishman for a much better write up and photos than I could manage and simply embellish it with a few bullet points.

  • Janet's Foss:  I tried and failed to climb up to the cave to the right of the waterfall, falling off in the process and nearly taking Bryan down into the pool with me!  I blame the fact that I forgot I still had my rucksack on.  Bryan of course made it up and reported that it was not worth visiting!  Tony, rock-pooling, found a snotty bully but it wouldn't stay still for me to take its photograph!  He also found a dead mouse.
  • Gordale Scar:  Wainwright describes the way up as a rock climb so we were winding Tony up about this.  We saw some heroes (or to be more precise a heroine) doing a pretty lethal climb straight up the scar.  The rock climb that we had to do was trivial in comparison- little more than a brief scramble with massive foot holes and hand holes.  Indeed I found the rough path above it harder going as it was steep and very loose.  Still, a victory over a certain death situation is well worth celebrating and attached is the proof that Tony did it- in fact he looks very relaxed as you will see if you click on the picture of him tackling the tricky bit.

Gordale Scar rock climb

Bull with intent!

  • Great Close Mire:  A herd of Belted Galloways plus a Brown Bull that could not decide which was the more interesting: us or a pretty little heifer.  Tony had his red towel out just in case!  Click on the photo to see the bull's decision!
  • Great Close Hill:  We added this to the walk- it was too close to leave out and gave a good view over Malham Tarn and south to Pendle (once again Hardaker had to concede to a Shore on peak identification!!).  Lunch taken here (team photo) plus, as the sun was now out, a LOTSW half hour!

Great Close Hill

Limestone Pavement above Malham Cove

  • Ing Scar:  Or is it Watlowes?  Wainwright just calls it Dry Valley.  This walk is sometimes described as a four feature walk (Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar, Malham Tarn and Malham Cove) but that fails to do justice to this dramatic approach to the limestone pavement (with its scary rocking slabs) at the top of Malham Cove.
  • Malham Cove:  Two green woodpeckers identified on the descent and, at the bottom, plenty of dippers in the stream (human and feathered).
  • The Buck.  Could not be passed so called in for a couple of jars.  Not sure we had really earned it this week.

Summary:  A magnificent short(ish) walk with wide variety of tremendous scenery. 

Don, 27th July 2006


BB0621  Post Script:

The Malham Experience is such a fine and distinguished walk that not long afterwards I repeated it as a family walk.  We all loved it, with the added bonus of the Highland Cows on the approach road and the hares on Ing Scar and a grey wagtail at Malham Beck,
near the Cove.




7.9 miles

Height climbed:
1,585 feet

Goredale Scar
Malham Tarn
Malham Cove

For map reference see Map


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Slipper Strolls:



  • BB0631  Coppermines
  • BB0630  Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
  • BB0629  Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
  • BB0628  Knocking off Wainwrights.  Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
  • BB0627  Blencathra and the Mungrisdale Round
  • BB0626  The Deepdale Round
  • BB0625  Les Garçons de la Botte
  • BB0624  The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
  • BB0623  Selside Pike revisited
  • BB0622  Round the Dunny!
  • BB0621  The Malham Experience
  • BB0620  Newlands Horseshoe
  • BB0619  Old Man Succumbs!
  • BB0618  Kentmere Horseshoe
  • BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
  • BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon
  • BB0615  Fairfield Horseshoe
  • BB0614  High Street Racecourse
  • BB0613 The Coledale Round
  • BB0612  Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue      
  • BB0611  Carlin Gill
  • BB0610  Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson
  • BB0609  Clough Head and Great Dodd
  • BB0608  The Corpse Road and beyond
  • BB0607  Grim Fell!
  • BB0606  A Bit on the Side.....
  • BB0605  Angle Tarn with Surprises! 
  • BB0604  Hart Cragg via Dovedale
  • BB0603  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
    (or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)
  • BB0602  Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric  Eyes
  • BB0601  Ingleborough
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