Malham Things to Do Tips by nickandchris
Malham Things to Do: 19 reviews and 66 photos
We had a ride out on the motorbike to have a look at the tarn as the roads are a little narrow and steep for a large motorhome. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware that you couldn't view the tarn from the road and had to walk to it. Once again, we were out of time, having to get back to the van, so never got to have a wander around.
The tarn was originally formed during the ice age when a glacier scooped out a depression and melt water and spring water filled it. It was naturally dammed by a moraine. In very later years, it was dammed again, raising the water level.Water flows out of the tarn and sinks underground into the carbeniferous limestone, to re-emerge further down the valley at Airehead Springs.
It is the highest known lime-rich tarn in the country and is owned by the Field Studies Council, who hold residential courses. The surrounding moorland is National Trust owned and is known as a European Special Area For Conservation.
There is a nature trail around the tarn and it is a very popular spot for birdwatching.
Parking is just opposite the footpath, in a small carpark. (Be warned, there are notices warning of being in a high crime risk area. Don't leave valuables in your car.)
Directions: From Malham village, continue north on either of two roads that join, southwest of the tarn.Follow signs for Arncliffe and Malham Tarn.
Reaching the top.
Once you have reached Malham Cove, don't leave without summoning up the energy to climb the steps up onto the magnificent limestone pavement. It takes about twenty minutes, taking it easy and is well worth your effort.
You remember your geography lessons, learning all about clints and grykes, well, this is the ultimate field trip! The deeply fissured pavement spreads out before you, extending the full way round the cove and for some way back. It is formed by the acidic rain widening and dissolving the natural joints of the limestone, carving almost geometrical lines. The clints are the lumps of limestone that remain and the grykes are the channels and fissures found in-between. Growing in these grykes are many rare, shade seeking plants, including harts tongue fern, wood sorrel and anemones.
The pavement is extremely difficult to walk on, balancing on the clints whilst trying your hardest not to put a foot down a gryke takes a lot of doing!! Probably why I didn't venture too far along the pavement. I was happy enough with the view from the first part you reach. Sitting on the edge and putting the world to rights seemed to be a popular activity. Me, I didn't venture too close to the edge!!
Address: Malham Cove, Malham.
Directions: Up the many steps at the left side of the Cove.
Looking across the campsite to Gordale Scar
Have to admit, we didn't do this walk. We ran out of time as we had to be off our campsite by noon so only got to view the start of the walk and the surrounding area.
We had a peak at the campsite, which is actually on the footpath, so rather public. Certainly the scenery is spectacular and I am sorry we didn't manage to see the scar.
Formed when a massive cave system collapsed in on itself from meltwater eroding it, it became a winding narrow gorge set between the huge limestone cliffs, with a couple of waterfalls thrown in. These are another example of tufa, the calcium deposited on the moss, similar to janet's Foss.
The walk starts on the flat but becomes difficult if you want to continue up through the waterfalls and onto the moor. Clambouring and sliding over the boulders is what's required and it goes without saying not to attempt this if you are not very experienced or are not wearing suitable footwear.
Directions: Turn right in the village along Gordale Lane and travel for aprox. 1.5 miles. You'll see cars parked and the campsite on your left. The path starts here.
Other Contact: www.malhamdale.com
Pretty woodland Janet's Foss
This little trip we did on the motorbike and I'm glad, as the road is very narrow for a motohome. We overshot it at first, as the major attraction here is the footpath to Gordale Scar. Just before the campsite is a footpath sign on the right. Wander through here, down the slippery, rocky path and Janet's Foss is ahead of you. Pretty as a picture, the fall divides into two and tumbles into a greeny blue pool below.
The story is that Janet (Jennet) was the queen of the local fairies who lived in a cave behind the fall. Calcite from Gordale Beck has deposited itself on the moss surrounding the fall and has formed an apron over which the foss flows.
Somewhere in the limestone cliff is a cave, once used by the smelters who worked at the copper mines of Pikedaw, not far away. The plunge pool was used to wash sheep, ready for shearing in June, where the men would stand up to their waists in the freezing water. Apparently, it's a well known fact that strong drink kept out the cold!!! I wonder how many fingers were lost???
There is a footpath to the Foss from the village, following the beck through attractive ancient woodland. Certainly, the autumn colours were impressive as was the copper coloured ground littered with fallen leaves.
Directions: Take the road for Gordale Scar, Gordale Lane, and after about 1.5 miles there is a footpath sign on the right. The fall is just through here. Limited parking.
Malham village is oh, so popular, being on the Pennine Way and home to the spectacular Malham Cove. It attracts hikers, ramblers, cavers, rock climbers and probably lots more types, all drawn by the area's stunning landscape.
The village boasts two pubs, a posh B&B, a YHA, a campsite, a Blacksmith's and at least one cafe. Most of the buildings here date from the 18th century. Flowing through the pretty village is Malham Beck, crossed by it's clapper bridges which now boast handrails as the days of the packhorses with wide loads has long gone. On our visit, the trees growing along the riverside were turning beautiful autumnal colours, enhancing the pretty scene.
At the beginning of the village is the carpark and National Park Information Centre. A fair bit of information can be gathered here, along with plenty of walking leaflets to purchase, offering local walks that take in all there is to see.
Please see transport tip for parking info.
Address: Malham, North Yorkshire.
Directions: Between Hellifield and Gargrave, off the A65 onto a minor road and head north towards Airton and Malham.
We're on our way....
The Cove can only be visited on foot, and my, what a lot of feet pass this way, being on the Pennine Way.
It's a pleasant enough walk through the fields, along a concrete paved path that takes you to the foot of the 80 metre high limestone cliff. Seen from a distance, you almost get the impression of an amphitheatre, as it curves inwards at it's edges. The magnificent cliff was formed through ice and water erosion during the last million years, as melt water from the tarn ran over it's edge, falling as a waterfall at the centre of the cliff. Erosion occurred more here, thus forming the curved, amphitheatre shape.
Nowadays, the stream that mysteriously appears from under the cliff is believed to trace back to the smelt mill sinks, north west of the Cove.
What you do notice are the horizontal ledges (good spot for rock climbers!) obviously created by the differing hardness of the limestone. Also easily noticeable are the vertical dark stripes, formed by lichens and mosses growing and becoming coated in natural dirt in the air.
I must admit, I found the whole place very atmospheric and almost theatrical. It's hard to believe how forceful nature is, at times.
To the left of the Cove and part of the Pennine Way, there are hundreds of steps, all with different treads, taking you up onto the top of the cove, where the magnificent limestone pavement is.
Address: Malham, North Yorkshire.
Directions: Straight through Malham village and bear left up Cove Road. From here, on the right,a footpath through a kissing gate leads you to the Cove.
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