Walk Report: Gordale Scar & Malham

Date: 20th Dec 2008
Stats: 13.0 miles, 1900 feet
Weather: Mild, but chilly with the wind, spots of rain, mostly clear skies
Trig Points: 0
Wainwrights: 0
Other Info: Toilets in the National Trust car park, but don’t park there unless all the roadside parking has been taken. £1 in the milk churns beats £3.20 any day
Summary: Malham, Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar, Middle House Farm, Cowside, Pennine Way to Malham Tarn, Ing Scar, Malham Cove, Malham

I spent about 5 minutes trying to get the parking machine in the National Trust car park to take my £3.20. My fingers were cold and numb and I eventually gave up after 20 or 30 attempts. The coins either fell straight through, or got jammed in the works, whereupon I would have to beat the machine severely before it would return my coin. I returned to the car and found a paper napkin and a pen and wrote out a note explaining the lack of a functioning ticket machine which I left on my dashboard in lieu of a ticket. As I walked through the village I found loads of roadside parking and all the local residents requested was you put £1 in a milk churn, where your coin would ring a small bell inside – quite novel. I paid my pound and went and retrieved my car from the NT car park.

So much for the NT! Even their toilets were closed (for renovations apparently), so I was forced to use a portaloo. A little tip here. Although they are obviously uni-sex in design, always try and use one allocated to ladies – they keep a much cleaner loo than we blokes do!

There was always going to be far too much water in the system for me to walk up Gordale Scar today, but I’ve not been here before and I wanted to see it, so I took the long detour and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a truly awesome spectacle and worth the mile or so I walked out of the way to see it. My photos don’t do it justice. There wasn’t enough light really and many of my shots came out blurred and dark. I will revisit in the summer and try and walk up the waterfall – that looked seriously impressive.

I had a great walk, although my fitness levels have dropped off significantly over the past few weeks, so the last three or four miles were very hard going and I suffered really badly the next day. I never intended this to be the last walk of 2008, I’d planned to walk several times over the Christmas period, but as it turned out I never felt up for it. On the whole, not a bad walk to finish the year on.

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
The early morning peace and quiet in Malham village

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Old stone bridge in Malham village over the flooded beck

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
New Close Knotts and my path just visible winding up to the crags

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
The path to Janet’s Foss, beside Gordale Beck

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Approaching Janet’s Foss, full of water

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
A thundering roar of water fills Janet’s Foss

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Gordale Scar ahead

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Entering Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
No chance of passing the waterfalls today, in the heart of Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
It’s a very impressive amphitheatre and completely empty today

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Climbing the alternative route

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Looking down into Gordale Scar, even more impressive from this height

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Gordale Beck, before it plunges into Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Sinister sheep

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
The path to Middle House Farm, at least its dry

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Limestone ginnel leading to Cowside

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Fine old tree at Great Hill

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Malham Tarn from the duck hide I used for lunch

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Water leaving Malham Tarn – there’s just so much of it

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Good luck if you want to use to that footpath – the water is quite deep there – certainly over the top of your boots

Water Sinks – a very impressive plug hole

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
The immensely impressive Ing Scar

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Looking back up Ing Scar, with walkers on the cliff path above

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Limestone pavement above Malham Cove, the best I’ve ever walked on

Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn
Malham Cove – probably awesome, unless you’ve already visited Gordale Scar

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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