A wonderful loop linking 3 of Yorkshire's finest natural wonders

Statistics

1 - 2

hrs

237

m

237

m

9

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Difficult

Description

With no less than 3 major natural landmarks, this is a densely packed journey through some of Yorkshire's best scenery.

Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove are all worth visiting on their own, and combining all 3 makes for a fabulous day. Park up in the carpark in Malham village and begin your day by heading easily to Janet's Foss - the first landmark of the day.

It is named after the legend of Janet, a fairy queen who is said to reside in a cave behind the waterfall.

The waterfall is situated in a lush, wooded area and is a popular spot for picnicking, hiking, and exploring.

The waterfall cascades into a small pool, surrounded by greenery and moss-covered rocks, creating a peaceful and tranquil setting.

Whilst there you can also explore the nearby Janet's Cave, a small limestone cave that is said to be the home of the fairy queen. From there it's a rocky wander along to Gordale Scar, a deep limestone gorge which is home to some of the toughest rock climbs in the UK.

It was formed during the last ice age, approximately 12,000 years ago, when meltwater from glaciers flowed through the area, carving out a deep, narrow valley.

Over time, the valley was further shaped by the forces of water and weather, leading to the creation of the towering cliffs, waterfalls, and rock formations that make up Gordale Scar today.

The rock at Gordale Scar is mostly made up of carboniferous limestone, which is particularly susceptible to erosion, so the easier rock climbs up its walls tend to polish very quickly, but the maleable rock has contributed to the unique and dramatic appearance of the site, with its towering cliffs, deep gorges, and cascading waterfalls. The final natural wonder on today's trip is the limestone pavement and cove for which Malham is so famous.

The cove is utterly spectacular and the sheer scale of it is almost overwhelming.

Take some time to look for rock climbers scaling it as you descend alongside it, and then stroll back to Malham village for a pint!