This Saturday we were due bad weather – heavy rain over North Yorkshire by lunchtime, however I just had to get out into the fresh air after having had a crap week at work. I had family things to do in the afternoon and was busy on Sunday, so I didn’t have too long. I wanted to go somewhere where I haven’t been to for awhile and I thought of Malham.
For those that don’t know, Malham is in the Yorkshre Dales and set amongst the limestone hills – which always means dramatic scenery. It is also only 20 miles or so from my home.
There are four main features of Malham – the Cove, Gordale Scar, Watlows dry valley and the Tarn. I only had time to do two – the Cove and Gordale, but I shall return shortly and do the longer trip to take in the others. They will be worth the wait.
Gordale Scar – is a massive dark roofless cavern (or ravine) contaning 2 waterfalls and overhanging walls up to 100 metres high. It is possible to climb the waterfalls without getting too wet and exit at the top of the scar – however this day too much water was flowing and I would have gotten drenched. So I just walked to the first waterfall and returned – but I had scaled them several times previously so wasn’t too disappointed.
Malham Cove is a huge natural amphitheatre up to 100 metres high and about a mile from Gordale Scar. Many thousands of years ago a massive waterfall used to flow over the lip but that is long gone. Nowadays the water flows out of the base of the scar – and cave divers have dived 1.6 km under the base of the cove. The top of the Cove contains some of the best limestone pavement in the UK.
Saturday morning I sat on the lip of the Scar and watched the world unfold 300 feet below me..stunning!
A note on the photos. I took quite a lot because the light was really strange. One minute it was very flat (inside Gordale and at the bottom of the Cove as examples) but at other times it was vivid, bringing out the beautiful colours of the grass and moors. I have never experienced anything like that before…so I apologise if they aren’t my best ones. I have vowed to return in a couple of weeks to finish the tour and retake the photos…watch this space!