Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn Circuit Back to Settle and Malham

Walk 2 - Malham- Gordale Scar-Malham Tarn-  9 miles - 5 hours. An outstanding walk HOWEVER AS IT INCLUDES A SCRAMBLE UP GORDALE SCAR IT SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED BY CHILDREN OR LESS ABLE WALKERS. However there is an alternative route for the less able which I will describe. Park in National Park car park in Malham village or arrive by bus (as parking is often difficult).

The approach to Gordale Limestone pavement above the Cove

From the car park proceed towards the village and turn right just before the blacksmiths forge and over the footbridge. Turn right and follow the well defined footpath alongside the beck. After crossing several meadows on the well surfaced track this then passes through NT woods until Janet's Foss waterfall is reached.

Janet's Foss Malham 25 Mar 00.jpg (44496 bytes)  
Janet's Foss  
Gordale Scar showing the waterfall to be negotiated - extreme care should be taken- the path is to the left of the waterfall Gordale Scar looking down from waterfall

Pass the waterfall and up to the road. Turn right along the road. After 1/4 mile turn left through gate and through Gordale campsite and into the Gordale Scar. From the base of the Scar the path goes to the left of the main waterfalls using the various hand holds and quickly ascends the path at the top - Note: this might be best avoided by anyone (including small children) not disposed to heights and scrambling using all four limbs! - for anyone else the obstacle will be quickly overcome and the top of the scar reached. Our 9 year old youngster managed it. This is definitely not something to be attempted in the reverse direction.

Note: For the 'safe' option retrace the route to the road bear right and at the road bridge look for for well used grassy path up slope on right (immediately after the bridge). This path emerges at a minor road. Turn right and follow road to Street Gate.

At Street Gate follow the vehicle track. Turn left after 1/2 mile to emerge at the edge of the tarn. Continue around the track passing the Malham Tarn Field Centre and eventually at a minor road. Continue along the minor road - there is no other way unfortunately- Just before the bridge at Low Trenhouse turn right passing the water sinks and continue along the path into Watlowes, a dry river bed. There is a dog leg in path as it descends. Eventually the path emerges at the top of the cove. Bear to the right of the cove take the path and steps down to the foot of the Cove and onwards back to Malham village. Note: The walk can be shortened by avoiding the circuit of the tarn and proceeding straight to the bridge at Low Trenhouse.

Malham Tarn  

Panoramic view of Malham Tarn

This page was last updated on 13-May-2020

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©John Carey 2010