The limestone scenery to the north of Malham is spectacular and precious. This trail takes you round a series of limestone features including Malham Cove, Gordale Scar, waterfalls, dry valleys and limestone pavement, whilst we try and give you an insight as to how they were formed.
The limestone of the area was deposited 300 million years ago, but more recently ice age glaciers over the last two million years have scoured out the landscape with acidic rainwater adding to the erosion to create a unique classic karst landscape.
English Nature has declared the area a national asset with the government granting it the status of a Site of Scientific Interest.
During the walk we will leave Malham and head to the woodland beauty of Janet’s Foss, a secluded waterfall named after the queen of the fairies, before making a slight detour to the towering limestone walls of Gordale scar and its waterfall which have been carved out by glacial meltwater.
The walk then heads past an old iron age settlement before reaching Malham Cove a huge natural amphitheatre where walls descend 70 meters to the valley floor. The limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove is stunning, and was most recently used for a scene with Daneil Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
Along the way we will discuss how the landscape was formed, the wild life of the local area and the local history from the Iron Age settlement to modern day agriculture. The walk ends back in Malham where we can enjoy refreshments in one of the local cafes or pubs.