Malham to Arncliffe and Back - The Long Pub-Crawl

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Walks in the Lakes, North Wales or the Highlands often involve going up big pointy things and for many it's the challenge of getting to the top that is important. The Yorkshire Dales doesn't have many pointy peaks, but there's plenty of challenging walking if you want it.

Many of the dales routes follow old paths through and around the higher ground. These ways have been walked for centuries and were all about getting from one place to another. Because of this, many Yorkshire Dales walks have the feeling about them of being on a journey, which can be quite satisfying in itself.

This route uses old paths and byways to make a walk that links the attractive villages of Malham and Arncliffe. For a little extra interest, the route also visits Gordale Scar on the way out and Malham Tarn and Malham Cove on the way back. Of course, there are those whose idea of heaven is a friendly pub somewhere on the route. This walk scores double in that respect with the possibility of a visit at the halfway point to The Falcon in Arncliffe and a celebratory pint to finish at the Hikers' Bar of the Buck Inn at Malham (details in Additional Information). Hence the title of 'The Long Pub-Crawl'.

The start point is the car park at the National Park Visitor Centre at Malham. The route follows good paths heading for Janet's Foss (waterfall) followed by Gordale Scar, where a decision has to be made whether or not to include the very short and easy scramble at the head of the gorge; this can be avoided - and should be avoided when the stream is in spate. Directions are given for both options.

A long stretch of walking on typical Yorkshire Dales moorland follows before dropping down to Littondale, where a pleasant walk by the River Skirfare leads to Arncliffe. After Arncliffe the route climbs again to follow the old 'Monks' Road' track to Malham Tarn. The return to Malham Village is by the dry valley that leads to Malham Cove. The path descends the steps by the cove before following a good path back to Malham Village.

It's difficult trying to give a walk of this length an accurate grade. 27.9kms (17.3 miles) and 796 metres (2,612ft) of height gain makes it a bit more than just a Moderate walk, but it lacks the seriousness of a Mountain Challenge – perhaps it's a Moderate Challenge! A shorter walk (16.8km and 466m height gain) can be made by starting and ending at Waymark 5, but this misses out Gordale Scar and Malham Cove.

So, do the whole route, prepare yourself for a long day and try the Long Pub-Crawl.

England - North England - Yorkshire - Yorkshire Dales


Great Views, Moor, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Tea Shop, Toilets, Waterfall
6/7/2011 - Barbara Howcroft

We did this walk on Saturday 4th June 2011, a good long walk. Stopped at the Falcon pub halfway round and then the Buck Inn at the end, well worth it!! It truly is a long walk but glad we did it. Barbara, Jeff & Millie the dog.

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