The Malham Classic

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A pleasant stroll to the drama of the fairy waterfall of Janet's Foss shortly gives way to the rugged intimidation of Goredale Scar. You can, optionally, do an 'outdoor potholing' scramble up the waterfall to take a shortcut at this point.

Later the serenity of Malham Tarn contrasts sharply with the wonder of the Watersinks and the majesty of Malham Cove finally reached by a series of rocky ways.

Walk length is 8 miles or 13km (7 miles or 11km if you take the scrambling shortcut).

England - North England - Yorkshire - Yorkshire Dales


Birds, Flowers, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, National Trust, Pub, River, Toilets
1/20/2024 - Geoff Barrett

We will be doing this walk with our group WDW in April and really looking forward to it.

12/11/2013 - mark archer

I've done this walk many times but never this way round, starting with Janet's Foss and concluding with the cove and, I have to say, I thought it better this way! I omitted the scramble because of a heavy rucksack, however I do think the difficulty of the climb up Gordale Scar is overstated. If you are careful, with good boots, anyone of any height and moderate fitness should manage it, including minors. The grassy path above Gordale was sublime all the way to the road, and the tarn itself, on a mild, windless December day was glorious with its reflections and barnacle geese. On reaching the cove I managed to spot a peregrine falcon perched in a tree twenty feet below the top. A brilliant end to a brilliant walk!

8/19/2012 - Di Farrell

Did this hike on 10/8/12. Fabulous weather and no one on the hike tho crowds were congregating round Gordale and Malham cove itself. I had my 2 grandaughters of 9 and 10 with me who are used to hiking and my 2 dogs who are athletic and also hike for miles. The views were fabulous and all was going so well till going over the wall at waymark 11 I saw 100-150 beef cattle free roaming between us and the route to Malham Tarn. Having been trampled in 06 I gave that section of the hike a miss and we re routed to the cove. I usually stick to the Peak district and in summer the Dark peaks till the cows go back in their sheds, so any heads up by walk authors as to cows would be of huge benefit to me as I would love to explore Yorkshire. It's a long drive tho from Lincs to find wall to wall cows! Di Farrell

5/1/2011 - bokmun chan

Excellent walk for our family, we managed to do the scramble with 3 kids aged 7,9 and 14. We took a break at the foot of the Gordale Scar and simply observed the numbers of different people making the "climb". It seemed to us that there were 3 different methods to take this climb on. The one we thought was the easiest and chose was actualy not too difficult. There are good hand/foot holds which should be used!

6/21/2008 - Stephen Harris

A truly superb walk. The waterfall climb in our opinion is not for the inexperienced or faint hearted. One slip and it's game over as the rocks are vertical in places and it looks like a VERY difficult climb. It's WELL worth doing the diversion though because the additional great views make up for not climbing the waterfall. Directions perfect, the Cove and Tarn are fantastic as is the limestone pavement. Very picturesque, make sure you take a camera!!! 10/10. Well Done

5/22/2005 - Stephen Benton

We tried this "scramble" up the waterfall but it was found to be too difficult a climb for the shorter members of the group . They could not find adequate hand and footholds at a reachable level - Even a group of tall fit teenagers took about 30 minutes to negotiate the waterfall and not all of them succeeded. Not for those with short legs, a faint heart or less totally fit. It is a short but steep climb at WM5

11/18/2003 - Lee Shaw

As you get halfway through Goredale Scar, be prepared for a little climb (you're not walking but climbing!). It's best approached on the left hand side, even though the climb is vertical for about 8 feet or so, there are good handholds, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

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21.8 Miles