From Malham the route follows Gordale Beck to the Scar, then up onto the higher pastures of the Dales. Crossing Threshfield Moor the route then descends down to the River Wharfe valley and up into the small pretty market town of Grassington.
Departing from Malham, the route follows Gordale Beck to Janet’s Foss waterfall and on to the magnificent Gordale Scar. Climbing out of the valley the route crosses upland farmland and Threshfield Moor before descending through the village of Threshfield itself. Crossing the River Wharfe it finishes in the delightful market town of Grassington.
The iconic geographical features on this walk are Janet’s Foss waterfall and Gordale Scar. Take time to walk into the gorge at Gordale, you will not be disappointed. It is a small diversion from the prescribed route but well worth the time. For bird lovers, keep your eyes peeled for Dippers in Gordale Beck below Janet’s Foss.
The section of the route along the road near Gordale Scar can be busy, especially in the summer, so take care with traffic and farm vehicles. Some parts of the route are wet and muddy, particularly on the higher sections across Threshfield Moor.
Tips and hints
Malham is a small village and there are limited opportunities to stock up with supplies. There are two pubs, cafes and a Bistro and a couple of small shops selling snacks and souvenirs. There is also a Tourist Information Centre. There are no opportunities for refreshment on this route so carry what you require.
Points of Interest.
Gordale Scar is a narrow limestone ravine, a mile northeast of Malham. It contains two waterfalls and towering cliffs over 100 metres high. Cut into the limestone plateau it is thought to have been formed by cavern collapse as a result of subterranean solution of the rock at the end of the last Ice Age.
This is a pretty waterfall on the outskirts of Malham. The braided falls are overhung with trees and there is a cave nearby. The dissolved limestone in the water has precipitated a delicate tufa curtain over which Gordale Beck flows into a deep plunge pool below. Foss is the Nordic word for waterfal reflecting the historical Scandinavian influence in this part of Britainl.
Grassington Folk Museum.
This tells the story of life in upper Wharfedale from Medieval times to the Industrial Revolution. There are geological specimens of local minerals mined in the area as well as fossils and Iron Age remains.
Sturdy boots or walking shoes are recommended as the terrain is rough and muddy in places. Walking poles may be an advantage on the muddy sections of the route, and crossing the ford, if preferred. The weather is changeable in the Dales so waterproofs should be carried especially as the moorland sections are fairly exposed. Maybe pack an extra pair of socks in case of wet feet.