Malham Cove, Gordale Scar & Janet’s Foss Walk

The Route

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Start Point: Malham National Park Centre, Malham, Skipton BD23 4DA

Finish Point: Same as start point (circular walk)

Distance: Approximately 4.9 miles (7.8 kilometres)

Walk Description

Starting Point: Malham National Park Centre, Malham, Skipton BD23 4DA

Key Highlights:

  • Janet’s Foss: A beautiful small waterfall in a wooded area, believed to be the home of a fairy queen according to local legend.
  • Gordale Scar: A dramatic limestone ravine with towering cliffs and a waterfall, popular with both walkers and photographers.
  • Malham Cove: A stunning limestone formation with a cliff face and a unique limestone pavement at the top, offering panoramic views​.

End Point: Malham National Park Centre, Malham

Practical Information

Distance: Approximately 4.9 miles (7.8 kilometres)

Difficulty: Moderate – the path includes some steep sections and rocky terrain, particularly around Gordale Scar.

Terrain: Mixed terrain including well-trodden paths, rocky steps, and muddy areas. The walk involves a scramble up Gordale Scar and stone steps up Malham Cove.


  • By Car: Parking available at the Malham National Park Centre.
  • Public Transport: Regular buses to Malham from Skipton​.

Tips for Walkers

Footwear: Sturdy walking boots with good grip are recommended due to uneven and sometimes slippery surfaces.

Supplies: Bring water, snacks, and possibly a packed lunch. There are limited facilities along the route.

Navigation: The route is well-signposted, but a map of the area (OS Explorer Map OL2) can be useful. Signposts and clear paths make navigation relatively straightforward​.

This walk offers a fantastic combination of natural beauty and geological wonders, making it one of Yorkshire's most popular trails.

Starting from the Malham National Park Centre, the circular route takes you through lush woodlands to Janet’s Foss, up through the dramatic Gordale Scar, and finally to the stunning Malham Cove.

The terrain varies from easy paths to more challenging rocky sections, ensuring an engaging and rewarding experience for walkers.

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