Family adventures

Family walk: Malham, Yorkshire Dales

Starting and finishing in the picture-perfect Yorkshire Dales village of Malham, this is a beautiful walk through one of England’s finest landscapes, visiting the iconic Yorkshire trio of Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss in just a few short miles.

Gem, bump and Mario on the limestone pavement, overlooking Malham Cove
Gem, baby bump and Mario on the limestone pavement, overlooking Malham Cove

This is a busy walking route but it’s popular for a reason, with stunning landscape features carved and sculpted from limestone over millions of years. Malham Cove was once the site of a great waterfall that flowed directly towards where the village now stands, but today is a popular birdwatching spot made famous by nesting peregrine falcons.

Posing below the waterfalls at Gordale Scar
Posing below the waterfalls at Gordale Scar

The great ravine of Gordale Scar is a dramatic sight and offers a great opportunity to scramble up its rocky throat if water isn’t tumbling through it too quickly, and the beautiful waterfall of Janet’s Foss provides a lovely photo opportunity as you return to Malham.

This route works best in a clockwise direction from Malham, visiting the Cove first, followed by Gordale Scar and then Janet’s Foss. But if you don’t want to do the whole walk, it’s easy enough to pick off each landmark directly from the village.

Sunrise over Malham on a perfect January morning
Sunrise over Malham on a perfect winter morning

Pushchairs: This is a relatively short walk that packs in a hell of a lot, but be warned some sections will be very difficult with pushchairs. The steps up to the top of Malham Cove seem to go on forever, and the limestone pavement above the cove is hard enough to walk along – never mind push a pram over!

Download the route: click here to download this route for free in the ViewRanger app, then follow it on your phone, smartwatch or tablet using the app’s active GPS features.

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