God’s Own Country. Day 4: Malham Cove.

Tuesday 1 March 2022.

(Grassington, North Yorkshire – home)

Up and at ‘em! We had to be out of the cottage by 10am today, so no lie in and no leisurely start. However, the blue skies and sunshine were back, together with cold air, and the view from the cottage as we packed the car was lovely once again. We had breakfast, packed and put everything in the car, by which time it was three minutes to ten and the timing or our departure was perfect.

The drive over to Malham, today’s location for a walk, was beautiful, although it did require us to be careful as there were some deep puddles due to yesterday‘s torrential rain and the occasional gaggle of geese to be avoided. As we got to Malham there was a long line of cars parked along the road, and I began to worry about just how busy it might be. I had thought that by going on a weekday it would be much quieter than at the weekend, but it was already a very long line. Still, we drove past the cars and into the car park, to discover that it was actually only a third full. All the cars on the road were simply trying to avoid a less than £5 parking fee for the whole day. Even better, for us, was that there was an electric charge point which meant we were able to plug the car in and leave it to juice up while we went for our walk.

After leaving the car park, we soon crossed over the stream and turn to our right to head towards Janet’s Foss. The route took us through a meadow, alongside a stream, and then through some woods. The woods were extremely green, even though there weren’t any leaves, due to the amount of green moss that seemed to cover pretty much everything. The waterfall at the end of this trail was spectacular and had a gorgeous pool of water at its foot which was very clear and almost tempting to get in, but only almost!

After leaving Janets Foss we considered going up to Gordale Scar but decided against it as we would have to re-trace our steps back to where we were now to continue our walk. A second reason for not going there was that a large group of schoolchildren were heading in that direction! Instead, we started climbing the hill. This went up and up and up and did reveal some good views, although the ground underfoot was both muddy and slippy and we had to be very careful.

Towards the top of the hill we found a suitable limestone rock on which we could perch and drank a flask of tea and ate chocolate muffins to keep us going. The weather was glorious. I sat there without my coat, in my T-shirt, feeling perfectly warm in the sunshine. Who would’ve thought it was only the 1st of March? Admittedly, I still had my woolly hat on!

Soon after this we reached Malham Cove limestone pavement, familiar from the Harry Potter movies. We spent some time walking across this and exploring, and being careful not to fall into the giant cracks.

From there it was steeply down, back to the valley floor. Luckily, there were steps, but these really tested the legs, and by the time we reached the bottom we both had wobbly legs.

A final walk took us back to the village and to our car, which had just finished charging. I was hungry again, but the tearoom was shut, so I set to with a Swiss Army knife, bread, butter, cheese and ham to make sandwiches. I soon had a proper lunch sorted out, so we were appropriately fed, before we drove the 64 miles back home. We arrived just after 4pm, before the traffic built up too badly, bringing to a close a thoroughly enjoyable few days away.

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