It’s Easter weekend and the sun was shining – how glad are we that we had booked a weekend of walking in the stunning Yorkshire Dales.
Our area of choice was Malham, a small village in the Dales around 10 miles from Skipton and 5 miles from Settle. Malham itself was mentioned in the Domesday book as Malgun and has been a settlement for over 1000 years. It is a pretty village with a couple of pubs, cafe, Visitor Centre, couple of shop and a stream running through the centre, however, it is most known for the excellent walking opportunities it offers. In fact, it was named number 3 in the Top 100 UK Walks.
We had only booked a couple of weeks before so choices of where to stay were pretty much non-existent. Our only option based in the village was YHA Malham which was slap bang in the centre of the village and right next door to a pub The Lister Arms. You can check out our review here.
The last time we were in the village Ella was only about 5 weeks old, it was a rainy day a bit gloomy and so quiet (we still loved its charm though). Fast forward to last weekend and with the sun brightening everything in its’ path the village was buzzing with eager walkers/picnickers.
There is plenty of parking on the outskirts of the village, which was definitely needed, but as we were booked in the hostel we rocked up at just the right time to secure ourselves a parking spot.
We donned our walking boots, popped on our back-packs and set off with a quick stop at the visitor centre.
There are a number of walks around the area and you can either get these from the Visitor Centre or check the Malhamdale Website.
For the first day we had opted for Walk 1 on the map, the Malham Landscape (but in reverse of the directions on the website). So from the Visitor Centre you can either cross the stream or go over the bridge and turn right straight onto the Pennine Way.
At the first gate you take a left where you are signposted to Janet’s Foss so you know you are going the right way. There were so many people on the trail this day though so we didn’t need to consult our map. It really was a case of follow the crowds. Sometimes this would bother me a bit but the gifts you are rewarded with really make up for it.
There is another stream that runs alongside the path that we had fun jumping back and forth over as well as spotting a number of frogs. At the end there is another small fall and a number of people were climbing up here as this is an alternative route to Malham Tarn. At the foot of the falls there were also a number of climbers so it was great to sit and watch these guys at work.
(I must point out at this point, as you will see from some photos, that Ella has a rather random top on – this is in fact a pair of leggings wrapped around her in variety of ways. She was just “too hot” in her t-shirt and needed some air so this was her attire of choice).
From the cove it is probably another 20 minute walk back to the village where we plonked ourselves on the lawn of the Lister Arms and enjoyed a well earned ice-cream and refreshment.
That night we headed back to the Lister Arms and had a gorgeous meal. Portions were huge but we had certainly deserved a little treat.
Up and at ’em early was the motto today. After a quick breakfast at the hostel we packed up the car and then headed off back down the Pennine Way. We decided on a slightly shorter walk today as we had tired Ella out. Plus we were hoping to get back and enjoy some garden time at home in the afternoon.
Today’s walk is number 5 on the list and whilst there were no magnificent limestone coves/waterfalls what it did have was vast open spaces and views as far as the eye could see.
The walk starts at the same place as we started yesterday but instead of heading towards Janet’s Foss you carry on over fields and streams and you are blessed with spectacular countryside.
Throughout the walks, due to the time of year, there were so many lambs toddling alongside their mums. It certainly made our walk a lot longer as we kept stopping to watch them play and feed.
We followed a path to a gateway that by all accounts Bill Bryson in his book “Notes from a Small Island” took his last look at Malhamdale. It affords you with a treat of a view. With rolling countryside, animals peppered about and the imposing Malham Cove in the background.
So as we headed back in to the village, and all walks lead back here, we were pleased with our efforts over the lasts couple of days. We had certainly racked up the steps on our fitness trackers and had the best of British in terms of weather, walks, views and a thoroughly great time.
All that was left was to grab another cone of Yorkshire Ice Cream and head back home.
So if you are in to walking and haven’t yet made it to Malham – then what is stopping you.