Stunning Malham Cove and Gordale Scar Walk (7.6 Miles)

Malham Cove is a Limestone Formation North of the Village of Malham. Formed at the end of the last ice age over 12,000 years ago and sitting just 0.6 miles from the village it offers stunning scenery and some great walks.

The vertical face of the cliff at Malham cove is over 200 feet high and the location offers stunning scenery of the surrounding Yorkshire Dales.

In this article we’re taking a look at the Gordale Scar and Malham Cove walk, it covers 12.25km (+ 2 If Detour Used)  or 7.6 Miles.

Important Information / Disclaimer: As always, walks change, terrains may be different and the weather is an important factor so whilst every effort is made to ensure this walk is accurate, take care, plan ahead and be aware of your surroundings. Some walks are submitted by readers / contributors and aren’t all walked by the editors, if you have any tips, updates or feedback about the walk please get in touch, we value the communities input to ensure everyone can enjoy these walks!

Starting the Malham Cove Walk:

The Walk Starts in Malham depending on where you’ve parked, either street side or in one of the car parks, see the section below for details about car parking.

Head towards the Buck Inn, from here walk to the right at the junction, heading down Pennine way. You will pass a farm and keep walking until you reach the public footpath.

Continuing Along the Public Footpath:

As you walk along the public footpath you will come to a path that continues on straight ahead and one that heads off to the left, follow this one to the left up towards Janet’s Foss keeping the river Aire and Gordale Beck on your right.

Janet’s Foss and Gordale Beck:

Janet’s Foss is a small waterfall that carries Gordale Beck into a small pool traditionally used for sheep dipping.

Continuing from Janet’s Foss:

Once you’ve enjoyed the beautiful scenery, head along the public footpath towards Gordale Lane.

Deciding Between the Scramble Up Gordale Scar or Using the Diversion:

At this point you can either continue to the corner of Hawthorns Lane before following the public footpath towards Gordale Scar, which once reached requires a scramble up the rocks. If you feel comfortable with this continue with the route, if not check-out the diversion route.

Diversion Route:

Just before following the public footpath up to Gordale Scar you can instead turn left and follow the public footpath along Hawthorns Ln onto Malham Rakes and onto Tarn Rd. This detour does however skip Gordale Scar (See Map for More Details).

Gordale Scar:

Featuring prominent Limestone Cliffs that sit above 330 Feet this agent gorge presents some stunning scenery and is home to two waterfalls.

Continuing After Gordale Scar:

Once you’ve taken in the scenery of Gordale Scar or followed the diversion, continue along the public footpath or Tarn Rd, following the map. Just before the Great Close plantation head left back towards Pennine Way. This section can be a little harder to describe / detail so be sure to follow the map for details and keep an eye out for paths / the route.

Malham Tarn:

Once you reach the road section of Pennine Way, walk slightly to the right up the road before heading down the public footpath section of Pennine Way towards Malham Tarn.

Malham Tarn is a Glacial Lake that sits 377 metres above sea level, it’s a picturesque spot offering great views.

Continue following the Pennine Way path towards Watersinks Car Park and the road that passes outside of it.

Following the road to the right for a short section, you will reach the Pennine Way public footpath again on the left-hand side of the road follow this public footpath until you reach a section that either heads straight on down Cove Road or heads to the left continuing to follow Pennine Way. Follow this path, keeping an eye on the map until you reach Malham Cove.

Malham Cove:

Now is your opportunity to enjoy the stunning scenery that the Top of Malham Cove has to offer. From here continue following the Pennine Way public footpath. This path heads to the left at the bottom for you to take in views of Malham Cove or to the right to walk back towards Malham.

From here follow the Path to Cove Rd and then back into Malham.

Malham Cove Walk Map:

Transport, Car Parking & Refreshments:


There’s a large National Car Park in Malham, however there’s also sometimes parking available along the road and around Malham if you do decide to park along the road please be as courteous as possible.


The easiest way to get to Malham is via Car, however there are also a number of bus routes into Malham from surrounding areas. The nearest train station is Gargrave, approximately 7 miles away. Bus details can be found here: and train details here: .


There are places to get refreshments in Malham such as the pubs or tea rooms in the area.

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