Malham, Yorkshire Dales


Helen Rose Hill Diary May 2012

My first weekend away walking after the broken leg was to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales about five months after the accident. My walking was still very limited and slow but I was determined to try and get back to normal as soon as possible. I have never been to the Yorkshire Dales so the Walking Club weekend there seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

Yorkshire is in the heart of England towards the North East. The Dales are in North Yorkshire in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and noted for the limestone which can be slippery to walk on.  Malham is a lovely village in the Dales and noted for Malham Cove, an overhang of limestone rock and the path on top is part of the Pennine Way. The village is traditional and has very lovely houses of limestone and more importantly, several warm and welcoming pubs. We stayed at the YHA hostel which was very comfortable and was centrally located in the village.

The club walk on Saturday was to Malham Cove and over the top down to Gordale Scar. However, as the limestone can be slippery, I thought it best not to go on this walk. Sandy advised me how to see these two places walking on road and good paths. I set off on my own from the hostel and road walked to the path to Malham Cove. When I reached the base of the Cove, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) people were out with telescopic binoculars and I was able to see the   peregrine falcons which nest regularly on the Cove. I continued to the limestone steps leading up to the top of the cove but they did look slippery so I thought better of it and turned back to the Malham Path. Any slips at this stage of my recovery could be disastrous. On the way back to Malham the weather turned to hailstones!

I had lunch in the village and with advice from the Tourist Office decided to walk to Gordale Scar in the afternoon. I walked on the road most of the way as the others would be walking over Malham Cove and down to the Scar. I turned off the road on to an excellent path to the Scar which is a dip between rocks where there is a waterfall. On my return from the Scar, I met the others but they were returning to Malham by Janets Foss. I had decided to go back by the road as the path to the Foss could be muddy and slippery. The walk for the day was over four miles and I was pleased to have seen these sites.

The next day Kathleen and Alistair offered to take me to Harrogate for the day, a place I have never visited. It is about an hour by car through pretty countryside and villages. Harrogate is famous as a spa town where the Victorians took the waters from the Sulphur Springs and there were spas offering treatments from heat cupboards to electric shocks! At the Pump Room Museum, we saw a film of these treatments. The town is very neat and no visit to Harrogate is complete without a visit to Betty’s Tearoom for afternoon tea. We also included a walk in the park as Harrogate had won the England in Bloom competition.

I enjoyed the weekend very much and had a real sense of achievement that I was walking again and more confident about travelling. However, walking was still painful but would progress as time went on.

Coming attraction; Berwick 0on Tweed weekend.