We had decided to take a week off from our weekday jobs this week. As the weather was forecast to be good we thought it would be a great opportunity to check out some of the upcoming walks and enjoy our holiday to boot.
We arrived at Thrunton Wood car park early, to make sure that we got to the lunch spot on time. There were a few other people in the car park, that we chatted with. We didn’t see them after that, illustrating how many different routes and paths that there are in Thrunton Wood.
Setting off we headed North and down a small path to the track along the North edge of the wood. We followed this path and commented on the view along this path. Conifers cover the steep hillsides here, giving it the look of a Canadian forest.
From here, we descended towards the outer edge at the North West of the wood. There are views of the hills around the Ingram Valley, across the farm land. There is a short climb up towards the lunch stop, through the gate into Castle Hill.
Castle Hill is very different to the rest of the Wood. It is covered in ancient woodland and is more open. The path upwards is surrounded by bilberry bushes. They were very tasty. The tangled branches on top of the hill, that extend across the ground, give it a very different feel. They also double as a place to sit for lunch.
After lunch, we descended off Castle Hill and rejoined the track through the Wood. This leads further into the Wood and eventually up hill towards Thrunton Crag. Heading towards Callaly, the views are spectacular.
The last leg includes a track along the South side of Thrunton Crag. From here you can see Coe Crags and Long Crag, out at the extents of the Wood. At this point, we had a welcome rain shower, cooling and freshening the air. We descended back through the trees to the car park, to end the walk.
A trip down to Thrunton Long Crag Trout Fishery for tea and we were done. They don’t do cake but we were told that we can bring our own. Looks like fishermen don’t like cake. Odd!
I had planned a walk around Malham that was supposed to be 8.5 miles. The weather was good but maybe a little exposed for a long walk in the sun, so the length would be about right, surely.
We started off from the village and went along the Pennine Way, before joining the river path towards Janet’s Foss. This is a lovely start to the walk, flat and varied. The path enters a woodland area, close to the Foss. On reaching Janet’s Foss, our expectations were borne out. The very dry summer had resulted in the usual delicate curtain of water to a trickle. Hopefully, there’s a bit of rain before we return.
From Janet’s Foss, we went along the road a little and then up the path towards Gordale Scar. Passing the campers we went up the narrowing valley. Even this bit was dramatic. The sides of the valley were gradually getting steeper. It’s only when we turned the corner at the top of the valley that we got the full effect, with the valley walls becoming vertical and even overhanging the valley floor. There was also a welcome bit of shade here.
The waterfall at the end, rarely has any water in it but today, like Janet’s Foss, it was bone dry. There is a route up the waterfall, to the area above the Scar. However, we retreated back down the valley, to take a different route.
We took the “Dales High Way” towards Malham Cove but turned off towards Malham Tarn. After a long but mostly flat walk we reached the far end of the Tarn. Walking up to the Field Centre at Malham Tarn House, we spotted huge swathes of raspberry bushes, shaded by trees. The ripe fruit tasted fresh and sweet. Further along we found a view point with a seat. Lunchtime.
At this point, we looked at the map in front of us and decided to take a look at the boardwalk over Tarn Moss at Malham Tarn Nature Reserve. This proved to be an excellent idea, as the Moss is beautiful and very peaceful.
The flora here included Meadowsweet, Ragged Robin, Northern Marsh Orchid, Devilsbit Scabious and Marsh Cinquefoil. This alone was worth the walk.
After Tarn Moss we headed back towards Malham Cove. At the top of the Cove is a limestone pavement. The limestone here is susceptible to erosion by rain. This has resulted in the formation of blocks of limestone called “clints”, separated by fissures called “grykes”. The views from above the Cove are amazing. It’s easy to spend time here just enjoying the view.
At the bottom of the Cove, we admired the height and size of it. It appears very high from the base. Some sheep took no notice of this as they wandered along a ledge about half way up. This ledge went nowhere, so at the end they just turned around and walked back. We also heard the Peregrine Falcons that nest near the top of the Cove.
We wandered the short distance back to the village. Unfortunately, the tea shops had closed by the time we got back. So we had to put up with a beverage at the Buck Inn.
Synchronising GPSs we found that we had actually walked 11.5 miles. Three miles extra for free. Result.