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Exercise-Other Nature-Hill Nature-River Nature-Rock formation Nature-View point Nature-Waterfall Settlement-Village
Malham, Skipton BD23 4DB, UK

Malham is a small but popular village in the Yorkshire dales surrounded by limestone dry-stone walls and a stream running through the centre. Its close proximity to the natural sights of Malham Tarn, Gordale Scar & Malham cove makes a great starting point to grab a map for hikes and walks around the varied Yorkshire countryside. From the village, a short 20 minute walk north takes you to the giant limestone formation of Malham Cove, a waterfall dating back to the ice age formed this unique 80 metre cliff face over thousands of years. Ascend the stairs to the top and reach the rugged limestone pavements for one of the best places to view the dales stunning landscape. Walk further north to reach Malham Tarn, England's highest freshwater lake and home to a rare variety of plants and wildlife. If you are lucky, you may spot deer or otters lurking as you walk around the tarn, though be sure to wear sensible footwear as the ground changes from rocky pavements to muddy marshland quickly. Head back south passing the huge cavern and flowing water of Gordale Scar to arrive at the picturesque setting of Janet's Foss, a small but beautiful waterfall and pool nestled in woodland. The secluded and silent space gives a magical and mysterious aura, a nearby tree stump even holds hundreds of pennies left by visitors hoping for some luck. This clockwise loop brings you back to the village, the perfect place to rest your legs and quench your thirst as you sample some of Yorkshire's finest ales in the cosy country pubs. Image Credit Chris Cunliffe

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Nature-Cliffs Nature-River Nature-Rock formation Nature-View point
Malham, Skipton BD23, UK

A short amble from Malham village, along the trickling river of Malham Beck, is a mesmerising amphitheatre of rock, 80 metres high. This feature formed along the Middle Craven Fault and has been eroded by previous ice ages and rainfall over the years. There are multiple walking opportunities from here to explore the surrounding nature area. You can hike to the top of the limestone plateau to get views from the Pennine Way trail. You might also recognise the unusual warped rocks as a setting that featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. These Clints (the limestone mounds) and Grykes (the gaps) are a rare feature in the UK. They create a specialist habitat and unusual micro-climate for wild flower species including: wood sorrel, Green Spleenwort, Wall Rue, and Herb Robert. Watch out for nesting peregrine falcons in the cliffs as this is an RSPB site of interest. During the spring the birds may be more active than usual when their eggs are hatching. If you want to see more of the surrounding landscape, follow a 7.9km loop to Janet's Foss waterfall and Gordale Scar. Janet's Foss is a small but pretty waterfall set amongst a woodland. Its plunge pool has been used by farmers as a sheep dip and swimmers as a recreational area for many years. It's also supposedly home to Jennet the Queen of the Fairies. She is said to live in one of the caves - if you believe the myth! Gordale Scar is a deep limestone gorge, also carved out from ice and water. Lining the walls is an unusually shaped mineral deposit called tufa. Rainwater dissolved into the limestone then leaked the tufa out of the rock creating the scree you see lining Gordale Scar today. To the north of the cove is Malham Tarn, a National Trust owned glacial lake. It is the highest marlstone lake in the UK. It is also part of an exclusive club of water features and is only one of eight upland alkaline lakes found throughout Europe. A ramble from Malham Cove to the tarn will set you back about 11 km. Image Credits: Dan Blackburn on Unsplash

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Culture-Bronze Age Nature-Hill Nature-Rock formation Nature-View point
Mam Tor, Hope Valley S33 8WA, UK

Mam Tor is a 517-metre high peak on the southern side of the Hope Valley. The name means “mother hill” as the numerous landslips have birthed a number of hillocks in the surrounding area. The peak is also of historic interest as Bronze Age barrows along the ridge mark the remains of Bronze Age hill forts. There is a car park right below the summit on the road leading into Edale from Castleton. As it’s so close to the summit, this isn’t recommended unless you only want to see the views from the top and not to enjoy the walk. The best way to see Mam Tor is to include it in a loop hike alongside Kinder Scout. Beginning in Edale, hike up to Kinder Scout then counter-clockwise around to Mam Tor. Alternatively, walk west along the Pennine Way from Edale and climb Jacob’s Ladder to get you to the top of the hills. You can then turn south and loop your way round to Mam Tor. This is a shorter variation on the walk which still allows you to take in the best of the views. You will cross the Brown Knoll moorland on a series of paving slabs that act like stepping stones through the peaty areas of bog before reaching a junction at Chapel Gate. Here, you will turn east and follow the ridge along the Hope Valley. The track will lead you over turnstiles, past Lord’s Seat, before suddenly reaching a road. Cross this road and climb up a short but steep trail to take you to the top of Mam Tor. You’ll be greeted by a whole new set of views that stretch away to the south. Follow the eyeline of the ridge and you should be able to make out the features of Back Tor and Lose Hill that jut out into the valley. Walk along to Hollins Cross before turning north and descending into the valley. Cross over the River Noe and return to Edale back where you started.

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Nature-Hill Nature-Mountain Nature-Rock formation Nature-View point Nature-Waterfall
Kinder Scout, High Peak S33 7ZJ, UK

Located in Derbyshire county, Kinder Scout is one of the most famous areas in the Peak District and a highlight of the Hope Valley. It is a rugged moorland plateau and nature reserve. The best way to see Kinder Scout is on foot. The hike can be started from a few locations but Edale is opportune due to its accessibility. However, be warned, Edale is strict on its parking policy. There are a couple of car parks, but they fill up very quickly in the high season. Aside from that, there are numerous signs warning people not to park on the road. The village isn’t particularly big and if it runs out of parking you may be out of options! You can catch a train directly into Edale if you’re coming from Manchester or Sheffield. This saves you the trouble of looking for parking spots and is an easy way to access the Peak District on foot. The trail begins by following an avenue of trees north. The path then hooks through some livestock fields before opening onto a steep climb. There are various paths and diversions you can take once you’re on top of the peak. You can head up to Grindslow Knoll or push along the side of the valley into the Kinder Scout National Nature Reserve. You can keep pushing north, across the plateau, to find the River Kinder. Here you’ll see a waterfall that drops into the valley: Kinder Downfall. If you follow the river, you’ll stumble across the Mermaid’s Pool where hikers tend to go wild camping. This trail will take you down to Kinder Reservoir. Though, you’re now on the other side of the valley from where you started. If you remain on the plateau, you will head west past the Woolpacks, a wind-carved rock formation, before approaching the trig point of Kinder Low. The trail then turns south and crosses over the Pennine Way. From here, you can turn east and descend back into the Hope Valley via Jacobs Ladder and complete your walk in Edale. Alternatively, you can press on and reach Mam Tor, the summit on the opposing side of the valley.

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