Gordale Falls

Gordale Falls

The Gordale Falls are a famous set of waterfalls located in the dramatic 100m high limestone ravine of Gordale Scar near Malham.

The lower of the two waterfalls provides a challenging obstacle at the head of the ravine. A public right of way goes up the waterfall in what is an interesting scramble that is probably best attempted in dry conditions. After lots of rain water flows down both sides of the fall making it slippery and awkward.

The lower part of Gordale Falls, in drier conditions it is possible to scramble up the waterfall
The lower part of Gordale Falls, in drier conditions it is possible to scramble up the waterfall

While the lower waterfall is famous for its scramble the finer waterfall is actually the upper fall. Here Gordale Beck plunges out of a small tunnel in the limestone several metres above. With care it is sometimes possible to visit the ‘hole’ from the other side and look down from the top of the waterfall. Equally impressive is the view down to the waterfalls from high up on Gordale Scar itself.

The superb upper part of Gordale Falls
The superb upper part of Gordale Falls

Together the two waterfalls are among the many highlights of the classic anti-clockwise route from Malham which features Janet’s Foss, Malham Tarn and Malham Cove. It was my first walk in the Dales and still one of the finest introductions you can have to its magical limestone scenery.

Looking down on Gordale Falls from atop Gordale Scar
Looking down on Gordale Falls from atop Gordale Scar

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