Well the kids are off school again so long walks in the Lakes or Snowdonia were off the agenda for today. I decided to take the kids and one of Matthew’s friends, Josh, up to Malham for a trip around the walk I did as a primary school child, many, many, many years earlier. A trip of only about 5 ½ miles but that for teenagers with no x box breaks half way round was going to be enough. The weather forecast was for the hottest day of the year and it certainly didn’t disappoint, hot and sunny.
We got to Malham at about 10.30 due to traffic problems and on our arrival we discovered there was a ‘safari for kids’ happening in the village with loads of animals dotted all over and there were young kids running and in some cases squealing with delight at finding a 6 ft tall flamingo or monkey. Oh to be that young again !!! The 3 of them posed with the flamingos, a big hit as they all had their phones out taking pictures for their friends, guess they are still kids at heart even when teenagers.
The paths were clearly marked in the direction of Janet’s Foss, the first exciting stop on the route, well I had to sell it to them somehow and the flamingos were the animal highlight in the village!! Christina decided that the tree over the stream was doable, but had a wobble and thought better of it. What I didn’t notice was that Matthew had his phone camera poised ready for the fall, that’s brothers for you !! The path wound along the stream and into a wooded area around the Foss which was in full pungent flow with wild garlic. Now this was very strong, not a problem for me as I love the smell but the kids raced ahead to the waterfall.
The Foss was just as impressive as I remembered it all those years ago, but the kids were less that impressed. It was ‘ok’ but I told them it was as big as Niagara Falls so the dainty falls left them a little underwhelmed. Anyway they took more phone pics so secretly they liked it. Teenagers being teenagers as we neared the entrance to Gore dale campsite we passed a butty van and they relieved me of several quid for 3 hot dogs and lashings of tomato ketchup!! You can take the kids out of the town but not the town out of the kids !!!
Onwards to Gore dale Scar and the one bit of climbing that to be honest I hadn’t remembered from my school trip. Lots of water here and the kids spent quite some time throwing it at each other before we moved over to join the queue up the climb. The falls were as impressive as ever with the two sections as I remembered, the higher one coming down through a hole in the rocks.
We spent some time here as one poor woman found the climb rather difficult and took some time to clear the rocks, made even harder with a queue of people watching. We soon ascended one after another and the kids really did have a smile on their faces now, rating the climb as 8/10 for fun. I just had to convince them that the rest of the walk was as good.
Dinner at the top was soon upon us even though the hot dogs still lined their bellies, but food was food and we stopped.
All 3 of them made attempts of not liking the nutritious sarnies I had made and as the picture shows, Matt was nearly puking up, Christina was trying politely to not eat hers and Josh was slipping into a coma after dodging the tomatoes!! Crisps and biscuits soon averted the medical emergency and even Josh came round to live for another day.
Fed and watered we headed over the tops towards Malham Tarn, only a short walk of about 2 miles and we made good progress. Matthew said he enjoyed the climb up Gore dale scar so much that he wanted to come to Wales with me to do Tryfan and the Glyders, great news. We reached the tarn and due to tired children we headed straight towards the cove. Christina decided that her legs were done and we had a ‘no more walking today darling’ moment from her.
We left her and the tired legs seemed to improve quickly. The field we found ourselves in was full of baby cows / bullocks, (they were sitting down so couldn’t tell), very cute at this age and yet more phone pics by the kids. Mat was most impressed with a picture of a ‘whole cow’ he got, why I don’t know but that’s teenagers !!!
We left the cows behind and started the walk through the limestone rocky outcrops the area is famed for, he rocks polished to a shine from years of school parties and walkers slipping over them. The path down winded down quickly through the rocks, but it was too late. Christina had turned into a cat without the ‘me’ part of her ‘me ow’. Her feet were a bit tender by the sound of the ‘ow’ cries from each step downward, but to her credit she only made noises for about the next ½ mile to the cove.
As I mentioned earlier it was a good walking day and the cove was quite busy with walkers and day trippers alike. I have to say I was a little disappointed at the cove, I remembered it much bigger, but then as a school boy of about 10, everything does appear bigger.
The kids as expected went right to the edge and sat there for pics and looked down. I just stood back and told them they were making me nervous which was greeted with laughter and long looks down. It was a very long way down if they fell and I finally got them back from the edge and I relaxed.
The stepped path down was easy going and as we reached the valley floor there was the usual gathering of people watching the climbers on the cove face. Very impressive they were to as the face has a few overhangs on it, which I know from my brief excursion into climbing are very tough to get round.
We watched for a bit and then the kids wanted to head for a drink and ice cream in the village so off we plodded down the path. As we neared the road I looked over to the fields and I can honestly say I have never seen a field with as many wonky walls built in it anywhere else. The dry stone waller was definitely on the sauce that day!!!
On the whole a great day out with my kids and Josh who again secretly enjoyed themselves. Bigger and better next time will have to be planned with climbing, water and more ice cream !!!
On the way back we dropped off Josh and spent quite some time petting the new puppy they had got, a Chocolate Labrador very cute, and I got can we have one all the way back !!!
Nostalgia in Malham