I went to see a new path being constructed at Gordale Scar this week. It will enable disabled access all the way to the waterfall and make it easier for those who for some reason visit the Dales in high-heels or flip-flops.  The National Park, with the help of several volunteer groups, has resurfaced the old path, improved drainage and cleared fallen scree. One steep section of path has had its gradient reduced. It’s all a far cry from when I first visited the place in the late 1960s. After cycling from the West Riding we camped in the field and I recall one time having to get up in the middle of the night to re-pitch the tent as we were being flooded out. We got milk from the farm and bathed in Janet’s Fosse. The path to the scar used to be wet and tricky in parts and the scramble up the side of the waterfall wasn’t as easy as it is today with its well-worn foot-holes to guide the way. I’m very pleased that wheelchair users can now reach one of the wonders of the Dales but a little saddened that some of the magic of adventure has been taken away.
Photo taken from above the scar looking back down Malhamdale.

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  1. Paul Booth

    For me Gordale Scar remains the quintessential circular Dales walk. Start at the tarn and descend down the scar was always the preferred route. The chance of a soaking was also on the cards. Sometimes we had to carry a dog down the waterfall. And then the final look back at the overhanging cliff faces left a feeling of satisfaction and awe. David Dimbleby remarked upon the grandiose nature of the scar in his last television series.

  2. David Sollberger

    This is great news that weelchair-bound friends can now accompany us on one of our favourite walks in the dales.
    Haven’t been up to Gordale for a while, but will certainly check it out this spring.


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