At 414m Weets Top overlooks the Gordale valley of Malham. It is a quiet place, set in moorland and approached by a steady climb from the River Aire. The return can easily take in the busy sites of Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss.
Even on a cloudy midweek day in February Malham is busy. The cars stretch along the road and the pubs are full if not packed. Many make the pilgrimage to Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss and why not? They are dramatically set amongst the limestone cliffs and offer some of the best scenery in the Yorkshire Dales. Malham village is the quintessential Yorkshire Dales village, pretty, set upon a bubbling stream and with a choice of traditional pubs.
However it is perfectly possible to walk for five minutes and leave the crowds behind. One option is to head west on to the Settle Loop but best is to follow the embryonic River Aire south to Hanlith. From here join the farm lane and gradually climb on to the moors above. It is an airy place; the track marked by white stakes which lead towards the high point of Weets Top. Weets Top is marked by a trig point and a welcome meeting of walls, particularly on a windy day.
The views from Weets Top (or at least through the ‘gate’) are excellent. The dale leading to Malham is laid out impressively with Gordale Scar on the right, Janet’s Foss on the left and Malham in the distance. From Weets Gate drop down to the dead end road and follow it down to Gordale Scar, smug in the knowledge you have enjoyed a peaceful and enjoyable walk.
If you have never visited Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss it is easy to do so on this walk. If you have seen them before you decide but I would certainly suggest taking the riverside path past Janet’s Foss back to Malham.
Do not always follow the crowds and most popular walks. This walk is a great example. If you Google Malham walks you will get endless walks doing exactly the same thing. However if you understand maps and can plan your own route do not look for the easy option and make up your own route. Weets Top is a wonderful example of finding a place where you will almost certainly be on your own. It makes walking so much more enjoyable.
Loved this walk. We did it at the weekend on a fine April day and were quickly on our own.
Fantastic views from Weets Top and its not too tough a climb.
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