Hiking in Peak District & North Yorkshire

Tic! Toc! Tic! Toc!

As the clock goes forward and daylight is getting longer

The first sign of Spring is here!

The noticeable fresh, cool breeze of air

It’s about time to kick start those amazing outdoor adventures!

The Peak District National Park offers a variety of stunning natural beauty, with the Moors and Dales, rivers, springs and waterfalls. Just waiting to be explored. As I geared up for a day hiking around the National Park, and eventually I met up with the group at the visitor centre. 

We started walking towards the Derwent Dam, it was built in 1901. Derwent reservoir is the largest reservoir and famously associated with the ‘Dambuster’ squadron of the RAF, where the practice site for the Lancaster boomer. Up to now they commemorate with fly-pasts of old bombers and aerial a yearly display in the Derwent valley.

Continuing the footpath trail towards the Lady Bower reservoir. It was a perfect day, idyllic place for family out things and picnic. There are lots of hikers, cyclist around enjoying the glorious sunny day.

Did you know? That while they are building the Lady Bower reservoir, it flooded the villages of Ashopton and Derwent. Up to this time much of the structure of Derwent village ruins is still visible during a dry summer when the reservoir water is low.

Following the Derwent Edge trail we were welcomed with  rock formation scattered along the moors. We scrambled up at the stunning rock formations  and I found a perfect spot admiringly sat on the edge.

Inhaling the fresh crisp air, and taking in the wilderness and vast expanse of the moorland. As I stand still on the rock cliff emerging high on top of the moors, with the beautiful panoramic views of the Derwent Valley.

The rock formations are called Gritstone or grit is a hard, coarse-grained, siliceous sandstone. It has been referred as “God’s own rock”. The rough surface provides good gripping friction, enabling climbers scramble, stand on or grip on the rocks.

On the following day we headed towards Malham area. As usual, my alarm woke me up, and I jumped out of bed to get ready. I noticed a niggly pain on my left knee, I tried to do my squat just in case I slept in an awkward position.

That didn’t do the trick, but as I only felt the pain whenever I my knee is bent, I tried to ignore it. Grrr what a great start, I have been looking forward to this hike. 

Going down the stairs was a bit tricky. If my kept straight, it’s fine to walk, but I look like a walking robot. Nonetheless the niggly pain didn’t stop me from joining the group to go and hike at Malham Cove.

From Bradford we drove towards Malham and  in just less than an hour we arrived at the car park. About 10 am when we finished the briefing and followed the trails towards the stream.

We followed the Malham Tarn trail  though a few open green fields and kissing gates, we entered into the woods. Passing through the woodland and stream. The distinctive long, lush leaves swathe around the stream and the very strong smell of wild garlic welcomes us.

We even passed a money tree, a couple of logs with old coins stuck on in purposely by people visiting the site. We continued walking alongside the stream that leads towards the Janet Foss (Foss means waterfalls in Swedish).

“Walking through the area seems like a fairy tale world, it felt any minute the fairies start emerging from nowhere and humming a sweet symphony lingering in the air”. It was a mesmerising place indeed!

As much as we were impressed with the waterfalls, it’s time to continue our hike. We headed towards Gordale Scar. It is believed that it was created during the Ice ages. From the melted ice, creating a cavern that eventually collapsed to create the waterfall and gorge. A very impressive deep, narrow steep-sided valley, with another waterfall cascading on the narrow gorge.

On the way to the cove we found a clustered rock formation by the hill, and we stopped by for lunch. A perfect 5 star dining experience offering an uninterrupted moorland views. 

Just after lunch, we continued the hike pursuing the Ewe Moor trail. The rocky trails, loose pebbles and lots of steps, not helping with my knee. But with determination and encouragement from other hikers. I persevered to reach the Cove, there’s this young boy who’s so sweet waiting for me along the way. Keep glancing back my way, checking if I’m OK. ” He’s the coolest kid, I have ever met”!

We reached the plateau area of Malham Cove. I look around for a good spot to rest my aching knee. I sat on the edge of the cliff, the stunning views are worth every step. It’s definitely a place that stirs the emotions and stimulates the senses. For a minute or so I felt so relaxed, just watching the scenery around me.

Malham Cove is a limestone formation stunningly situated north of the village of Malham, North Yorkshire, England. The large  limestone curved feature was formed during Ice Age 12,000 years ago by a waterfall carrying meltwater from glaciers. 

Malham Cove with its spectacular limestone valleys, picture perfect postcard villages and historic castles. We didn’t explore around the villages, but the spectacular nature wowed us wanting more. Maybe a good excuse for our next  adventure.


Insider’s Tip:

  • There is a pay and display car park at the Fairholmes Visitors Centre, only £4.50 all day. Help to keep maintain the area.
  • As per usual wear proper clothing, hiking boots and bring refreshment when going for a long hike.
  • There’s a poor mobile phone signal  around this area, make sure you have a map with you.
  • If you like to join a guided hike  do check out The Mountain Coach website for dates and bookings.

48 thoughts on “Hiking in Peak District & North Yorkshire

  1. I was so excited to see the subject of this as I live near it and absolutely love this area. I often go running at Derwent Dam. Your photos are fab by the way!

  2. I live in the south of the UK and havent done any hiking in these regions (I have visited but never hiked), however I have hiked in Lake District which is similiar to these areas but with more lakes. I love reading this post and your experience and totally loving the photos. 🙂

    1. There’s so many hiking places around UK Scotland, Wales to England…. its so amazing, only missing is a great weather to enjoy the outdoors. Lake district is pretty and great hiking trails too

  3. We love finding a good national park and getting outdoors! Peak District has breathtaking views and your photos alone are making me want to grab my hiking gear and pack my bag and head on over! That dam looks like a castle too, how interesting!

    1. It was indeed an amazing hike, and those rock formations are wonderful to scramble. As you mention looks like Norway it reminds me my hiking at the Preikestolen.

  4. I love Yorkshire! I lived in Leeds for 10 years but sadly never went hiking here! I think I’ll have to change that when I go back home, it looks lovely!

  5. I used to live in Sheffield, and so would pop across to trek in the Peak District quite often. I’ve been to the Derwent area, but not Malham, and it looks like it’s worth a visit! My personal favourite parts of what I’ve seen are probably in the Edale and Castleton areas 🙂

  6. What a lovely hike. The views are really jaw-dropping, and the weather looks awesome. I was very intrigued by the Derwent Dam, it has so much history and romance associated with it. In all a lovely hike that epitomizes the spirit of the great outdoors.

  7. I hope that your leg is better now, must have been a bit painful but worth it for the views. Your photos are lovely, I like the high definition of the signposts. The money tree must have been fun to see!

  8. It sure does feel like a fairly tale and with logs and moss and coins stuck it would indeed feel like a fairy would loom around the place! The hike looks amazing with the castles and the rocky cliffs. To see the shape of a lost city in the lake is something!
    Getting down is always more difficult! ( at least for me!) thanks for sharing about this wonderful hike:)

    1. That lost city is indeed interesting and would love to see it too when the water is low.
      Oh getting down sometimes is hard when the trail is steep your not alone there ?

  9. I just came from Isle of SKye in scotland and it’s a hiking paradise. I would have loved to go to Lake District and other places too. This one is also an option. Too bad, I literally just left. Argh, more for next time.

  10. What a hike? It really looks amazing and the views around with limestone cliffs, loose stones, waterfalls, logs with moss must be breathtaking. Hats off to you! You did it with a bad knee and hope it is fine now. The Derwent Dam sounds quite interesting.

    1. The Derwent dam alone is interesting indeed full story of history. Oh yeah even with a bad knee it didn’t stop me from enjoying the breathtaking views.

  11. I have been in that area and didn’t check it out, kicking myself. Your images are gorgeous, pinning for future travels!

  12. What a gorgeous place for a hike. I loved your pictures, they were so vivid and crisp. Mind if I ask what kind of camera/lens you use? My DSL just bit the dust and I’m going to have to buy a new one.

  13. Wow~ your photography is amazing! This looks like a beautiful place for a hike. I have visited many dams, but have yet to see one that looks this old and appears to be in great shape.

  14. I love hiking a lot and your photos made me fall in love with Peak District! Such a stunning place for a hike, with those beautiful trails! Amazing.

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