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Malham Cove
Malham Cove

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Route No 243 - Saturday 3 May 2008
Giggleswick and Wharfedale
Helicopter flight
Yorkshire Dales . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base
View the route in Google Earth

Map: OS Explorer OL2 Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas


Ready for take off from the Old Station Inn at Giggleswick
Ready for take off from the Old Station Inn at Giggleswick

Today my wife rang up as usual expecting the recorded message we have become used to, only to find that the flight was on! We drove across to Settle for our lunch and then made our way to the take off and landing site near the Old Station Inn at Gigglewick.

Last summer my son and his wife bought me a helicopter flight for my birthday present. Ever since I have been booked on each available flight only to discover on the day of the flight that the weather was not suitable to go.

Heading out towards Malham fron Settle
Heading out towards Malham fron Settle

Climbing out of Ribblesdale towards Malham
Climbing out of Ribblesdale towards Malham

From Malham Cove we flew ovwe Gordale Scar. A deep limestone gorge with a great path through it up the side of the waterfall and a steep climb out up a narrow scree slope and a path to Mastiles Lane.

We climbed up over Settle and Sugar Loaf Hill towards Malham and in a few minutes we were looking down on the limestone cliffs of Malham Cove and the pilot slowed to give us a good view of this spectacular place. I tried to imagine the huge waterfall crashing over these cliffs as the glaciers melted at the end of the last ice age.

Gordale Scar
Gordale Scar

Mastiles Lane over Kilnsey Moor to Kilnsey
Mastiles Lane over Kilnsey Moor to Kilnsey

As we approached Conistone we could see up Conistone Dib, another impressive limestone valley with a tight limestone gorge at both the top and the bottom.

From Gordale Scar we continued heading northeast following the line of Mastiles Lane over Kilnsey Moor to Conistone in Wharfedale.

Conistone Dib
Conistone Dib

The Dales Way descends through the corner of the wood to the lane to Kettlewell
Dales Way descends through the corner of the wood to the lane to Kettlewell

From there we followed the valley down to Kettlewell with an amazing view of the tiers of limestone scars across the valley from the town.

We flew around Great Whernside and up park Rash. We flew down one side of Coverdale and back up the other to Buckden Pike.

Limestone scars above Kettlewell
Limestone scars above Kettlewel

Gorge leading from Malham Tarn down to Malham Cove
Gorge leading from Malham Tarn down to Malham Cove

From there we continued east to the limestone crags near Settle, Great Scar, Settle Scar and Attermire Scar where the path on the ground turns north towards Victoria Cave.

From Kettlewell we flew round Knipe Scar at the end of Litondale and headed south west to see Malham Tarn and fly over the narrow limestone gorge leading from the tarn to Malham Cove.

Attermire Scar above Settle
Attermire Scar above Settle

Pen-y-ghent
Looking up Ribblesdale to Pen-y-ghent

It had been a long wait for the flight, but today conditions were ideal and the views of the limestone country had been superb.

From Attermire Scar we could see over Settle and up Ribblesdale to Pen-y-ghent. All too quickly the landing field came into view and with a very gentle landing our flight was over.

Approaching the landing field
Approaching the landing field

Coming in to land
Coming in to land
Coming in to land
Coming in to land
Close to touch down
Close to touch down
Back on the ground
Back on the ground