Janet’s Foss is a small but delightful waterfall in Malhamdale in the Yorkshire Dales, and is part of the National Park. The waterfall is found in a quaint woodland and was thought to be home to the local fairies. In the summer, it is a home to many species of birds, flowers, and animals.
To reach Janet’s Foss Waterfall you must first walk along the footpath from Malham, past a clapper bridge, which is a bridge made from large slabs of stone that crosses the river. The path then takes you across several fields and kissing gates and into the woods. This path through the woods then takes you to the waterfall and pool which is surrounded by trees and two small caves.
Janet’s Foss derives its name from two different sources, the first being that Janet (or Jennet) was thought to be the queen of the local fairies who was thought to live in one of the caves, aptly named Janet’s Cave, and the second being the word ‘foss’, which comes from the Norse word for ‘waterfall’ or ‘force’.
The fall is well known for its moss covered tufa; tufa being a deposit of calcium carbonate which is deposited by the river that flows over the waterfall. The pool underneath the waterfall was once used to wash sheep during sheep shearing season but now only attracts local tourists on their visit to the national park. If you continue onwards, you will reach Gordale Scar a large gorge that was created during the Ice Age, which has a further waterfall and breathtaking views. It is a great place to go walking and exploring and has fantastic scenery, which was carved out during England’s glacial periods and is well worth a visit.