This is Gordale Scar, the Yorkshire Dales ravine that inspired William Wordsworth

Looking down into Gordale Scar.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson. Technical details: Nikon D4, 17-35mm f2.8, 1.3 sec @ f13, 100asa.
Looking down into Gordale Scar. Picture: Bruce Rollinson. Technical details: Nikon D4, 17-35mm f2.8, 1.3 sec @ f13, 100asa.

This daring angle captures quite the daunting view of one of Yorkshire’s finest natural wonders, looking down Gordale Scar from dizzying heights.

The limestone gorge in Malhamdale, North Yorkshire is one of the country’s oldest and most impressive sights, believed to date back nearly 16 million years.

It was formed by torrents of glacial water cutting down through rock and carving out a gorge.

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And though there have been suggestions that its creation was a result of a giant cave collapse, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority says that is not the case.

“However, several smaller caves collapsing over the centuries probably contributed to the gorge being so deep,” it says.

The gorge, one of the jewels in the crown of the Dales, has two waterfalls and overhanging limestone cliffs over 100 metres high.

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The stream flowing through the ravine is called Gordale Beck and the water is rich in dissolved limestone and some of this is deposited onto the green, mossy rocks pictured here.

Given its grandiose appearance, it is perhaps not surprising that the scar has not only wowed thousands of visitors but has also provided a source of inspiration for writers and artists alike.

Poet William Wordsworth wrote of its beauty in his sonnet Gordale, describing the chasm as “terrific as the lair where the young lions couch”.

And British Romantic painter James Ward captured its scale on canvas in the early 1800s, emphasising the height of the cliffs by subtly manipulating the perspective.

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More recently the site has been used as a filming location in TV series Victoria and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, its majesty captured on screen.

But it was an image during the winter of 2018 that caught the scar in perhaps its most jaw-dropping form - when one of its waterfalls froze over and became a 20ft curtain of sheer ice during the adverse weather of ‘the beast from the east’.