Yorkshire Dales guide to the Malhamdale

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The classic limestone scenery of cliffs, crags, and scars, the unusual and valuable wildlife resource of lime-rich Malham Tarn, and the farming landscape of miles of ancient dry-stone walls, field barns, meadows and pockets of woodland create a special beauty in the Malham area.

Several leading conservation agencies are actively involved in managing this valuable natural resource. Much of the dramatic scenery in the area has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, under statutory protection. The National Trust also owns a large area of land, including the Tarn, which is managed as a National Nature Reserve for wildlife. Together with the Yorkshire Dales National Park, these agencies are working to balance the needs of conservation and recreation. The National Park Centre in Malham provides useful information about the area.

Malham Beck emerges from the foot of Malham Cove and flows through the centre of Malham, crossed by clapper bridges and a former packhorse bridge. Trees flourish in this sheltered village of characteristic Dales stone village houses, many dating back to the 18th-century.

Above the village, Malham Cove is a great limestone ampitheatre formed through ice and water erosion during the last million years. A section of the Pennine Way leads from Malham Village to the Cove, ascending the western grassy side of the 250-feet high cliff. At the top there is a remarkable limestone pavement with its clints (small flat blocks) and grikes (deep crevices between), and a sensational view over the valley. Beyond, the Dry Valley leads northwards towards the Water Sinks and Malham Tarn.

Gordale Scar, a gigantic collapsed cave system forming a twisting gorge between limestone cliffs, is 1½ miles east of Malham, reached by a field path alongside Gordale Beck and passing Janet’s Foss, a little waterfall set in an area of old natural woodland.

The roads north from Malham join near Malham Tarn, and the Pennine Way passes close to its eastern edge. The Tarn lies on a bedrock of slates in a depression scoured out by glacier ice in the Ice Age, and is the highest lime-rich lake in the country - fed by springs bringing in dissolved limestone from the surrounding hills. The Tarn and the estate are let to the Field Studies Council.

Malham Cove View over Malham Cove Goredale Scar
  • Lindon Guest House

    A friendly, family run Guest House offering B&B with optional dinner. Just a few yards from the Pennine Way, it is 2 miles from Malham with Malham Cove and Tarn and makes a great base all year round for Yorkshire Three Peaks, walking and cycling sections of the Dales Way and Dales Cycle Route.

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  • Hill Top Cottage

    Just a short distance from the famous Malham Cove, Hill Top cottage is well placed for walking in limestone country. It is just 25 minute drive from the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Malham village is 2 minutes walk away with 2 pubs serving food. Hill Top Cottage has a cosy wood burner and is pet friendly.

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  • Hill Top Farm Bunkbarn

    On the edge of Malham, this bunkbarn is in a peaceful and quiet location. The famous Malham Cove (¼ mile), Gordale Scar (1½ miles) and Malham Tarn (2½ miles) are all linked by the area's comprehensive network of footpaths. Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the start of the Yorkshire Three Peaks is just 25 mins drive away.

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  • Pikedaw Barn

    Newly refurbished, this detached self-catering cottage is in a quiet location on the edge of Malham, yet within easy walking of pubs and cafes. Week and short break bookings are available. Secure storage for cycles. Enclosed garden and conservatory. 2 dogs welcome

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  • Rose Cottage

    Rose Cottage is a charming Grade II listed cottage dating back to the 17th Century. Ideally situated in the centre of the village of Malham, walking distance from Malham Cove and the Pennine Way. Rose Cottage is a great base for exploring the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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    Agricultural Shows

  • Malhamdale Show

    Malham Show is held annually in the heart of beautiful Malhamdale in the Yorkshire Dales on August Bank Holiday Saturday. This popular country show has taken place for over 100 years and takes place beneath the back drop of Malham Cove.

    Malhamdale Show Website Map Where to Stay

    Visitor Farms, Wildlife, Walks and Trails

  • Malham Cove

    Malham Cove is a huge curving amphitheatre of limestone rock near Malham. It is popular for walkers, rock climbers and bird watchers with the RSPB manning a Peregrine viewpoint for part of the year. Nearby is Malham Tarn, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

    Malham Cove Website Map Where to Stay
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