Stretching west from Grassington to Ingleton is the largest area of limestone country in England, a distinctive
landscape pockmarked with potholes, dry valleys, limestone pavements and gorges. Two of the most spectacular features – Malham Cove and Gordale Scar – lie near the pretty village of Malham.
The national park centre at the southern edge of the village has the usual wealth of information. See also www.malhamdale.com.
Top Things to See and Activities in Malham
A 0.75-mile walk north from Malham village leads to Malham Cove, a huge rock amphitheatre lined with 80m-high vertical cliffs. Peregrine falcons nest here in spring, when the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) sets up a birdwatching lookout. You can hike up the steep steps on the left-hand side of the cove (on the Pennine Way footpath) to see the extensive limestone pavement above the cliffs. Another 1.5 miles further north is Malham Tarn, a glacial lake and nature reserve.
A mile east of Malham along a narrow road (with very limited parking) is spectacular Gordale Scar, a deep limestone canyon with scenic cascades and the remains of an Iron Age settlement. The national park centre has a leaflet describing the Malham Landscape Trail, a 5-mile circular walk that takes in Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and the Janet’s Foss waterfall.
The Pennine Way passes through Malham, with Hortonin- Ribblesdale a day’s hike away to the northwest.