Visit Malham: Places to stay, things to do

Leanne Hyland explores the stunning limestone scenery of cliffs, crags and scars in Malham


Why go there?


With its panoramic views and picturesque limestone cliffs, Malham is undoubtedly the honey pot of the Yorkshire Dales. The quaint country village offers views of stunning scenery and stands towards the southern border of the National Park.

A short walk from the small town lies Malham Cove, an impressive expanse of sheer jagged limestone totalling 260ft. Come March, the cove is home to thousands of nesting birds including the Peregrine Falcon, little owl and the laughing green woodpecker. When breeding season ends, the spot loans itself to the climbing community who are often seen clawing their way up the vertical rock face.

Head farther afield to explore the majestic Gordale Scar, an enormous gorge formed during the Ice Ages when melt water caused the collapse of the cavern, creating the two beautiful waterfalls and smooth rock faces of today. The valley stretches for more than a mile as a deep trench above the waterfalls.

In contrast to its peaceful exterior, Malham is also a hugely popular destination for thrill seekers and its landscape provides excellent opportunities for high adrenaline sports including caving, mountain biking, climbing and horse trekking. There are also many challenging walks to try and over 800km of bridleways. The Pennine Way long distance route passes through the village, taking in Malham Cove, the Dry Valley and Water Sinks as it meanders towards Kirk Yetholm.

Three miles north of the village lies England’s highest freshwater lake, Malham Tarn. Open all year, it has a surface area of 150 acres and a depth of 4 metres, half of its original size due to damming by a moraine at the end of the last Glaciation. Other nearby attractions include Janet’s Foss Waterfall, Malham Tarn Field Centre and the idyllic villages of Skipton and Gargrave.

Where to stay?

Go that extra mile and book a room at Beck Hall for your stay in Malham. This old 17th century house turned B&B is very pretty, situated on the road to Malham Cove. The friendly and helpful staff make you feel at home with their warm welcome. The B&B boasts a cosy residents lounge with an open fire and four-poster rooms are also available. Beck Hall is a great base from which to explore the Yorkshire Dales.

Where to eat?

If you’re looking for a hearty meal after a long days trek, head to the Victoria Inn at Kirkby Malham. The Inn serves a variety of brews, typical pub food and is a firm favourite with the locals.

A local secret

In November 2009, Malham Cove was used by Warner Bros as a backdrop for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The location has also featured in Monty Pythons The Holy Grail, The Water Babies and Another Man’s Poison.


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