Bridge over the River Aire at Malham
A picturesque village on the River Aire in the southern Yorkshire Dales, Malham is popular with walkers who come to explore trails through the beautiful landscape surrounding the village. One trail leads to the sheer cliffs of Malham Cove, surmounted with limestone pavement.

The Pennine Way long-distance trail runs through the village. There is a National Park Centre in the village, as well as two attractive pubs about a small village green. There is a public car park outside the visitor centre.

Malham Cove

A trail leads from the village, along a stream to the foot of Malham Cove, an imposing semi-circular cliff topped with limestone pavement, where the rock is split into deep fissures. The cliffs rise about 260 feet off the valley floor at their highest point.

It's definitely stiff exercise to climb up the side of the Cove to the pavement area, but your reward is a superb view over the surrounding landscape. A scene from the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filmed atop the Cove.

A mile east of the village is Gordale Scar, a striking gorge split by a series of waterfalls, once painted by artist JMW Turner. The gorge was carved out of the earth by retreating glaciers about 3 million years ago, creating a landscape of tumbled boulders and high cliffs.

Opposite the trail that leads to the Scar is a short path to the pretty waterfall known as Janets Foss, used as a sheep dip by local farmers. Local folklore says that the falls are home to a faerie queen named Jennet.

A bit further afield is Malham Tarn, a nature reserve owned by the National Trust, who maintain a field study centre.

I was lucky enough to stay in the Malham area for a week one summer, and I found myself drawn back to the village again and again by the beauty of the landscape. I must have climbed to the top of Malham Cove 5 or 6 times just to photograph the limestone pavement and experience the amazing views. Believe me, if you watch the sun come up from the top of the cliffs it's an experience you won't soon forget!