Malham Cove

Matt Lynch
Article By: Matt Lynch
3 months ago
0 ratings
Nature-Cliffs Nature-River Nature-Rock formation Nature-View point

A short amble from Malham village, along the trickling river of Malham Beck, is a mesmerising amphitheatre of rock, 80 metres high. This feature formed along the Middle Craven Fault and has been eroded by previous ice ages and rainfall over the years. There are multiple walking opportunities from here to explore the surrounding nature area. You can hike to the top of the limestone plateau to get views from the Pennine Way trail. You might also recognise the unusual warped rocks as a setting that featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. These Clints (the limestone mounds) and Grykes (the gaps) are a rare feature in the UK. They create a specialist habitat and unusual micro-climate for wild flower species including: wood sorrel, Green Spleenwort, Wall Rue, and Herb Robert. Watch out for nesting peregrine falcons in the cliffs as this is an RSPB site of interest. During the spring the birds may be more active than usual when their eggs are hatching. If you want to see more of the surrounding landscape, follow a 7.9km loop to Janet's Foss waterfall and Gordale Scar. Janet's Foss is a small but pretty waterfall set amongst a woodland. Its plunge pool has been used by farmers as a sheep dip and swimmers as a recreational area for many years. It's also supposedly home to Jennet the Queen of the Fairies. She is said to live in one of the caves - if you believe the myth! Gordale Scar is a deep limestone gorge, also carved out from ice and water. Lining the walls is an unusually shaped mineral deposit called tufa. Rainwater dissolved into the limestone then leaked the tufa out of the rock creating the scree you see lining Gordale Scar today. To the north of the cove is Malham Tarn, a National Trust owned glacial lake. It is the highest marlstone lake in the UK. It is also part of an exclusive club of water features and is only one of eight upland alkaline lakes found throughout Europe. A ramble from Malham Cove to the tarn will set you back about 11 km. Image Credits: Dan Blackburn on Unsplash
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  • Malham, Skipton BD23, UK
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