Malham Cove

Malham cove
Some more views of Malham Cove

Malham Cove is a huge natural limestone cliff just north of village of Malham which formed as a glacial retreat feature of the Craven Fault and was once the scene of a spectacular prehistoric waterfall*.

The limestone valley above the cove is now dry, with the river having found an alternative route through an undiscovered cave system deep underground. However, at the foot of the cliff, a small stream called Malham Beck issues from Malham Cove Rising, the entrance to a submerged cave system which is still being explored by cave divers.

At the top is the cove is a fine limestone pavement - the elevated situation of which provides a fine viewpoint over Malhamdale and south towards Airedale and the Aire Valley.

The cove itself is popular with rock climbers, and also peregrine falcons which have returned in recent years to nest on ledges on the otherwise sheer cliff face.

The Pennine Way long distance footpath leads past the cove and on up in to the Dry Valley of the Watlowes towards Malham Tarn and Fountains Fell.

[* = Over the weekend of 5th - 6th December 2015 there was an incredible sight at the cove as - in an event unprecedented in recent history - a flood surge let to the waterfall flowing again (albeit just for a few hours). Please see the separate news item for more information..]

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