Malham Cove – Spectacular yet Serene

For around 8 years now, my wife and I have lived just on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales in a little town called Colne. While it isn’t exactly a quiet town, we’ve always felt that life in Colne is about as close as we can get to country living while still being able to enjoy the close amenities that town living can bring. And when I say ‘close’, I really do mean it! Often times a whole week will pass by without me even having to use my car, with all of the local supermarkets, schools and other necessary evils being located within a comfortable walking distance from our front door.

Even with all of this urbanisation though, it really does feel as though we are just on the edge of the countryside and this is mainly because our little town of Colne sits right on the edge of the Lancashire/Yorkshire border. Extremely close to my one of my favourite areas of England, the Yorkshire Dales.

One of our favourite places to visit in the Yorkshire Dales as a family is the spectacular yet serene village of Malham, known to many as Malham Cove. This small village offers everything that any country and walking enthusiast could desire, and then a little bit more on top. Here are 4 places you simply must experience if you ever do make the effort to visit Malham.

Malham Cove

We’re starting with the Cove as it is probably the village’s most famous landmark. Malham Cove (pictured above) is an astounding limestone cliff formation which can be found just a short walk away from the village. A well-known beauty spot, this curved limestone cliff can be reached via a family/pram friendly riverside path next to open fields, fields which young children can find much fun in exploring. Apparently a giant waterfall used to run over the edge of this cliff as an ancient glacier melted above it. Malham Cove truly is a wondrous sight, well worth the short walk to view it up close.

Malham Tarn

malham-tarnThe National Trust Site of Malham Tarn is another place that you simply must take the time to visit if you are fortunate enough to find yourself in the Dales area. Malham Tarn is a glacial lake not far from the cove. It sits 1,237 ft. above sea level and is actually the highest lake in England. Malham Tarn is one of only eight upland alkaline lakes in the European continent.

One of my favourite moments when visiting Malham comes when stepping out into the car park located at Malham Tarn. Nowhere else can you experience such an immense feeling of peace and serenity, you could almost hear a pin drop.

Janet’s Foss

Janets-FossJanet’s Foss is a small waterfall which lies at the end of a short 45 minute – or so – walk through the fields and forest area surrounding Malham. This walk tracks a local stream/river and Janet’s Foss will undoubtedly provide you with some startling images for your camera lens if you engage in photography as a hobby. You should also be sure not to miss the coin covered trees on your way through the forest, another great photo opportunity.

For a child friendly Janet’s Foss route, try the Making Tracks Children’s Dales Walking Guide.

The Local Pubs and Cafés

Ok, so this may not really class as an attraction but the pubs and cafés in the village of Malham are some of the friendliest and most welcoming I’ve come across, with a nice beer and ale selection on offer too. With outdoor signs indicating that ‘Muddy Boots and Dogs are Welcome’, and many friendly walkers enjoying both the indoor seating and the outdoor benches, is there a better way to end your family day out than to sit next to a roaring fire whilst enjoying a game of cards or domino’s? Personally, I think not. 🙂

While we’re stretching the boat out as to what counts as a local attraction, we should also mention the local village shop which is the perfect place to pick up an obligatory bar of Kendal Mint Cake to fuel all of your walking endeavours. Also, if you’re a fan of cream teas, be sure to pay the Beck Hall B&B a visit.

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