Malham Cove North Yorkshire

Situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park around 60km North West of Leeds is a small village known as Malham, the natural geological features surrounding the village make it a tourist hotspot in the summer months, hence the reason for us to visit the place out of season. We visited Malham on 28 November 2004.

After passing through the village we headed straight out to the North East to locate Malham Tarn. After finding a faded sign post indicating the general direction to go we dressed up in warm weather clothes and water proofs, it was November after all, then set out over the Dales. The Tarn, is very impressive but is devoid of exciting photographic features.

Moving around the banks of the Tarn I managed to get an impressive set of photos showing different lighting and textures from around the area.


After walking around to the Eastern bank of the Tarn looking for an interesting foreground I grabbed this shot.

Turning around and heading back up the farm road to our vehicle I noticed an interesting tree in the distance.

This shot is one of about 20 taken of various parts of this tree, I took it as a silhouette and once I decided which one I liked the most, I ran a purple filter of it for no good reason, I do think that the final version has a greater impact though.


After snapping the shots of the tree, we headed back along the South Bank of the Tarn, I noticed two interesting rocks and grabbed a handheld a shot of them and the Tarn.


Turning away from Malham Tarn and towards the Car Park, I lined this shot up of Paul and Richard on a hillock, deciding which direction to go to find the car.

After finding the car and heading back towards the village of Malham the next location to find was Gordale Scar, a limestone gorge with an impressive range of waterfalls, this part of the trip was the most exciting part in my opinion. on entering the scar and heading towards the waterfalls I took the picture on the right.

A great photo of the waterfalls in the Gordale Scar. These waterfalls are pretty big, I managed to get another one with a hiker scaling them as the public footpath goes right up the face of the rocks in the background.

Heading down from the Scar, Janets Foss isn’t too far away, Foss is the old norse word for a waterfall or force and Janet (or Jennet) was belived to be the queen of the local fairies who lives behind the the fall in a cave.

I took a lot of pictures of the Scar’s waterfalls as I was so taken with them, some of the images are in the main gallery section and are available for sale.

Our penultimate location was the limestone pavement above Malham Cove, we arrived as the light was rapidly fading. This spectacular landscape created by the presence of limestone is known as KARST. Around 15 000 years ago the area was covered with ice sheets and glaciers. The ice swept down from the north scouring and modifying the karst landscape. In fact Malham is perhaps better described as a GLACIOKARST landscape. One of the most distinctive features of the glaciation is the formation of limestone pavements.

Rising above the village of Malham is one of the natural wonders of the Yorkshire Dales, Malham Cove our final destination, although by the time I reached this location after spending far too long sneaking up on cattle it was too dark to get a decent image, ohh well maybe next time.

I hope you enjoyed my Road trip report for Malham Cove. There you go I promised that I’d create a non-castle orientated road trip next.

by Steven Kirby

This photograph of the limestone pavement.
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135IS USM lens.

Photograph Shot 2004 with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS lens.



Right “Malham Tarn”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.



Left “Malham Tarn”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS lens + Circular polariser.






Right “Farm Road”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.






Left “Purple Tree”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.



Right “Rocks”
Shot in 2004 with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS lens.



Left “Paul n Rich”
Shot in 2002 with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.



Right “Scar Entrance”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS lens.





Left “Gordale Scar waterfalls.”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS + 4 stop ND.





Right “Scar II”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS + 4 stop ND.


Left “Janets Foss”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.




Right “Limestone Pavement”
Shot in 2002 with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.


This is another shot of the pavement but this time the edge where it turns in to grazing land.

Left “Limestone Pavement II”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.



This image shows some of the cattle grazing above the cove.

Right “Grazing Cattle”
Shot with a Canon D30 + 28-135USM IS.