Malhamdale is one of the most visited areas in the Yorkshire Dales. This isn’t surprising because it has some of the most spectacular examples of limestone scenery in the whole of the National Park and beyond, including Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss.
Magnificent Malham Cove can be seen from miles away. The 70m high rock face draws people for the limestone pavement and magnificent views from the top as well as the peregrine falcons that regularly nest there. It is also a magnet for rock climbers. Gordale Scar, however, comes as a complete surprise – as you round a corner you are suddenly met with the soaring limestone cliffs which tower nearly 100m above you. On a smaller scale, Janet’s Foss is a delightful little waterfall with tales of fairies in a magical location. All of these natural attractions are easy to visit along good quality footpaths. For those wanting to stride out further the Pennine Way runs the length of the valley.
Authors and artists
The dale has been the source of inspiration for generations of artists from James Ward in the eighteenth century to John Piper in the twentieth century and more recently David Hockney. Wordsworth wrote two poems as part of a group of poems called ‘Pure Elements of Water’. John Ruskin referred to the area in ‘Prosperina’ of 1875. The scenery of Malhamdale also inspired Charles Kingsley to write ‘The Water Babies’.