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hiking | Malham Cove

What and where is Malham Cove?

Formed over 12,000 years ago thanks to a waterfall carrying glacial meltwater, Malham Cove is a large curved limestone formation now well known as one of the Yorkshire Dales most visited beauty spots.

This walk does tend to get quite crowded in summer as there tends to be a lot of families visiting the area. If you go in high summer (as we did) it turns out the waterfall normally present can completely dry up, so we'll be going back whatever the weather!

Remember to stick to The Rules and have fun!

2-3 hours

6.3 miles

Yorkshire Dales

Get this route

Download our route and follow this yourself from either OS Maps or ViewRanger. OS Maps requires a subscription, which luckily you can get 10% off with Northern Stroll on any 12 month subscription. Check out our blog post for the code.

ViewRanger is free and much like OS Maps doesn't require any data to work. All you need is a GPS signal, especially if you have downloaded your maps beforehand. It also has OS Maps available as a layer inside the app.

Don't have ViewRanger on your phone yet? See our guide, or download it in your app store.


Route overview

A quick walk up and around Malham Cove, taking in some of the smaller waterfalls before climbing on top of the Cove proper (and walking in towards the end).

Staring in Malham itself in the public car park (bring change) the route initially sets out across the flat fields on well trod tracks towards a much smaller waterfall, Janet's Foss. 

Once you have reached the falls, head up to the back left corner to find the path up onto the road beyond. A short walk leads you to a left hand turn through a stile, and the track continues up the hill beyond (all very obvious).

Keep walking over the crest and you will reach a relatively flat and open area strewn with limestone. Keep walking in the same direction keeping an eye on the path as it gently curves to the left. 

Walk across the top, keeping the edge on your left to spot the path down that loops you back in towards the waterfall. 

Then, once you have had enough turn around and head back down the well marked track eventually ending up on the road straight back in to Malham and the pub.


Short, family friendly and with excellent views!

Key things to know:

Time: About 3 hours

Distance: 4.08 miles

Elevation: 677 feet

Nearby pubs: Plenty in Malham, we liked The Victoria Inn

How to get here:

Postcode: BD23 4DG

Google Maps link

Parking at the official Malham Visitors Centre car park a great place to start from. Use the Google Maps marker here or just search for it in your favourite search engine. 

2-3 hours

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