A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Bradford City Centre is this sleepy picturesque village in the Yorkshire Dales where time has almost stood still. Just thirty miles from Bradford and no sign of a parking permit – just milk urns and lots of good old fashioned trust!
We recently stayed in the Yorkshire Dales for a couple of nights to break up the journey to Scotland and sample a little of the Dales life. I had read of the beauty of this Southern corner of the Dales many times over but still could not believe my eyes. As we wound our way through spectacular scenery in search of our ‘home’ for the weekend, it became obviously apparent why so many rave over this magical beauty spot. Malham itself is a very pretty village with a stream running through and two country pubs that welcome families, dogs and muddy boots. But what surrounds Malham is probably what attracts most. It is a walkers paradise with such a diverse range of natural treasures to discover. Dramatic limestone cliffs, scars and crags provide spectacular sights as you explore the rolling landscape where ancient dry-stone walls divide the farm land (although the sheep find them no obstacle!).
A timeless place with pockets of pretty woodland, meadows, an abundance of wildlife and some truly spectacular sights including a magical waterfall, an enchanting tarn and an incredible limestone ampitheatre – where else could you see all these sights in just one day (and a long walk!). We only had one full day to explore Malham’s many delights so after a hearty Yorkshire breakfast in the village cafe, we paid the Malham National Park Centre a visit to plan our day. You could not find a more informative tourist information centre and after a quick chat with the very helpful gentleman, we set off armed with our map and waterproofs. Under recommendation, we decided to do possibly one of the most popular (and scenic) walks in the National Park – a circular walk of some seven miles or so that allows you to see all of the areas highlights. And they truly were highlights with the first being the Janet’s Foss Waterfall where we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Peregrine Falcons in the woods.
Onwards and upwards we headed for the incredible limestone ravine of Gordale Scar and then beyond to the serenity of Malham Tarn – a wondrous glacial lake providing a peaceful spot for enjoying our picnic. If all this was not enough, our spirits were kept high upon our return, by the prospect of visiting Malham Cove, the areas main attraction we had heard so much about. It was like two totally different worlds. At the top you felt like you were on top of the world as you hopped over the cracks and fissures of the limestone pavement that beckoned you to the edge.
And indeed when you were at the edge, you felt like you were an eagle flying high with an incredible birds eye view over the stunning landscape.Once we had descended Malham Cove and taken in the incredible sights of the limestone cliff formation from the ground, it was a gentle stroll back to the village for a pint of cask ale and a hearty meal at the Lister Arms. After a good nights sleep we packed our cases and headed off to Scotland via the scenic route through the Dales to make the most of the breath taking scenery. Just a two night break away and we left Malham feeling totally relaxed and refreshed with plenty of tales of wonderful sights.
Whether you’re planning a short break or a longer holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, Malham and this lovely part of the Southern Dales is a must to visit. Take a look at our holiday cottages in the Yorkshire Dales and guide to help you start planning your trip!