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BBC News





The Geography Department


Yorkshire Dales   April 2006


Yorkshire Dales April 2005


Gordale and Gordale Beck April 2006

Littondale and Kilnsey Crag April 2006

Malham April 2006

Malham Cove April 2006

Malham Tarn April 2006

Ribblehead April 2006




After walking out of Malham at Town End and along s short stretch of Cove Road, the vista of Malham Cove can be seen. Access is by a wide and managed footpath that eventually runs alongside Malham Beck.

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From the approach path the system of stone walls can be seen to extend from the stream to the limestone plateau. The sheer face of Malham Cove has small scale objects on top!

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A charming little notice proclaims this to be 'the free Peregrine viewpoint'! Most people paused to look up and around at this point.


The manicured footpath follows the beck almost to its source,


Malham Beck emerging from the low cave at the base of the cliff. The waters are not from Malham Tarn, but a source further west.

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A fine stone pathway leads onto the limestone pavement; although not for the purists, this path has certainly solved the problem of severe erosion and unsightliness on the old, often muddy, path.

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Nearly at the top - and the path leads back to its zig-zag and the rock wall of the cove is passed for the final few metres.


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The limestone pavement has suffered from the smoothing of countless boots, but there are isolated pristine spots, with grykes hosting some sparse vegetation in the sheltered microclimate of its mini-gorge. Even the odd tree can force a foothold in places. (see Ribblehead photos)

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The view down to Malham Beck was a fascination for me, ever tempting another shot whilst fighting vertigo at the exposure!

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Two 'safe' shots and one where you hoped the results would be worth the fright!

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Three views of the pavement, including solution hollows on the surface of the clints.

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The pavement and cliff with its tourists.


Malham village through a slight haze.


The dry valley of Watlowes connects with the Malham Cove pavement.

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The limestone cliffs were being used by a party of climbers. There appeared to be no obvious conflicts between walkers, sightseers, bird-watchers and climbers - a multi-use facility in local council terms!

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The sheer face of Malham Cove, with human scale objects on the right and in the centre.

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Moving along the path towards Gordale, one can see the footpath network ascending the cove ... and the emerging Malham Beck.

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The eastern side of Malham Cove, has views back towards the limestone pavement surface, the cliff face and the eastern horseshoe walls ... here with a graded slope below. This perch is on a route that is blocked off by the landowner, who redirects walkers to the footpath above.

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