What to look for

  1. Malham village (click here to find out more about the village itself)
    • National Park Centre;
    • Malham Smithy was bequeathed to the Parish Church in the early 1980’s, and has since been leased out by the Church as a traditional blacksmiths workshop. In February 2007, Annabelle Bradley took over the lease and runs it as a traditional blacksmith.
  2. Malham Cove is a curved crag of carboniferous limestone formed after the last ice age by water erosion. It is 80 metres high and 300 metres wide and last saw water flowing over it in the 19th Century. The dark stripes were described in Charles Kingsley’s book the Water Babies as being made by a chimney sweep (perhaps named Tom) falling over the edge of the cove and sliding down the face.
    • Mediaeval field systems are found all around Malham Cove and are the archaeological remains of early farms and their field systems. The earliest fields are probably Iron Age, but they are overlain by Medieval strip lynchets and terraces. On hillsides, the terraces provided a greater depth of soil in which to grow crops. Sheep and cattle would have been moved up to the higher pastures in the spring and summer, guarded against wolves and thieves by members of the family, while the rest of the family stayed on to tend the main farm. Malham village was probably founded in the 7th and 8th centuries by Anglo-Saxons, and their descendants would have continued to create the terraced fields that are still visible today. Villagers went on growing barley and oats in these fields well into the 19th century, and there are the remains of a corn mill in the valley just below where the footpath starts up to the Cove.
  3. RSPB Peregrine Watch . The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest living creature in the world and has nested on the Cove since 1993. The RSPB have a viewpoint at the bottom of the Cove throughout the summer where the birds can be watched through telescopes.
  4. Townhead Barn is a traditional 18th century Dales barn now owned by the National Trust with an exhibition on farming practices open daily in summer except Mondays, and Sundays only in winter. It has been restored it to its original condition when it would have been used to house cattle in winter along with the hay to feed them in the loft above. Most village barns in the Dales have been sold off for house conversions.