© Craven & Pendle Geological Society

Malham Cove

The Cove.  Malham Cove is an integral part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Composed of Carboniferous Great Scar Limestone, Malham Cove is an excellent locality for studying karst landscapes. It is a natural rock amphitheatre 70m high, which over a period of time, has been eroded back from the Middle Craven Fault by a combination of ice and water. Gordale Scar also suffered a similar fate!

After climbing to the top of the Cove you are rewarded with spectacular views out into the Craven Basin. Care must be taken on the top because there is a magnificent limestone pavement with deep grikes and 'wobbly' clints. Keep a look-out for the special shade-loving plants that inhabit the deep fissures.

Malham Cove is the stratotype of the Cove Limestone Member which here is 72 metres thick. The top of the member is the bedding plane about 5 metres above the noticeable overhang.