It was a week day in September. Schools had just gone back. This felt like a monumental moment this year after the extended closures during the Lockdown and I think we were all glad about it, if a little apprehensive.
Most of the past few months had been our family of four at home, mainly, with me taking on the task of looking after the children round the clock and home-schooling and my husband working at the desk full time, with the occasional break or short lesson and some enjoyable lunchtimes together.
So just being my youngest daughter and I felt suddenly quiet, and we decided to go to Malham and arrive early (entirely possible with the school run starting 10 minutes earlier these days, with staged drop-offs). We were happy to meet my friend and her little boy there and catch up on each other's school summer holiday times. We took a walk through the village and up to the Cove and had a lovely time. We had the place almost entirely to ourselves, which was wonderful as it does help you to take in the beauty of the place even more.
Malhamdale is popular with walkers and for good reason. The Pennine Way footpath (which runs through our farm and a field away from our holiday cottages in Bank Newton) passes through the village, which is some 8 miles away from Bank Newton.
Some of the Walking Routes are set out in an informative 'Malhamdale' leaflet which our cottage guests enjoy - and are also detailed on the Malhamdale website.
Once we arrived at the foot of the Cove, we decided we would tackle the steps up to the top. It was very worthwhile.
We were rewarded by the far-reaching views and dramatic limestone pavement there.
This isn't the only limestone pavement in the Yorkshire Dales by any means, but it never fails to impress. Perhaps it is something to do with the openness of the site and because you're likely to have approached the pavement from the foot of the dramatic and majestic Cove below, it feels purposeful and fulfilling to reach the top.
We hope that you enjoy Malham especially if it's your first visit. A word of warning - Malham can become extremely busy at peak times and weekends, particularly in the central part of the day. If you're staying locally and have scope to go early morning, or perhaps in the early evening in summer, this may well be a quieter time to enable you to appreciate it to the full. The limestone landscapes and geology are superb. Exploring Janet's Foss Waterfall and Gordale Scar are just as rewarding.