Malham Cove

Yorkshire Limestone

National landmark & the best limestone crag in the Pennines - great trad routes and steep bolted testpieces.

Crag information
Climbing Area: Yorkshire Rock Type: Limestone
Importance: International CRoW Land: Yes
Ownership: Local Authority No. of Routes: 275
Within National Park: Yes Year Developed: 1958
Grid Reference: SD896640

There is a bolting agreement between the BMC and Malham Parish Council (the landowners) to ensure that the noise of bolting doesn't disturb nesting birds or detract from other visitors experiance of this incredible natural beauty spot. The agreement is for no bolting at weekends, during the main school summer holiday or during the nesting restriction.

Wild camping is not allowed near the Cove or fields around - please use one of the campsites at Riverside or Gordale instead. In addition , please don't park anywhere other than the locations listed in parking below. Following this simple code of conduct is crucially important in maintaining good relations between climbers and the landowner and preventing access problems.

Restrictions apply from 1 March - 30 June.

Reason: Nesting Birds

Malham is an important and very visible site for nesting Peregrines. This year (2018), the restriction has changed due to the birds switching their nest site and applies to Caveat Wall on the Left Wing, from Hangover (route 57 in YMC guide) to The Man and the Myth (route 8) inclusive. The whole of Terrace Wall and all trad routes on the Right Wing to the left of Scorpio are unaffected this year. On-site notices will also be in place and RSPB volunteers will monitor the birds throughout the nesting period as usual.

When topping out from climbs on the right wing, please move away quickly once both climbers have topped out to avoid disturbing the birds. (This area will be fenced off during nesting season to prevent public access to the top of the crag and large number of people who could disturb the birds - access for climbers exiting the crag is fine providing it is discreet so as not to encourage the public onto the top of the crag. It's also worth mentioning that you will be doing this to the RSPB peregrine watch volunteers if they are present as you walk in to avoid any confusion.

Parking and Approach

Please be considerate when parking and using the village. There is limited free parking along the road side in the village, but please make sure you leave enough room for large farm vehicles to pass by. Alternative parking is available at the YDNPA car park for a small fee.

Please do not park on Cove Road beyond Town Head Barn (where the is a 'no parking for 3 miles' sign) as the road is not wide enough and the passing spaces need to be clear to allow traffic through.

Please use the public toilets next to the pub instead of the bushes, and consider visiting one of the village pubs after climbing to help support the local economy. Finally, please avoid sleeping in your car in the village or car park. By following these guidelines, you'll be making sure the currently good relations with the village and Parish Council are maintained for the future.

CRoW Information

Open access land, designated under the Countryside & Rights of Way Act (2000) give area access rather than linear access as provided by public rights of way. It also gives a legal right of access specifically for climbing, as well as walking and other quiet recreation on foot.

Please bear in mind however that the landowner still has the right to restrict access for up to 28 days per year (often used on public safety grounds for shooting in moorland areas), and can also apply for longer term restrictions with Natural England (such as bans on dogs, or regular restrictions during particular times of year). It is important to check for these restrictions regularly as they can be added at short notice – all details for open access land in England can be found on Natural England’s website.  

Group Advice

Kirby Malhamdale Parish Council does not allow charity or organised abseiling at Malham Cove.

Area information

The magnificent landscape of the Yorkshire Dales was shaped by melting glacial ice 300 million years ago to produce the towering crags, shadowy peaks, rock-pavements, and picturesque valleys found today. The area was designated as a National Park in 1954, and covers approximately 1,769 km/683 square miles with many nationally significant climbing venues and a rich diversity of wildlife. Most of the crags in this region lie within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s), a designation with a high level of legal protection for wildlife and geology. Responsibility for identifying and protecting SSSIs in the Dales lies with Natural England – the statutory governmental advisor on conservation issues and contributor towards the Yorkshire Dales Green Climbing Guide. The guide is intended to help climbers or walkers identify the protected flora, fauna, and geology found in the Dales and contribute towards their conservation. Follow the link belowe to see the guide;

Weather Information

Guidebook info currently being updated

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2) Anonymous User
Visited Malham right wing to climb trad routes on 28 August. We climbed Clubfoot and Swingover. We passed an official looking sign just laying in the grass at the bottom of the small path up from the base of the cove. It said no access due to Peregrines. I was fairly certain any restrictions were already lifted and we carried on. Just checked above and it seems there are no restrictions in this area this year. I hope we didn't make a mistake. If we did then I think the information above is misleading but perhaps someone needs to remove the sign? Thank you to all those involved in access work on our behalf at this venue. Martin Hore@virginmedia,com