Regional Access Database

Advice Malham Cove

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

BMC Area Yorkshire Rock Type Limestone
Climbing Area Yorkshire Limestone Access Status Advice
County North Yorkshire CRoW Land Yes
Importance International No. of Routes 275
Ownership Local Authority Year Developed 1958
Within National Park Yes Grid Reference SD896640

The bolting agreement with the Malham Parish Council (the owners) in Feb. 2008 is no bolting at weekends, during the main school summer holiday or during the nesting restriction.

Restrictions apply from  1 March - 30 June. Reason - Nesting Birds

An important site for nesting Peregrines. From Easter 2015 climbers are asked to avoid all routes on Terrace Wall and all routeson the Right Wing to the left of Scorpio. The bolted sport routes on the right side of Upper Central Wall are unaffected except for those that breach the main overhang. When topping out from climbs on the left wing, please move quickly away from the crag top once both climbers have topped out to avoid disturbing the birds.
On-site notices will also be in place and RSPB volunteers will monitor the birds throughout the nesting period as usual.

Update: The restrictions for 2015 have now been lifted from July 9th.


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.

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

The land surrounding the top (and up to the edge) of the cove is Open Access land. See map here;

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. Click this link to see the guide; The guide is also available free from the BMC office or at various tourist offices in the region.

This page was last updated on 11/07/2015. RAD is updated as and when access changes and a historic date does not mean that the information is out of date, only that the access situation hasn't changed.