Malham Cove’s Harry Potter Connection
Walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger at Malham Cove. You may recognize the unique landscape from the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry and Hermione set up camp while chasing Horcruxes. The Malham Cove Walk is a great day trip for Harry Potter fans looking to recreate the magic of the films.
Harry Potter Malham Cove Scene
After Ron and Harry argue and Ron breaks up the trio, disapparating to You-Know-Who knows where, Harry and Hermione set off for a new camping site. They land atop a geological formation that looks as though it could only be formed by magic. Enter Malham Cove.
The pair stay at Malham Cove until venturing to Godric’s Hollow on Christmas Eve. Its upon these rocks that one of the most awkward scenes of the series happens. Yeah, I’m talking about that awful dance between Harry and Hermione. I love everything Harry Potter, but still could do without that scene (even though I dig the Nick Cave song).
What is Malham Cove
Even without its connection to Harry Potter, Malham Cove elicits a magical feeling (it’s no wonder it got scouted as a filming location!). When you first approach the 260-foot (80 meter) high limestone geological formation, it’s impossible to not stop and say wow at its majesty.
That feeling only grows as you make the ascent up to the top of the cove and take in the winding and curving fissures of the limestone. Then you move your eyes up over the mysteriously carved pavement and take in the sweeping views of the Yorkshire countryside. With the exception of little roads that curve along the landscape, this land has looked this way for hundreds of years.
Geologists date Malham Cove at 50,000 years old. Glacial melt formed this structure, creating cracks and curves as it came to the edge of the cove, which once functioned as a waterfall during the last Ice Age. Today the front face of the structure no longer serves as a waterfall, except for once in 2015 when excessive rain turned Malham Cove once again into a waterfall for a few hours.
Visiting Malham Cove
Walking to Malham Cove from Malham Village
Whether you’re driving or coming by bus, you’ll need to walk from the village of Malham to get to Malham Cove. From the visitor’s center, turn left and continue up the road for about 15 minutes until you come to a gate to a path called Pennine Way. From there just follow the path up to Malham Cove. The whole walk to the cove takes about 25 minutes and regular signs posted along the way will guide you.
Getting to the top of Malham Cove
Though Malham Cove is popular among rock climbing enthusiasts, that’s not the only way to make it to the top of this magnificent structure. To the left of the limestone formation steps have been carved into the land to take you to the top.
Parts of the walk up are quite steep and there are a lot of stairs to the top, so don’t be surprised if you’re out of breath (and exclaiming to yourself “why am I so out of shape?!”). There are places you can stop and rest along the way if the ascent becomes difficult. Without stops, it takes about 10 minutes to make it to the top of the stairs and onto the pavement of Malham Cove.
Cost of Visiting Malham Cove
There is no fee for visiting Malham Cove. There is a fee for parking. You can pay £2.50 for 2 hours, £4.50 for four hours or £5.00 coming for a day.
Things to do Around Malham Cove
Malham Cove and the surrounding Yorkshire Dales boast a number of walks to take in the natural beauty of the Northern England countryside. Not only is there the walk to Malham Cove and down along the base of the limestone formation, but within 30-45 minutes of walking from the cove you’ll find similar natural beauties in Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar.
If you’re looking for a longer walk from Malham Cove, you can venture up to Malham Tarn, a beautiful glacial lake that sits about and hour’s walk north. It is only one of eight alkaline (soda) lakes in Europe.
How to Get to Malham Cove
How to Get to Malham Cove by Car
You’ll have to brave some country roads to get to Malham by car, but they’re nothing to fear. From the nearest town, Skipton, the drive takes about 25 minutes.
Other common driving times and directions include:
- Leeds – 1 hour 10 minutes via the A65
- Manchester – 1 hour 22 minutes via the A682
- York – 1 hour 25 minutes via tha A59 (there’s more Harry Potter to see in York too!)
- Liverpool – 1 hour 40 minutes via the M6
How to Get to Malham Cove by Public Transport
Buses depart twice a day from Skipton, the nearest town to Malham. Bus schedules vary depending on the day, but generally leave from Skipton once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Similarly, the bus to Skipton from Malham departs once in the morning and once in the afternoon daily.
For more information on the bus schedule, check out the Dale Buses schedule.