North Yorkshire

Malham is a small village in a hill farming community in the Craven district of North Yorkshire which has for many years attracted tourists, walkers and geographers as the location of some of the country's most magnificent limestone scenery.

Malham is 5 miles of north of Coniston Cold (5.5 miles by road), 5 miles west of Settle (6.5 miles by road), 6 miles north-north-west of Gargrave (7 miles by road), 6 miles east of Grassington (11 miles by road), 8 miles south-west of Kettlewell (14 miles by road), and 9 miles north-west of Skipton (11 miles by road).

Malham is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and its main attraction is its spectacular limestone scenery. The most popular features include:

• The curving cliff of Malham Cove and the limestone pavements at the top of the cliff, about a mile's walk north of Malham.

• The Watlowes dry valley about 1.5 miles north of the village.

• Malham Tarn, a glacial lake and National Trust nature reserve 3 miles north of Malham.

• Janet's Foss a small but picturesque waterfall on the Gordale Beck falling into a natural pool in woodland about a mile's walk to the north-east of Malham.

• The gorge and waterfalls of Gordale Scar, about 1.5 miles to the north-east of the village.

The village hosts the Malham Show, an agricultural and country show each August.

The limestone pavements at the top of Malham Cove were used in a scene from the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

There is evidence of people living at Malham Tarn dating back to the Mesolithic era and a Roman camp near to the Gordale Back about 2.5 miles north-east of the village, while Malham appeared in two entries in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Malgun.

Village features

The village is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. (See National Park Centre below.)

Malham is on the Pennine Way long distance trail.

Malham Beck flows through the village and the River Aire starts just south of the village.

Malham's two historic inns, The Buck Inn and The Lister Arms, are close to the centre of the village. The Buck Inn dates from 1874 and is on the site of an even older coaching inn. The Lister Arms is a modernised old coaching inn, bearing the date 1723.

Malham has a small selection of shops selling gift and souvenir items and a shop selling outdoor wear.

Malham has a range of places to eat, including cafes, a hotel with bistro at Beck Hall and two inns serving food.

Malham Village Hall is in Cove Road.

Malham Methodist Church is in the village.
 Malham Methodist Church web page.

The Anglican church is St. Michael the Archangel Church in Kirkby Malham, about 1.5 miles away.

Kirkby in Malhamdale UVA Primary School is between Malham and Kirkby Malham.

The village has a range of place to stay, including a hotel, inns with accomodation, bed and breakfast, a YHA hostel and campsites.

There are public conveniences at the village car park at Chapel Gate and near the centre of the village at the junction of Cove Road and Chapel Gate.
(There are also toilets at the National Trust learning centre Orchid House on the north shore of Malham Tarn, which is about 3.5 miles walk from Malham village.)


A Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre is next to the village car park at Chapel Gate offering information about the area and a gift shop. The centre is open daily, except from November to late March when it opens weekdays.
Check opening times on the  Yorkshire Dales National Park - Malham website.

A renovated traditional Dales barn, Town Head Barn, near to where the footpath to Malham Cove branches from Cove Road, is a free to enter National Trust property which provides displays and leaflets about the Malham Tarn Estate which is managed by the National Trust.
More information at the  National Trust - Malham Tarn Estate website.


Bus travel

Malham is accessible by bus but has a very low frequency bus service with different timetables, route numbers and operators on different days. It is therefore advisable to always check times before travelling. Also check bus stop signs for departure points as the summer Sunday and bank holiday services operate from the National Park car park rather than the bus stop opposite The Buck Inn.

The West Yorkshire transport authority Metro publishes a useful information on travel to the Yorkshire Dales.
See:  Metro - Yorkshire Dales web page.

Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, which organises weekend services, also has further information at the DalesBus website.
See:  Dalesbus website.

Road travel

Malham is reached by narrow country lanes, the nearest main road being the A65 at Coniston Cold, about 5.5 miles away. Malham has a pay car park next to its Yorkshire Dales National Park Centre at Chapel Gate. There are also a few roadside parking spaces on wider sections of the road in the village where the parish council collects voluntary £2 donations towards the upkeep of the village.

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Parish council (civil parish)

Kirkby Malhamdale Parish Council
Kirkby Malhamdale Parish Council includes the grouped parishes of Malham, Malham Moor, Kirkby Malham and Hanlith. The council has nine councillors and meets each moth at Malham Village Hall. The council is involved in enhancement projects in the area, including signposting, footbridge refurbishment, village green maintenance and running public conveniences in the village.

District authority Abolished

Craven District Council

Craven District Council ceased from April 1, 2023. From 1974 it was a shire district covering more than 450 square miles of the western area of North Yorkshire with its administrative centre in Skipton. Much of the area is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The North Yorkshire Council unitary authority takes over services previously operated by Craven District Council. These included local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets.

Places in the former  Craven district.

Unitary authority New

North Yorkshire Council

The North Yorkshire Council is a new unitary authority formed from the previous County Council from April 1, 2023. It covers the existing county duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning over an area of 3,109 square miles while also taking over the responsibilities of the seven huge district authorities also created in 1974 — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — these including local planning, waste collection, street cleaning, parks and car parks, housing and markets serving a population of around 615,500*.

Councillors were elected to the County Council in 2022 and continue as councillors of the new North Yorkshire Council unitary authority. There have been a few by-elections to fill councillor vacancies since then.

Places in  North Yorkshire
Link to council website:  North Yorkshire Council

^ Area figure from ONS Standard Area Measurements 2022 (converted from hectares).
* Population figure from Census 2021 (combined total of former districts).
Contains public sector information licensed under the  Open Government Licence v3.0.

Political composition:

453CI 1311 NY Ind92 LC421
90 members

CI = Conservative & Independent    NY Ind = North Yorkshire Independents group   LC = Labour & Cooperative
Composition and groupings - source North Yorkshire Council (February 2024)

County authority Abolished

North Yorkshire County Council

North Yorkshire County Council was a shire county authority which existed between 1974 and April 1, 2023, covering duties including highways, schools, libraries and transport planning. It was transformed into the North Yorkshire Council unitary authority on April 1, 2023, while the seven huge district authorities within — Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby — were also abolished.

Police and Crime Commissioner

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and  City of York.
 Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

Fire Authority

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was previously governed by the North Yorkshire Combined Fire Authority made up of elected members from across the broad areas of North Yorkshire and City of York councils which it serves. Following a ministerial announcement in June 2018 the governance of the fire service was transferred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire from 15 November 2018.
Further information at the  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.
 Police and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire


- 1974: Settle Rural District within the West Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 - 2023: In the Craven shire district of the North Yorkshire county.

Also in

Also in Craven district: Airton Kirkby Malham Gargrave Grassington Horton in Ribblesdale Kettlewell Settle Skipton

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