Looking Out From The Limestone Paving Above Malham Cove

Fields, trees and a footpath leading to a village viewed from a cliff

View from the limestone pavement over Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales

I enjoy walking, especially through a garden or in the countryside, but words (as so often) matter: you’ll find me less keen to set out if the journey might best be described as a climb or hike. So it took my sister (for whom hills are little more than hiccups) several seasons to get my sweetheart and me to accompany her to this point, where we could look out over the edge of a broad expanse of limestone pavement above Malham Cove in Yorkshire. Thanks little sis – it was fun and you know I’d never have done it without you!

You might recognise the pavement from scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows if you’re a fan. I was fascinated by the pavement itself: its deep cracks and the odd bits of ferns and wild flowers that somehow have a foothold on life within it. 

View of moorland with a tree snag in the foreground

Tree snag on the hillside near Malham Cove

If the first view gives you a slightly giddy feeling, you might prefer to look from this more gentle slope, taken on the way down towards the village and my belated ice-cream reward. I ought to confess that my sweetheart tells me that there is ice-cream van at the top of any mountain he wants me to climb and I typically believe him, having once happened upon one on a seemingly remote hillside. If your friends and family try to tell you the same, do not believe them without photographic evidence – there usually isn’t.

Shared as part of Debbie’s One Word Sunday Challenge: Viewpoint. I thought these countryside views provided an interesting counterpoint to her classic shot looking out from St. Paul’s Cathedral to the London Eye with a misty city in the background.

31 thoughts on “Looking Out From The Limestone Paving Above Malham Cove

    • susurrus says:

      You only get a hint of the limestone pavement here but it’s fascinating to be able to walk over it. I imagine in wet, windy weather I’d have been less willing to approach the edge!

  1. Oddment says:

    I stayed with that upper image a long time. Both are lovely, but that first one has a mystery about it — perhaps it is that “inviting path” Debbie comments on. It is a wonderful photo. Both are very helpful, though: sometime this past year, someone someplace (nothing wrong with my memory) mentioned W.H. Auden, and I had to look up his poetry, and that led me to “In Praise of Limestone.” I couldn’t picture a setting, and now I can. Thank you!

  2. Ali says:

    I love Malham Cove. My best friend from school lives very near and so we try to hop across when we can. Your photo is beautiful, and does it justice.

    • susurrus says:

      We typically see places as a snapshot in time – our time – but the craggy limestone pavement gives a feeling of continuity. You don’t just visualise the past, wondering how the rock came to be fractured and shaped, but you seem to see the future in the places that will erode and fall.

  3. Laurie Graves says:

    I’m with Anne Copeland. What. A. View. Thirty years ago, I visited North Yorkshire and immediately knew it was my heart’s home. Unfortunately, I have never been back, and it is highly unlikely that I ever will. So thank you very, very much for that breathtaking shot of the magnificent countryside.

    • susurrus says:

      I love that cheese. There’s an apricot version too. The plain version is great as a filling for potatoes in their jackets (twice baked potatoes). All three types of Wensleydale are widely available in the UK. Is it a luxury where you live? I have seen the cranberry version offered for sale in Mississippi for $11 for quite a small piece which was more than a bit steep.

      • Steve Schwartzman says:

        There’s a large warehouse store here called Costco that carries the Wensleydale with cranberries for the holiday season each year, starting around October. It comes in 400g packages, which I think cost only $6. One disadvantage of Costco is that it doesn’t carry the full line of each kind of item, so no plain or apricot version of the Wensleydale cheese is available.

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