In my pictures yesterday, the spot where we were sitting taking in the view was roughly in the middle and top of the photo above. The photo shows Malham Cove, the enormous curved limestone cliff formed by a waterfall carrying glacial meltwater in the last Ice Age, more than 12000 years ago. Nowadays the water sinks into the limestone and is carried underground until it trickles out at the base of the cliff.
Walking across the top of the Cove needs care, a clear head and careful foot placement, since it is a limestone pavement with huge slabs of rock (clints) separated by deep fissures called grikes. It's a fascinating karst landscape and there are often school parties exploring the unusual formation as part of their geography studies. Once across the pavement there is a long, steep, stone staircase (to the left of the Cove in my photo). By the time we reached the bottom and the level path, my legs were trembling! It was as good as a workout at the gym.
The Cove is a mecca for rock climbers, though I didn't notice any the day we were there. Some of the climbing routes have to be closed to allow the nesting peregrines to raise their chicks in peace.
The walk back to Malham village is gently undulating and peaceful, with far-reaching views down the valley and back up to the Cove. We sat for a while with a drink outside one of the village tea shops (of which there are several, and several pubs too). It was a really lovely day out, and we walked a good 5 miles, though it felt even longer as it is such an up and down route. It is a justifiably famous circular walk. What a privilege to have such scenery within an hour's drive of home.