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Harry Potter Movie Location at Malham Cove

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

The world first caught Harry Potter mania when JK Rowling published Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 1997. The first book captivated readers of all ages, and it kicked off a novel series that became the hallmark of popularity in the young-adult fantasy genre. In 2000, two things happened to bring the immensity of the fandom to a completely new level: The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was published, and Warner Brothers began the film series adapting the saga.

Pictures copyright Warner Bros.

Rowling's story continued through the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which hit shelves in 2007, and the movies finally concluded a few years later when the second half of the Deathly Hollows adaptation hit theaters in 2011.

There are a number of locations from the Harry Potter films based in Yorkshire and we will talk about some of these in future blogs, but the Yorkshire Dales, Malhamdale to be precise did make an appearance in one of the films and now leads to hundreds of young Potter fans (and quite a few grown up fans too!) coming to visit the area each year, many of who turn up in full Harry Potter dress.

In the penultimate movie – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – one of the scenes features Harry Potter (Daniele Radcliffe) and his friend Hermione Granger camping out on some very distinctive limestone pavement to avoid being found by the Death Eaters. To help fans remember the scene it is just after Ron Weasley has stormed off. This was filmed at the top of Malham Cove. The film then shows the magnificent views down Malhamdale to Cawden, Malham Village and Kirby Malham.

The limestone was laid down 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous period, then gradually after the surface was exposed during the last ice age rain water has dissolved the cracks and joints in the rock (limestone is actually calcium carbonate) – to create the distinctive blocks called Clints and deep fissures known as Grykes.

Filming for the Deathly Hallows Part 1 took place in 2009, but Malham locals will tell you that Daniel Ratcliffe and Emma Watson never actually visited Malham. Apparently the limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove was shot and then Harry, Hermione and their tent were CGI’d in later back in the Warner Bros studio.

For Harry Potter fans wanting to visit, head to the National Parks visitor centre in Malham Village and follow signs to Malham Cove. Once reaching the foot of the Cove – a huge limestone amphitheatre you will be able to see from a good distance away, climb the 400 or so steps to the left up to the top of the Cove. Just be careful if it’s been raining – the steps and the limestone can become slippy.

Thank you to Warner bros for use of the photos.


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