A ramble on Malham Moor

Malham Tarn Estate Office, Waterhouses, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 9PT

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Tennant Gill Farm has been involved in our renewable energy projects © National Trust

Tennant Gill Farm has been involved in our renewable energy projects

Drystone walls are one of the defining characteristics of the Dales © National Trust

Drystone walls are one of the defining characteristics of the Dales

Early summer's morning at Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve © Robin Sutton

Early summer's morning at Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve

Route overview

A circular walk on the fellside, passing through a spectacular upland farming landscape. Enjoy some stunning views of Malham Moor and Tarn and marvel at the tranquility of the countryside.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map for the walking trail A Ramble on Malham Moor
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Quarry car park, grid ref: SD883672

  1. Turn right out of the car park, then turn left through a gate onto a track. Go through the gate on your right and follow the boardwalk through Tarn Moss, an important area of fen and raised bog. Please keep to the boardwalk to safely enjoy this special place. At the far end, by Sandhills Cottage, turn left to exit the reserve then go through the gate on the right signposted Pennine Way. (Sorry, dogs are not allowed on the nature reserve, so dog walkers will need to stay on the track, turn right at the post box and then left onto the Pennine Way after the cottages.)

  2. Follow the Pennine Way, heading towards Tennant Gill Farm.

  3. Cross the road and pass through the gate to the left of the Tennant Gill Farm gateway, signposted to Henside Road, heading diagonally left across the field. Follow the bridleway through four gates a stretch of around 435yd (400m) across the fellside.

    Show/HideTennant Gill farm

    Tennant Gill farm is one of our tenanted farms and has recently been part of our renewable energy project. The farm now has photovoltaic panels (solar electricity systems which capture the sun's energy) on the barn roof and uses hydro-electricity from a small water turbine in the stream. It's no longer reliant on a diesel generator for its energy, so it's not only cheaper for the farmer, but also much better for the environment.

    Tennant Gill Farm has been involved in our renewable energy projects © National Trust
  4. Continue for another 110yd (100m) across the open fellside. Turn left at the waymark post, cross the wall and continue following the waymarks, in a south-easterly direction, passing an area of limestone pavement on your left.

    Show/HideDrystone walls

    Pause for a moment and consider the miles of walls along the fellside. In the late-18th and early-19th centuries most of the hillsides were being enclosed by drystone walls. A good waller can build about six or seven metres of wall in a day - imagine how long it took to build all the walls you can see before you.

    Drystone walls are one of the defining characteristics of the Dales © National Trust
  5. Head downhill between two rocky outcrops and over rough pasture. At the next waymark, bear left across the pasture. The track leads to the road at a gate. Turn right to return to your starting point at the car park.

    Show/HideMalham Tarn

    The view from here towards Malham Tarn can be quite spectacular. The Tarn was formed around 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, as the glacier melted away through the permeable limestone. However, the Tarn sits in a shallow depression on a bed of impermeable slate scoured by the ice and dammed by glacial deposits.

    Early summer's morning at Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve © Robin Sutton

End: Quarry car park, grid ref: SD883672

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Distance: 4 miles (6km)
  • Time: 3 hours
  • OS Map: Explorer OL2
  • Terrain:

    Circular walk across fields and unmade tracks, with a short stretch of road walking. The terrain is reasonably flat, but can be muddy after wet weather. Dogs are not permitted in the nature reserve, but are welcome elsewhere under close control; must be kept on leads at certain times of the year.

  • How to get here:

    By bus: from Skipton: 210/211 & 883/884 (passing close Skipton station, weekends, to Malham village only); from Settle: 580/210 (to Malham village only). Also National Trust shuttle bus service (890), Settle to Malham Tarn, Easter-October, weekends only

    By foot: 6 miles (9.6km) of the Pennine Way runs through the estate

    By train: Settle station 7 miles (11km); Skipton station 19 miles (30km)

    By bike: The Yorkshire Dales Cycleway runs through Malham village and by Malham Tarn

    By car: close to A65 and Settle; 4 miles (6.4km) north-west of Malham. Follow signs from Malham

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