Malham Tarn Yorkshire Dales Family Cycle trail
For a fun family day out, explore the beauty of Malham Tarn by bike. It's surrounded by some of Britain's finest limestone scenery and there's also an opportunity for wildlife detectives to spot the Tarn's varied birdlife from the bird hide.
Watersinks car park
From Watersinks car park follow the bridleway sign, which points towards "Waterhouses", across a rolling grassland track. This track follows the Pennine Way
Turn left onto the gravel track and go through the gate, following the track alongside Malham Tarn towards the woodland and Tarn House
At Tarn House (Field Study Centre) follow the track to the right, round the back of the house and through the narrow limestone cutting. Continue until you reach the bird hide on your left. This is a great spot for a break and to observe the birdlife of Malham Tarn
The hide is an excellent vantage point to watch great crested grebe, little grebe, tufted duck, pochard, widgeon, teal and goosander. You may also be lucky enough to spot the occasional hen harrier hunting over Tarn Moss
Turn left at the first left fork on to Pot Hole Lane and follow this lane along the edge of the nature reserve until you reach the gate. Go through the gate and turn left on to the road
Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve (NNR)
The reserve is made up of three different wetland habitats; the lime-rich open water of the tarn, a flourishing fenland of sedges and other lime-loving plants and a raised bog with sphagnum moss, heather, and bog rosemary. You can enjoy the NNR, on foot only, by following our boardwalk that starts on Pot Hole Lane.
Follow the road for a short distance and take the first left turn, signposted to Malham. Continue along the road for approximately half a mile until you reach the crossroads. You'll see the Smelt Mill chimney, diagonally off to your left, from the crossroads.
Smelt Mill Chimney
Miners extracted lead, copper and zinc carbonate on nearby Pike Daw during the 18th century. Crushed metal ore was processed at the smelt mill on Malham Moor. Here a long pipe led from the smelt mill to the chimney, where toxic fumes escaped into the atmosphere.
Go straight on at the crossroads, following the sign to Malham for approximately one mile. You'll see a bridleway sign on your left pointing to Watersinks (3/4 mile).
Follow the bridleway back towards Watersinks car park, where you can savour the stunning panoramic view of Malham Tarn, with Fountains Fell in the background
Watersinks car park
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