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Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales
Views across Malham Tarn | © National Trust Images / Paul Harris

Malham Tarn archaeology walk

Uncover the history of Malham Moor on this archaeology trail. This moderate circular walk begins by discovering remains of a Roman military camp and Iron Age settlements, before passing an authentic 16th-century Yorkshire Dales farmstead. You'll later walk in the footsteps of monks from Fountains' Abbey down to Malham Tarn, which has welcomed human activity since before the Bronze Age. There's also the chance to learn how drovers came from as far as Scotland to trade sheep.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Roadside parking, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PS. Grid ref: SD905656

Step 1

Pass through the gate and head east on Mastiles Lane, keeping the dry-stone wall on your right, for 1 mile (1.6km).

Step 2

Just before you cross a ford, turn left to follow the footpath across the north-east corner of the Roman Camp up over Gordale Beck and towards Middle House Farm. Once near the farm, head through a gateway and bear right, heading across fields to join the road into the farm.

Step 3

Optional detour: Head through Middle House Farm and wander up the hill to the left of the farm towards Old Middle House. Alternatively, to skip the detour, head straight to Step 5.

Step 4

From Old Middle House, retrace your steps back down the hill to Middle House Farm.

Step 5

Head down the path away from the farm for about 100m (109 yards) before passing through the gate on your right and following the well-trodden Old Monks Road down to the shores of Malham Tarn.

Step 6

Turn left and head along the gravel track before quickly taking the left fork onto a grass track, which heads beneath Great Close Hill on your left.

Step 7

Carry on along this path until you reach a patch of trees on your right. This area is known as the Great Close Plantation.

Step 8

After the Great Close Plantation, turn right to join the track heading south. Follow this track down for about half a mile (0.8km) to return to the start of the trail.

End point

Roadside parking, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PS. Grid ref: SD905656

Trail map

Map route for Malham Tarn archaeology walk
Malham Tarn archaeology walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Malham Tarn Estate Office, North Wing, Malham Tarn House, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PU

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