Skip to content
Visitors mountain biking on the Malham Tarn Estate
Exploring Malham Tarn on two wheels | © National Trust Images / Ben Selway
Yorkshire

Malham Tarn family cycle trail

Hop on your bike and explore Malham Moor on this family-friendly cycle trail. The circular route follows gravel and grassy tracks through the moors and takes in views of the Yorkshire Dales' own glacial lake, Malham Tarn. Wildlife fans can watch a variety of birds down on the lake's shoreline and might even spot birds of prey over the nature reserve, where wildlife thrives off lime-rich waters and raised bog. The trail also passes an 18th-century smelt mill chimney and a grand Victoria house that welcomed Charles Darwin as a guest.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

Watersinks car park, Pennine Way, Settle, BD24 9PT. Grid ref: SD894658

Step 1

From the car park, head north along the bridleway signposted 'Waterhouses', across a rolling grassland track. Follow this until the grassy track meets a gravel path and a gate ahead.

Step 2

Turn onto the gravel track and through the gate. Follow this track along past the Malham Tarn shoreline, through another gateway, and into the woods. You'll eventually reach Malham Tarn House.

Step 3

Once you reach Malham Tarn House, follow the path to the right, around the back of the house and continue on the track through a narrow limestone cutting. Keep going for about half a mile (0.8km).

Step 4

When you reach a track on your left with a post box in the wall, turn left and follow this lane along the edge of the nature reserve until you reach a gate. Go through the gate and turn left, heading down the road.

Step 5

Take the first left turn signposted to Malham and continue on this road for about half a mile (0.8km) until you reach a crossroads.

Step 6

Head straight across the crossroads, following the sign to Malham for about 1 mile (1.6km).

Step 7

You'll eventually spot a bridleway on your left, signposted to Watersinks. Follow this all the way until you reach the road. Turn right, head through a gateway and you'll see the Watersinks car park to your left, where the trail ends.

End point

Watersinks car park, Pennine Way, Settle, BD24 9PT. Grid ref: SD894658

Trail map

Malham Tarn family cycle trail map
Malham Tarn family cycle trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

A bright spring day view of Buckden Pike
Trail
Trail

Explore Langstrothdale by bike trail 

Explore the Langstrothdale valley in the Yorkshire Dales on this linear cycle trail, which takes in farmland, medieval churches, ancient stone circles, and a forest home to wild flowers and wildlife.

Activities
Cycling
DistanceMiles: 5 (km: 8) to miles: 18 (km: 28.8)
A deep blue lake on a bright sunny day with a pine tree on the left of the picture and exposed, sheer grey cliffs on the hills behind the lake.
Trail
Trail

Malham Tarn upland farm circular walk 

Discover England's highest lime-rich lake, home to a unique community of rare plants and animals.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 4.5 (km: 7.2)

Get in touch

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

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You may also be interested in

Kayaking on Lake Windermere on New Years day at Fell Foot, Lake District, Cumbria

Outdoor activities 

Searching for a new outdoor activity to try? Discover the best places in our care for outdoor activities, including off-road cycle tracks, walking trails and lakes and coastlines for water sports.

Hiker on a guided hike led by rangers on a moorland path under a blue sky at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire.

Outdoor activities in Yorkshire 

Find the best places to go cycling, walking or running in Yorkshire, as well as top spots for orienteering and geocaching, and quiet corners for wildlife watching, bird spotting or fossil hunting.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon
Article
Article

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.
Article
Article

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

A man and boy on mountains bikes on the Yorkshire Dales
Activity
Activity

Outdoor activities in the Yorkshire Dales 

Discover the best walking, running and cycling routes around the Yorkshire Dales.

Family walking through the limestone country in the Yorkshire Dales. The children are climbing on rocks.
Article
Article

Things to look out for in the Yorkshire Dales 

Discover the Yorkshire Dales with their rolling countryside, steep-sided valleys, heather-covered moorland and a patchwork of dry stone walls and barns.

A man walking with dogs on the Pennine Way
Article
Article

Visiting the Yorkshire Dales with your dog 

The Yorkshire Dales is very dog friendly, and with miles of footpaths to explore, trees to sniff and grass to roll in, your four-legged friend should have a great day.