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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.
Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales | © National Trust Images/Peter Katic

Malham Tarn upland farm circular walk

Discover England's highest lime-rich lake, wetland areas and the smelt mill chimney (a remnant of the mining industry), as well as views of the surrounding moorland. Keep an eye out for roe deer which are often seen wandering through the trees or around Tarn House.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Watersinks car park, Malham Moor, BD24. Grid ref: SD895658

Step 1

Join the Pennine Way and head northwards along the grassy path towards Malham Tarn. The Pennine Way continues to the overflow of Malham Tarn before joining the track to Tarn House. Continue along the track with Great Close Scar on your right.

Step 2

Walk along the shore of the Tarn and pass through a gate at the entrance to the woods and continue to Tarn House. As you pass Tarn House, stop off at the Orchid House and have a look around the exhibition area. From here continue on through the woods.

Step 3

Walk along the track through the woods, passing a bird hide on your left. When you reach the entrance to the National Nature Reserve (at Sandhill's Cottage) turn left and follow the footpath that leads to the boardwalk through the reserve. When you reach the end of the boardwalk go through the gate onto an unmade track and turn left. This leads to another gate and the road. Alternative route: continue on the track and turn left at the postbox onto an unmade track. Walk to the end of this track until you reach a gate and the road.

Step 4

When you reach the road, go through the gate and turn left. Walk along the road and take the left fork after 327 yards (300m). Continue along the road to the crossroads. Go over the stile diagonally in front of you to your left and cross the field, heading towards the smelt mill chimney.

Step 5

At the chimney, enjoy the views before walking away from the Tarn, heading uphill towards the corner of the field, above the barn. At the corner, follow the wall on your left to the wall in front of you (leading uphill). Go over the stile and continue eastwards until the land begins to descend. You will see a track at the foot of the hill leading to a gate in the wall to your left.

Step 6

Go through the gate and follow the track across Dean Moor, in a north-easterly direction until you reach the road and car park at Watersinks.

End point

Watersinks car park, Malham Moor, BD24. Grid ref: SD895658

Trail map

Malham Tarn Upland circular walk map
Malham Tarn Upland circular walk route map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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DistanceMiles: 3 (km: 4.8)

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.

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