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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, home to a unique variety of rare plants and animals. Explore moorland hilltops, colourful hay meadows, varied birdlife and far-reaching views.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Watersinks car park, 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, passing the bird hide on your left. At Sandhill's Cottage on your left, take the track that leads to the National Nature Reserve and follow the boardwalk through the reserve. Where it joins an unmade track at the other end, turn left to the road.

Step 4

When you reach the road, turn left and walk along it, taking the left fork after 327 yards (300m). Continue along the road to the next crossroad. 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, 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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More near here

Visitor at Janet's Foss, part of the Malham Tarn Estate, North Yorkshire.

Malham village to Janet's Foss 

Walk this easy-to-follow, there-and-back scenic walk from Malham village to the waterfall at Janet's Foss, following the beck along gravel paths and through fields and woodlands.

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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