Where is this walk?

Malham Tarn and Littondale

February 25, 2017

Between Malham Tarn and Littondale lies a broad expanse of high moorland covered in limestone outcrops and scars. The villages in Littondale are delightful. Pick up a cup of tea half way!

The Walk

Sandwiched between the better known paths of Monk’s Road and Mastiles Lane there lies a quiet bridleway connecting Street Gate near Malham Tarn with Arncliffe Cote. The path passes through some lovely limestone scenery before dropping sharply down the shoulder of Cote Gill in to Littondale. The return via Monks Road makes for a long day. However the walking is very easy and the miles simply fly past. Don’t miss the classic example of dry stone walling around Middle Barn where so many ‘typical’ Dales photography has taken place.

The entire walk reflects the geology of the region. The valley of Littondale is a perfect U shaped valley and the spurs leading down and from the dale reflect this. In addition the exposed limestone rock on the plateau are a result of the ice scraping away much of the top soil. As a result the rock is exposed to the eroding effect of the rain and a successive freeze/thaws through the years. What is left is what you see.

I have also added the final section to include Malham Tarn . On this section the path offers the best views across the tarn.


Have a look at St Oswalds church at Arncliffe. The church is thought to be of Norman origin but could have been earlier Saxon. The bells date from roughly 1350 and still strike every hour.

Navigation Tips for Malham Tarn and Littondale

Malham Tarn is worth a closer look at the end of the day. Therefore turn right (west) at Middle House over the lip of Great Close Scar dropping to the tarn near the Field Centre. The alternative (shorter) route heads directly south from the farm to Streetgate.

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