Where is this walk?

A walk round Malham Tarn

May 19, 2021

Malham Tarn is the highest lake in England. The walk round Malham Tarn does include an unavoidable section on the road to the west but the eastern shores and walk through the woods are lovely. Take the detour up Great Close Hill.

The Walk

It was a beautiful, peaceful summer’s evening when I dropped my daughter off for an outdoors Brownies event at Malham Tarn. This walk therefore starts at Streetgate. However it is just as convenient to start at the Malham Tarn car park. I then spent a pleasant couple of hours walking around the highest lake in England. Glacial in origin Malham Tarn is over 1,200 foot above sea level with a wonderful variety of plants, trees and bird life. Much of it courtesy of the geology of the surrounding rock.

The land around Malham Tarn is owned by the National Trust and they have a popular field centre at the northern end of the tarn. The Nature Reserve, bird hides and well kept woodland are all the legacy of the Trust and are well run. However my favourite section of the walk is the open limestone scars and wide open views to the east of the tarn. In addition you can follow the lake shore. The shores here are lovely contrasting to the southern and western ends of the tarn where the walk is along roads, albeit quiet ones.


  1. Take a small detour to Water Sinks from the southern car park. Water Sinks does what it says on the tin,. Here the water disappears in to a big hole in the ground to appear again two miles downstream. However despite folk lore very little appears at the foot of Malham Cove. Most re-appears further down the valley.
  2. If the weather is ok take the short climb up Great Close Hill overlooking Malham Tarn from the east. Here are the best views of the tarn.

Navigation Tips a walk round Malham Tarn

It is worth taking the path through the nature reserve to the west of the field centre. It is not a public right of way (therefore signified by dashes that are not green). Therefore the Trust sometime close it usually for a good reason.

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