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Yorkshire Dales Walk
Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

Nat Park - Yorkshire Dales

County/Area - North Yorkshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 4.4 miles / 7.2 km

Ascent - 450 feet / 136 metres

Grade - easy

Start - OS grid reference SD894658
Lat 54.087998 // Long -2.16354
Postcode BD24 9PU (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Photo from the walk - Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Photo from the walk - Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Photo from the walk - Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Photo from the walk - Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Photo from the walk - Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The limestone scenery between Malham Tarn and Malham Cove is some of the finest in the Yorkshire Dales. This short walk offers the opportunity to explore this area avoiding many of the crowds that use the approach from Malham village. The start is the free car park near Malham tarn (grid ref. SD894658) which can be reached using lanes from Malham and Settle.

Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn Malham Cove & Watlowes from Malham Tarn 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

After parking, walk north towards the shores of Malham tarn and bear right with the tarn to your left. Continue ahead to the first area of woodland (Lings Plantation) and then take a clear track on the left. This track leads southeast and soon passes another small area of woodland which is passed on your left. Continue along this track to regain the tarmac lane from the carpark. Turn left leaving the lane and walk the short distance along the lane to reach Street Gate (grid ref. SD905656).

Turn right along the wall which should be to your left and continue to regain the tarmac lane after 350 metres. Continue south along this quiet lane for just over a mile. The walking is easy with improving views especially as you descend towards Malham. After a couple of bends you reach a ladder stile on your right (grid ref. SD902637) with a footpath finger post. Cross this stile and follow the clear path across grass to soon be rewarded with a glorious view of the limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove. Continue ahead through a wall (grid ref. SD897641).

From this point, you can explore the limestone pavement and enjoy the views down Malhamdale. Return to the wall. Do not cross the wall and turn left keeping the wall to your right. You are now entering Watlowes dry valley with its impressive limestone crags. You are also following a section of the Pennine Way long distance footpath. The path is initially flat but soon gains height passing through a rocky section and climbing a series of rock steps to reach a junction of paths (grid ref. SD891649).

Turn sharp left at the top of the climb out of Watlowes staying on the Pennine Way. Almost immediately you have a fine view looking south down Watlowes dry valley. Stay on the clear path keeping the wall to your right. You will soon pass the point where the stream leaving Malham Tarn disappears underground and shortly after the lane adjacent to where you parked. In season, a refreshment van and an ice-cream van are usually here.

 
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Recommended Reading

Walks in Dales Country

Walks in Dales CountryA guidebook to 30 hand drawn family walks throughout the Yorkshire Dales. The 30 circular walks take in well-known spots such as Malham and Ingleborough. Routes take between a half to a full day. Also less-frequented, almost secret routes. Graded from easy to strenuous.
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