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The Highland Connection - A Blog for 2020

Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales Walk.

The weather was looking good, and it was decided to head out further afield for a circular walk originating from Malham Tarn, in the Yorkshire dales. It was a mid week visit in July, but during the traditional school holiday period, so we expected to see a few more people out and about.

There is a small car park by the tarn, which was full, but you can park on the road edges - ensuring there is room for cars to pass, as the road is narrow. The whole area is owned by the National Trust, and is open access. However, there are plenty of paths, and signage to keep too.

Our walk took us from the Tarn down through a dry stone area to a high viewpoint, looking down an area known as the Watlowes and Ing Scar - see photographs. It was busy with other walkers, and families, so in narrow paths we tended to step aside and let people pass, observing social distancing where possible - we were in no hurry. There are steep rocky steps to drop down from the high viewpoint into the Watlowes valley. Caution is needed, but quite manageable.

Once into the Watlowes valley, the route took us towards the limestone stone pavements at the top of the well known Malham Cove. It was certainly more busier than we have seen before, with a lot more families enjoying the area. As we approached the top of the cove, there was a helicopter about to take off, and we sort of guessed someone had had an accident in the area - caution is needed when walking on the stones, and at the edge of the cove, which is a very steep drop.

On previous visits car parking has always been a bit of a problem in the village of Malham, where most visitors head for, to walk up to Malham Cove. There is a big car park and toilets, but it soon fills up, and in the far distance we saw that a field near the village had been opened up as extra parking. Its a busy place, so try and avoid weekends!

After a break for a brew and a sandwich we cut across the top of the limestone pavements, and began the return route back to the tarn, via another path. This was a leisurely stroll along grassed paths, which was less busy, with sheep the only company. At one point you come to a single signpost in the middle of nowhere which looks odd, but just tells you the route and how far - Malham Tarn was just three quarters of a mile away. 

On arrival back at the car, we had company. A family of sheep had decided to lie on the shady side of the car, as the sun was strong, and after checking none were underneath, we headed home.

The road back to the nearest town of Settle, across the moors is narrow, and steep, just before you drop down into the village, so driving carefully is required. Just off this road we stopped at an area called the Winkskill Stones reserve. Which is a nature reserve, and is covered in more limestone pavements, and the odd trees, so is very photogenic.

One of the photographs shows a stream, which runs off the Tarn, and then disappears underground through the limestone geology. These are quite common in the area, and are know as Sink Holes.

An enjoyable day out with a light breeze, very warm sun, and a feeling of being on top of the world. Enjoy the photos. One photo has been slightly Photoshopped, to make the white of the limestone stones stand out by the way - photographers choice.






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