Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve



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A rare natural lake in generally porous Carboniferous limestone country, Malham Tarn is a popular Dales beauty spot nestling in lush upland farming pastures. The NNR also includes rugged moorland, exposed limestone pavement, and hay meadows rich in wildflowers. Malham Tarn NNR is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, but especially in summer when the wildflowers and dragonflies are in abundance. It is home to a number of rare species, such as bird’s eye primrose, which are remnants from the last Ice Age. The tarn is said to be the highest limestone lake in Britain and is rich in aquatic plants. It is also home to six fish species, white-clawed crayfish, and birdlife includes great crested grebe, moorhen, coot, tufted duck and teal. The adjacent raised bog on Tarn Moss includes plant species such as wild cranberry, bog rosemary, crowberry, round-leaved sundew and bog asphodel.

Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve
Waterhouses, SETTLE, BD24 9PT


Opening times
  • Open all year

About the area

Discover North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire, with its two National Parks and two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is England’s largest county and one of the most rural. This is prime walking country, from the heather-clad heights of the North York Moors to the limestone country that is so typical of the Yorkshire Dales – a place of contrasts and discoveries, of history and legend.

The coastline offers its own treasures, from the fishing villages of Staithes and Robin Hood Bay to Scarborough, one time Regency spa and Victorian bathing resort. In the 1890s, the quaint but bustling town of Whitby provided inspiration for Bram Stoker, who set much of his novel, Dracula, in the town. Wizarding enthusiasts head to the village of Goathland, which is the setting for the Hogwarts Express stop at Hogsmeade station in the Harry Potter films.

York is a city of immense historical significance. It was capital of the British province under the Romans in AD 71, a Viking settlement in the 10th century, and in the Middle Ages its prosperity depended on the wool trade. Its city walls date from the 14th century and are among the finest in Europe. However, the gothic Minster, built between 1220 and 1470, is York’s crowning glory.


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