The Yorkshire Dales offers some of the best walking country in the UK. Local expert Jo Foster of the National Trust chooses her favourites, from gentle strolls to more challenging hill walks
• 10 of the best walks in the North York Moors
• As featured in our North Yorkshire holiday guide
Distance 7 miles
Start Malham Tarn car park, grid ref SD882672
National Trust downloadable route and map
Discover an area of ancient limestone pastures, upland hill farms and the beautiful Malham Tarn on a walk through this popular beauty spot. Passing Tarn House as you walk, call into the bird hide – a fantastic place to look for the wide variety of birds that reside by Malham Tarn. Bring your binoculars and look out for great crested grebe, tufted duck, pochard, wigeon, teal, goosander and, occasionally, hen harrier. The tarn is also home to a unique community of rare plants and animals; stonewort covers most of the bed of the tarn, sheltering pea mussels and three-spined stickleback. It also provides food for diving birds, such as great crested grebes.