Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 627

51 1 DECEMBER 2022 Weekending MALHAM TARN Rhiane Fatinikun recommends a wheelchair-friendly route in the Yorkshire Dales – and enjoys amemorable pub lunch afterwards Weekendwalks Information OS Map Explorer OL2, Yorkshire Dales southern & western Distance 3.5 miles Start & nish National Trust o ce, Malham Tarn, Settle, North Yorkshire, BD24 9PT Duration 1.5-2 hours Di culty Easy (Accessible) INCLUSIVE BEAUTY This stunning, stile-free route is accessible for those using mobility scooters Ah, the Yorkshire Dales. I love this part of the world for its rolling hills, dry stone walls and friendly people. But even more so because of how inclusive it’s becoming. e National Park is home to 17 miles without stiles routes, designed for those with limited mobility. ey’re ideal for wheelchair users, families with pushchairs and anyone who simply wants an easier, stile-free walk with no scrambling, climbing or steep hills. My friend Debbie North told me about this wonderful 3.5-mile circular route, which features in her new book Walks Without Stiles (available at where2walk.co.uk), co-authored with local guide Jonathan Smith. A fabulous accessibility advocate, Debbie used an all-terrain mobility scooter from the National Trust estate o ce, where this walk begins. She had no trouble traversing the fairly at terrain – made up of gravel paths and quiet rural roads, plus a short section of moorland. Beginning and ending at the estate o ce, the route is centred around Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve, home to England’s highest freshwater lake (tarn means ‘small mountain lake’). It’s beautiful here, with the open water overlooked by peaks and rocky outcrops. As you leave, follow the track to your le and join the Pennine Way – a 268-mile route across England’s uplands. I’d love to do more sections of this longer route with my Black Girls Hike friends next year, but for now 3.5 miles is plenty. Follow the path through the woods, where you’ll see whimsical wooden sculptures of rabbits and birds. ere’s plenty of real wildlife, too. Look out for impressive birds, including great crested grebes, tu ed ducks and teals splashing about in the lake, or Exmoor ponies – recently introduced to help manage invasive plants such as common reed – grazing on the grassland. Go past the boathouse overlooking the lake. It’s a small grey building that looks like a little chapel. Continue along the path through the woods until you reach a gate. Bear right and head across the moorland, then, when you reach the car park, follow the road. Look to your le and you’ll spot a chimney sticking out of the ground. In the 18th century, lead, copper and zinc were mined here and processed at a smelt mill – the resulting toxic gases were funnelled into the atmosphere via this very ue. ere’s no need to be alarmed though – I can assure you the air was crisp, clean and invigorating when I visited. At the fork in the road, keep right and you’ll return to the estate o ce. From here, I recommend driving 10 minutes to e Lister Arms pub, which overlooks the village green in the idyllic setting of Malham. Be warned, though – it can get busy, so it’s best to book ahead. eir sausage and mash is hard to beat – I’m still thinking about that gravy now. Rhiane is the founder of the walking group Black Girls Hike, bghuk.com. @rhianesworld ‘This National Park is home to 17miles without stiles routes, for those with limitedmobility’ DARLING DALES The boathouse at Malham Tarn (main); a smelt mill chimney at Malham Moor, part of a former lead mine (below); bangers and mash at The Lister Arms (bottom) Photographs: Chris Howes/Wild Places Photography / Alamy, John Bentley / Alamy, Daniel Thwaites