THIS wonderful ride in beautiful Malham is the result of the labours of those behind the riding website Rideyorkshire, with support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The website was set up in 2011 by keen horse riders Janet Cochrane and John Yeomans, with the intention of encouraging horse owners to get out and enjoy the wonderful riding countryside of Yorkshire.

“One thing I find it that most people can’t map-read,” says Janet. “We’ve tried to make it easier for them by providing downloadable maps and directions.

“People are also understandably worried about finding bridleways non-existent or impassable, and it’s obvious that lots of riders enjoy pleasure rides and guided rides because they don’t have to worry about route-finding.”

To find more rides in North Yorkshire, and beyond, visit, where you will also find details of trekking centres.

The route starts from Malham and follows quiet roads and tracks up behind Malham to Grizedales, from where there are wonderful views of Malhamdale. The route circles the Malham Tarn Nature Reserve and passes the Field Studies Centre.

There are some good canter stretches before descending steeply back into the village.

Step by step 1. Turn left out of the car park and ride up the village street. After 300m, a bridleway sign to the left, opposite Beck Hall, points up a stony track. If you don’t want to tackle it, continue along the road to the left turn to Hill Top Farm Bunk Barn. Ride through their yard and along a good track above and parallel to the main village street for 300m. Then, turn right and follow the track uphill. Immediately after the water treatment works ignore the left fork and go straight ahead on a beautiful grassy lane between stone walls. The walled section ends at a gate; go through the gate and continue straight ahead across the pasture to the gate at the top. You can also reach this point by simply following the road up out of Malham - which is pleasant, when not too busy.

2. Turn left on the road. After 350m, turn left on the bridleway and follow it uphill across Pikedaw, through several gates to a finger post for the Pennine Bridleway. Turn right here.

3. Soon after, you see the remains of the medieval Nappa Cross in the wall on your right. Follow this gently downhill, occasionally stony, for three-quarters of a mile until it meets a track coming in from the left. Turn right and ride down to the gateway and back onto the road at Langscar Gate.

4. Turn left on the road, passing almost immediately through a gate, then veer right off the road on a track between two outcroppings of rock. Pass through the gate at the top and continue over Dean Moor. There are sometimes cows grazing here, but they will not normally bother you, as long as you don’t get between cow and calf. Continue down to the road, veering to the gate at the left-hand corner of the field.

5. Once through the gate, turn left and ride along the road for a mile.

6. At the crossroads, turn right and proceed for half a mile past High Trenhouse to join a lane coming in from the left - take care here, this section of road can be busy.

7. After another 200m, go through a gate on the right onto a green lane and follow it straight ahead for 500m to a T-Junction. Turn right here and follow the lovely tree-lined lane for half a mile, passing occasional farms, with views of Malham Tarn to your right. You are now on the Pennine Way. You will reach Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre, in a Georgian house leased from the National Trust.

8. Follow the track around the left of the centre, past the Orchid House - there is a public toilet here - then, veer left to follow the track through the trees.

9. After 400m, the track emerges beside the tarn. Here, you will have to negotiate a narrow gate and it is advisable to dismount. Follow the edge of the tarn through another gate and leave the Pennine Way to continue on the main stony track, slightly off to the left. There is a lovely canter stretch here alongside the track. You will reach the road a mile after coming out by the tarn.

10. Go roughly straight ahead, do not turn left or right, and follow it away from the tarn.

11. After a mile or so, the road begins a series of twists and turns and descends steeply into Malham. Keep an eye open for traffic and cyclists and be aware that hikers can appear suddenly from behind stone walls as footpaths cross the road.

12. Turn right at the T-junction in the village. When you see the pub on the right, there is a natural drinking place on the left for horses, before going over the bridge. After the bridge, turn left and return to the car park.

Beware of: 
Livestock and farm traffic.
Steep ascents and descents.
Mountain bikers.
Remember to keep to the bridleways and tracks and respect the farmland.
Roads are relatively quiet, but narrow, so beware of traffic.
Watch out for a relatively fast section of road near Malham Tarn.