Malham Tarn

In my posting last year of Lake Gormire I wrote that it is said to be one of only two natural lakes in Yorkshire and surmised that the other would be Semerwater in the Dales. I can not remember where I read that. What about Malham Tarn someone asked. I thought I had the answer today. On the same thinking as to the question of how many lakes are there in the English Lake District. Malham not a lake, it is a tarn. But then at home Googling I see that although some locals refer to Lake Semerwater, the Ordnance Survey have mapped that lake as plain Semerwater. So I guess that blows that theory out the window.

But ignoring the pedantries of water body names, Malham Tarn, at a height 377 metres above sea level, is the highest lake in England and the largest in Yorkshire. Apparently it is also one of only eight upland alkaline lakes in the whole of Europe with a bed of slate and surrounded by limestone country.

The photo was taken from the top of Great Close Hill, a small hill that must be ignored by both hill walkers and tourists. It is too  piddly for hardened walkers and too difficult for those strolling around the lake. But it is an impressive hill, dominating the east side of the lake with dramatic limestone.

And if you don’t know how many lakes are there in the English Lake District then you need to enter a few pub quizzes.


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