Real Family Holidays in the Yorkshire Dales, England UK

Located in the secluded Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Malham Tarn Centre sits right on the shore of Malham Tarn itself, with cliffs, woodlands and caves nearby.

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Choose Malham Tarn Centre and stay in a magnificent Georgian country house leased from the National Trust. Your family will find the Centre within the Malham Tarn National Nature Reserve, with views over the Tarn itself. For your comfort and enjoyment the Centre has two family rooms, a recreation area with games, a library and an outdoor courtyard with veranda and picnic benches - ideal for al fresco lunches in the sunshine!

We are situated at 1300 feet, surrounded by the swelling Yorkshire Dales. The Centre, on National Trust Land, is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and encompasses and National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a RAMSAR (wetland) site. We enjoy the company of many wetland and woodland birds, birds of prey, otters, roe deer and the odd sheep or two! So don’t forget to bring your binoculars on this holiday!

We have a choice of accommodation, ranging from family rooms with up to six bunks to twin rooms and twenty of these boast en suite facilities. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and squash are available at all times. There are two common rooms, both with large flat screen TVs, to relax in and enjoy beautiful views over the Tarn and there is a tuck shop selling chocolate, drinks and gift items. When the sun shines over the Yorkshire Dales, we have plenty of outdoor seating and a large lawn in a largely traffic-free environment.

Look around the Yorkshire Dales location: 

Virtual tour of Malham Tarn Centre 

Drone footage of the area

MT Room 1

MT 2

Explore the Yorkshire Dales

The Malham Tarn Centre sits in the middle of woodlands, on the banks of the tarn, in the depths of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The Yorkshire Dales offer a huge variety of opportunities for your family. Market towns, unspoilt villages, heritage attractions, cave systems, country shows and adventure pursuits make the area famous. Furthermore, as the centre is on the track of the Pennine Way, the walking possibilities are endless.  Here are some ideas to get your family started:

Malham Cove and the Limestone Pavement. Features which define the area and a legacy from the last ice-age, the cove and pavement are "must see" sights. An hour's walk through the limestone landscape or a drive to Malham Village and a shorter walk are the ways to get there. If a group wants to visit at the same time, Centre staff will be glad to lead an escorted walk.

Hawes. A charming Yorkshire town with many craft shops and great ice-cream. It is also the home of the Museum of Yorkshire Life which is well worth a visit to learn more about the history and traditions of the Yorkshire Dales.

Kettlewell. Made famous by the film Calendar Girls, this picturesque Yorkshire Dales village is a great staging point for walks up beautiful Wharfedale with fine views and good pubs along its route. If your visit includes the 15th and 21st of August, don't miss the famous Scarecrow Fair when the village is filled with straw-stuffed characters in a variety of guises.

Settle. Our nearest town only a 10-15 minute drive from the Centre.  There is a Tourist Information Centre and an historic marketplace, as well as a range of shops and a supermarket.  The Old Naked Man is a well-known local cafe and serves very good beverages and cake.

Skipton. A 30 minute drive away is the market town of Skipton (recently judged to be the best place to live in England) where there good shopping and leisure opportunities. Skipton Castle is a good family visit and cost £7.50 for adults and £4.50 for children aged 5 to 17 with under 5s free. Family tickets are also available.

Forest of Bowland. Even though it lies over the border in Lancashire, the forest is well worth a visit with plenty of trails to follow and activities to engage in.

Click here for more information on visiting Yorkshire Dales for your family holiday:


The Yorkshire Dales: Malham Tarn Field Centre, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 9PU

Free Activities

any day

2020 Activities

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide the activity programme during your stay. As an alternative, to enable you to make the most of the great outdoors during your stay as well as back at home, you will get a free adventure pack when you arrive. This will include an FSC fold-out nature guide, equipment and activities as well as suggestions on local places of interest.

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