A hidden gem: High Dam above Finsthwaite

High Dam

High Dam

The beautiful walk to High Dam, above Finsthwaite, on the western shore of Windermere, is a route that surprisingly few people seem to have heard of, so I’ve broken my own rules of blogging (i.e. no walking on this blog), to tell you a little more about it…

I recently wrote a post about the award-winning Stott Park Bobbin Mill visitor attraction, in which I described just how much I like the atmosphere of the green, leafy areas around Newby Bridge, Lakeside and Finsthwaite, situated on the western shore of Windermere. Whether or not you decide to visit Stott Park, there is also a very beautiful walk nearby that I thought worthy of a mention on the blog: the walk to High Dam.

High Dam

Another view of High Dam

High Dam is an artificial tarn about 1.5km away from Stott Park Bobbin Mill, which was constructed to provide water to power the mill. Apparently, no-one knows exactly who built the tarn, which was in place by 1848, and is now a local beauty spot. Surprisingly, very few people seem to have heard of this route either, even though it is clearly popular with many local dog walkers.

If you are visiting Stott Park Bobbin Mill, this walk is another relaxing way to spend the rest of the day and appreciate the surrounding landscape, without going back to the hustle and bustle of some of the busier areas of the Lake District. You can park at the bobbin mill (a good idea if you’re already visiting, as the car parking charge is currently refunded from your ticket price), or alternatively there is a Lake District National Park Authority car park at the start of the walk itself, just a short distance away.

Map of the walk

Map of the High Dam walk, set on a wooden bobbin in the pay-and-display car park

From the LDNPA car park, there is a footpath which marks the beginning of the walk on the left hand side. The route takes you through beautiful dense woodland, and first to Low Dam, which is arguably my favourite of the two tarns.

Dense woodland

The beautiful dense woodland through which you walk

Approaching Low Dam

Approaching Low Dam

A peek at Low Dam

A peek at Low Dam

Low Dam

Low Dam was so tranquil on the day I visited

On reaching Low Dam, the walk then continues on to High Dam, where you can apparently do a circular walk of this second larger tarn. On the day I visited, there wasn’t the time to walk any further to explore this, so we headed back on the path we had followed up to the tarns.

The beauty of walking uphill all the way, is that it is downhill all the way on the return (although I sometimes think I find this the harder part)! I loved the patterns created by tree roots across so many of the paths, and couldn’t help but stop for a photo.

Tree roots

The patterns created underfoot by tree roots

Although – as I’ve pointed out across the blog – I’m not a hill walker, I really enjoyed seeing the tarns and experiencing this area on foot (and I only ever include things on the blog that I would genuinely recommend to others).

The walk also comes recommended by Stott Park Bobbin Mill, and I spotted a pack of English Heritage route maps available at the gift shop (£2.50) to guide you. If you are visiting by car, don’t forget to bring suitable footwear and clothing, as I found that some of the paths were quite rocky and slippery in places.

Have you taken the walk up to High Dam? Let us know what you thought by leaving a comment below (commenting is really easy, and doesn’t require sign-up). 


, , , , ,

One Response to A hidden gem: High Dam above Finsthwaite

  1. Janine John 23/05/2015 at 11:35 am #

    A visit to Stott Park Bobbin Mill really made me appreciate the industrial past of this beautiful part of the Lake District. To read why the mill, along with many others, was built in this location, visit my post at: https://lakedistrictgems.co.uk/2015/05/16/stott-park-bobbin-mill/

Leave a Reply