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High Dam Walk Finsthwaite

January 29, 2011

Situated at the bottom of Lake Windermere not far from Newby Bridge is the village of Finsthwaite. A great family walk at all times of year is the circular walk round High Dam. Although it was January the wintry sunshine was starting to filter through the trees.

High Dam Finsthwaite

The first thing you notice when you park in the small car park at the start of the walk is the reference to the old industry of bobbin making. A large Bobbin with a relief map gives an insight into the history of the area.

Large Bobbin Map

Inscribed around it are the following words. “This is the water that turned the wheel that spins the lathe, that shapes the wood, to make the bobbin, to wind the thread, that wove the wealth of Lancashire. These are the trees, that cut by man, will sprout again, feed Stott Mill, to make the bobbins to earn the pay, that fed the folk of Finsthwaite”. Stott Park Bobbin Mill is situated close by and open to the public.

High Dam Map

Leave the car park and take the path to the left.

Path to High Dam

Trails are well marked and this follows the route of the yellow arrows if you want to try it yourself. A short walk uphill and a first glimpse of Low Dam.

Low Dam Finsthwaite

Finsthwaite Tarn was made into the higher and lower dams to power a 32 feet water wheel at the bobbin mill which at one time employed as many as 250 workers. Carry on up the path to High Dam.

High Dam

While it must be said, Autumn is my favourite time of year here it can’t be denied that the reflections can be wonderful at any time of year.

Reflections High Dam Finsthwaite

Cross over the dam to walk round. The tarn is surrounded with Larches, Scots Pines, Oak and Birch trees.

High Dam View

The sun was starting to come out although there were still icy patches on the far side of the tarn.

Bridge at High Dam

Great views all round the tarn, and no one about even though it was almost mid day. Tarn Hows is another similar place in the area which is often very busy, so this is a hidden gem. Onwards and upwards.

Path at High Dam

It isn’t long till you reach the highest part of the walk with a conveniently placed seat to take a rest and enjoy the view. Having said this, it is quite overgrown here so in my opinion not the best place to view the dam.

View over High Dam

Downhill from now on and a short stretch of meadow to cross at the end. This bit can be quite muddy at times.

Path round High Dam

This brings you to a short stretch of woodland, and back to the dam.

Winter sunshine High Dam

Looking over to where we have just walked.

High Dam

I would recommend this walk especially for families and it’s a brilliant place for dog walking.

High Dam Finsthwaite view

Now up until now I hadn’t seen a single soul, however I was not to be disappointed. I can safely say that I have never visited here and not seen someone sitting with a flask of coffee at the little bridge at the start of the walk, and right enough, there they were enjoying the view.

Enjoying the view. High Dam

From the car park, round the dam and back takes about an hour. At the moment the car park is free however there is talk of charging to park here.

Other things of interest nearby.

Stott Park Bobbin Mill. Owned by English Heritage. Created the wooden Bobbins vital to the Lancashire weaving and spinning Industries.

St.Peters Church Finsthwaite. Amazing painted vaulted ceiling. Situated in the grave yard is the grave of Clementina Sobieski Douglas “The Cumbrian Princess” reported to be the daughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

  1. I haven’t been to Stott Park Bobbin Mill since I went on a Primary School trip 25 years ago! Think I might go again with my kids after seeing this walks – Thanks!

    • Oh good, glad I’ve given you an idea. Slightly different 25yrs on but a great day out! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Laura permalink

    Thanks to your blog I enjoyed a lovely walk round here today with my husband and young daughter. Your directions and photos were really helpful – thanks!

  3. Camped here one night in 1956 with 12 school mates, we were staying at the YMCA at Lakeside on a school camping holiday and we were picked to go on an overnight camp in two man tents. It was an experience I have never forgotten as we came from the suberbs of Manchester and to be in such a beautiful place was magic. We had to cook our own food with rations we had been give on primas stoves. We also had a log fire at the night which all sat round and drank hot coco. Wonderful days.

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