The Newlands Valley, Beatrice Potter and Fawe Park

Lucie and the Newlands ValleyA beautiful walk of around 7 miles, all in the valley but enclosed by fells including Catbells, Maiden Moor, Dale Head and Hindscarth giving a wonderful mountain backdrop.

An alternative - and more strenuous - start to the walk is to go via Barrow Door (see Barrow Door walk) joining this route at Stoneycroft.

Leave 1 Bridge Cottage on the Newland Valley road (South). As the road bends left after a hundred yards, take the bridleway on the left of the road to Braithwaite Lodge, then pass a plantation until the Newlands road is reached again. Next comes Barrow Mine at Uzzicar: this disused lead mine is a reminder of the mining riches of the Newlands valley. This is the area prospected by the German miners commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century (see the History page.) This peaceful valley was once home to a number of working mines: as well as Barrrow, there were Yewthwaite, Dalehead, Brandlehowe and Goldscope. Copper, silver and gold were also mined here. However, "Goldscope" does not refer to the metal, but instead gives us an etymological pointer to the first German miners: they called this rich copper and lead mine "God's Gift", in German "Gottesgab", which later generations have Anglicised to Goldscope.

From here, you can follow the road a mile to Rowling Hill Farm, and then take the footpath on the left which plunges to Newlands Beck then up to Ghyll Bank.

Mrs Tiggy-WinkleAlternatively, there lies a literary pilgrimage ahead. If you remain on the road, after a further mile or so Little Town is reached. This is a place sacred to Beatrice Potter, who was a frequent visitor to the area. The first line of The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is
"Once upon a time there was a little girl called Lucie, who lived at a farm called Little-town. She was a good little girl - only she was always losing her pocket-handkerchiefs!"

Also at Little Town is the 14th Century Newlands Church, now extensively restored. Wordsworth featured this chapel in his poem "To May":

      How delicate the leafy veil
      Through which yon house of God
      Gleams, mid the peace of this deep dale
      By few but shepherds trod!

Follow the road downhill, and rejoin the route at Ghyll Bank.

From Ghyll Bank, take the footpath on the left past Skelgill (another name reminding us of the Norse occupation of this area!) Skelgill Farm is illustrated in The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle (page 8 of my copy!) Follow the quiet road round the foot of Catbells. Maybe you should spend some time looking for "that door into the back of the hill called Cat Bells" where Lucie found Mrs Tiggy-Winkle's cottage.

Join the Allerdale Ramble footpath straight ahead. This leads through Fawe Park, where Beatrice Potter spent several holidays, and where she wrote The Tale of Benjamin Bunny.

The view form Nicol End Marine The path leads through the woods - watch out for red squirrels! - to the road to Portinscale. Once you hit the road, if you turn left to Nichol End Marine there is the chance to buy refreshments - and enjoy the peace of Derwent Water. After a hundred yards, take the footpath on the left, and left again after 500 yards, following a path over meadows to Ullock. Turn left on this quiet road, and walk to Little Braithwaite, where you join a footpath on the right that follows Newlands Beck and then Coledale Beck, through the campsite, and back to 1 Bridge Cottage.

Cottage for holiday lets in Braithwaite

    Our second home, 1 Bridge Cottage, Braithwaite, near Keswick, is available for holiday letting. We use Cumbrian Cottages as our key-holders and letting agent: please follow the link to their site if you are interested in staying in our comfortable, welcoming and wonderfully located cottage.