Discovering the Newlands Valley

Published:

Newlands Valley has long been regarded as one of the quieter Lakeland valleys, and undoubtedly one of the most picturesque. It is home to several of our Lake District cottages. They enjoy extensive views across the valley and benefit from the blissfully quiet and the timeless atmosphere.

The Newlands Pass in the Lake DistrictThe main routes into Newlands are from Braithwaite or Portinscale, both a few minutes west of Keswick. The road from Portinscale takes a quiet wooded route into the lower valley whilst the official Newlands Pass from Braithwaite is a high open road skirting the fells on the right hand side of the valley. The pass continues on to Buttermere and is popular with cyclists testing their skills on the hairpin bends and sharp inclines.

The valley is sparsely populated with only a handful of scattered farms and settlements. Their ancient names date back to Viking times. These include Keskadale, High Snab, Uzzicar (my favourite), Birkrigg and Skelgill.

Newlands was extensively mined for nearly 300 years yet the evidence of this is minimal until you look closely. One of my favourite places to visit is an unfrequented route up Dale Head where you can find the blue-green copper malachite and the remains of a miners hut.

The Newlands Valley from RobinsonBeatrix Potter wrote her tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle whilst she was on holiday at Lingholm on the banks of Derwent water. Lingholm is a private estate at the foot of Catbells and Beatrix explored Newlands valley, taking inspiration from the hill farms, hills and of course, Little Town.

Little Town became famous from the tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle however I think it is likely that it would have become popular without the publicity. It is an impossibly pretty little hamlet with whitewashed rough stone buildings, a beautiful mountain backdrop and of course the delightful little church.

During the summer, there is a small tea room at the farm and you can also enjoy tea and homemade cake on Sundays at the church.

Catbells in the Lake District
Catbells is the perennial favourite of the valley, but this peak can be crowed during the summer months, regardless of weather. Take our tip and head up there at the crack of dawn, or in the evening to watch the sunset, the colours of the valley are at their best at these extremes of the day.

Wainwright was a great fan and wrote extensively about Newlands. Causey Pike is a fine looking mountain with a bobbly top and an interesting rock chimney to scale. The famous Newlands Horseshoe is a big challenge for walkers, taking in a handsome series of mountain tops and high ridges. For a smaller less frequented route, try Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, a superb little walk with equally extensive views across the valley.

We have several self catering cottages in the Newlands Valley, click here for more details.