A short walk in the Newlands Valley
This may be just a short walk but it takes the walker into a quiet, relatively unknown part of the Newlands valley - with an insight into the mining history of the area and a connection not only to Beatrix Potter but also to Wordsworth. It makes a delightful evening stroll or an afternoon walk with a picnic. It is just 1.5 miles - mainly level walking over tracks and a footbridge - with a short stretch of boggy ground.
In addition it is a good walk to do with young children. If you have a child in a pushchair the only awkward section would be the potentially boggy bit just before the footbridge.
Park near Chapel Bridge at Little Town. There is a parking area with an "honesty box" and also a few spaces on the verge. Walk away from Chapel Bridge up the gentle hill towards Little Town. When the fence on the right ends take a step stile to reach a well defined path leading south towards the head of the valley. (In addition there is the possibility of parking at Little Town Farm where there is a cafe in the summer months. If you park here you will near to walk through the hamlet in the direction of the head of the valley in order to pick up the start of the walk.)
The Little Town area has been made famous as the setting by Beatrix Potter for the story of Mrs Tiggy Winkle. This story was dedicated by her to Lucy Carr - the daughter of the vicar of Newlands Church - which is visited on the return part of the walk. Beatrix Potter used to stay at Lingholme on the shores of Derwentwater.
Continue along the track - the bulk of Dalehead is in front of you at the head of the valley with the ridge from it running down on your left over High Spy and Maiden Moor and thence to Catbells. You can still see evidence in the valley of mining. The spoil heaps across the valley are from the Goldscope mine – where copper and lead, some silver and a small amount of gold were extracted. There are excellent views of Causey Pike with the distinctive "bumps" along the ridge - walkers who approach Causey Pike over the heather of Rowling End will remember the rock tower at the end to reach the summit - described by Wainwright as a "bit of real mountaineering"!
Back in the quiet of the valley you will notice a footbridge over the beck - cut down across some boggy ground to the footbridge and take the path below the Goldscope workings. As always in the Lake District entry to old mine workings should be avoided . . . . . . .
There is a permissive footpath through the buildings of Low Snab Farm - through to a broad track which leads to the tiny Newlands Church. The church was rebuilt in 1843 on the site of an earlier church. In 1885 the church was refurbished but some of the 17th century items were retained – the oak pulpit, the reading desk and communion table. Wordsworth visited the church in May 1826 with his daughter. The poet was so taken with the setting of the church which is indeed very special that he wrote a poem "To May". You can go inside the church and see a reference to this. You can also look into the school room which adjoins the church - this was built by the members of the parish in 1887. It closed in 1967.
When you leave the church you then turn left along the lane - to Chapel Bridge and the parking area.
For a peaceful walk in impressive mountain scenery - a chance to reflect and to escape from the other more frequented routes with the added interest of the literary and historical connections this short walk cannot be bettered.