Where is this walk?

Finsthwaite Heights & High Dam

April 28, 2018

Hidden away near Newby Bridge lies the lovely tarn of High Dam set in woodland and the quiet village of Finsthwaite. The walk also passes through some attractive moorland.

The Walk

The south end of Windermere tends to be an awkward area to walk. This is due to space being limited with a lot of private land that restrict the footpath network. Certainly sticking close to the lake is almost impossible. However to the west is some interesting rolling landscape offering a pleasnt taste of the Lake District.

The highlight of the walk is the woodland of High Dam. The dam supplied water to the Bobbin Mill at nearby Stott Park. The mill was very busy in the 1800s. Then it was one of 65 such places supplying wooden bobbins to the weaving industry of northern England. Now it is a museum. The dam is hidden way amongst the varied dense woodland of birch, larch, oak and Scots Pine. Away from the tarn the land opens out over Finsthwaite Heights. On the heights is a lovely area of hidden knolls and quiet natural tarns.

MAFF (Agricultural and Fisheries Gov Department) own some of the land to the west on this walk around Finsthwaite. They have laid out a series of white tipped markers to follow, convenient and a bit of a challenge. For me it adds more interest to an already varied walk. Further along the heights is access land, the paths are less obvious and the temptation is to wander off and explore.


Do not be fooled by the ‘false’ Low Tarn before arriving at High Tarn.

Navigation Tips near Finsthwaite

The Lake District National Park use this as a training ground for navigation, the area away from the tarns is excellent although the participants may get distracted by the impressive views over Coniston.

  • Rachel Parle says:

    We did this walk today and LOVED it! It was certainly away from the crowds. We loved the variety of terrain…woodland, forest, tarns etc etc. It was very dog friendly too (just the occasional sheep to avoid). Thank you! Ps, we called at Cartmel on the way home for a well-deserved drink and a spot of lunch 🙂

  • Bob Gatherer says:

    I only visited this site to see what was on offer, and the very first walk promoted, (Finsthwaite and High Dam), is one of my very favourite walks in Lakeland – I really do love this walk. Don’t hesitate – do it and enjoy the beauty, quietness and stillness. It really is a ‘pressure cruncher’ – sublime and beautiful! This is all of what Lakeland is about.

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