High Dam, fabulous serenity in all seaons

If you seek serenity and an opportunity to enjoy fresh mountain air, stunningly beautiful scenery a little known location, yet easy to get to on foot, then a walk to High Dam is a must!


High Dam is a very peaceful lake. It can be found near the villages of Finsthwaite and Newby Bridge in the Southern Lake District. There is a well sign posted carpark off the Finsthwaite road with a steep incline up to it.  From the LDNPA car park, where you have to pay, there is a footpath which marks the beginning of the walk on the left hand side. The route takes you through beautiful dense woodland, and first to Low Dam, and then on to High Dam. The walk is a circular route which can be altered to take you down and through the village of Finthswaite and then on to Newby Bridge. The walk takes about an hour, but allow longer for viewing and photographs.

High Dam

The High Dam is actually 2 small lakes which can be walked around and afford the opportunity to sit on a rock or bench to take in the peace and quiet. It is surrounded by mixed woodlands of oak, birch, larch and Scots pine to name a few. The woodland floor is scattered with bilberry, bracken and heather. It’s a man made dam built across the southern end of the tarn in the early 1800’s to supply water to the Stott Park Bobbin Mill,  nearby.

Stott Park Bobbin Mill

The mill is run by English Heritage and well worth a visit. The water in the lake was used in the 19 century to power the steam turbines at the Bobbin Mill. The Bobbin Mill made wooden bobbins from the many coppiced trees in the surrounding woods which were sent to the cotton mills of Lancashire. It was a labour intensive industry and there are some fascinating insights into bobbins. The mill is open to the public and their “Steam Days” are most informative.

My thanks to Beth Holmes for her kind permission to use her  photograph of High Dam .

High Dam in Winter