Newlands Pass is a three-mile-long road running along a ledge above the Newlands valley, from the village of Braithwaite, near Keswick, to Buttermere. The highest point is Newlands Hause, 333 metres (1093 feet), where there is a car park, and a short walk to the Moss Beck waterfalls.
Newlands valley is thinly populated, consisting mainly of farms and tourist accommodation. Stair is the main settlement in the valley, and includes the Newlands Adventure Centre and the Swinside Inn, which is the only pub in the valley and is situated one kilometre to the north of Stair.
Rigg Beck is a stream in the Lake District’s Newlands Valley. For many years it gave its name to a local landmark, a house known informally as the Purple House.
Rigg Beck, the home of Varya Vergauwen and her large family since the 1950s when she bought it for just £500, was a lodging house for struggling actors and writers who, inspired by its breathtaking surroundings, went on to achieve fame and fortune. Ted Hughes, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay and Victoria Wood were amongst the many who stayed here.
The house became dilapidated, and eventually was destroyed by fire in July 2008. There is now a replacement stone house on the site.