Grid Ref: NY 235204
The Newlands Valley is regarded as one of the most picturesque and quiet valleys in the Lake District National Park, even though it is situated very close to the popular tourist town of Keswick and the busy A66 road.
You can get to Newlands from the A66, through the village of Braithwaite. The Newlands Valley is separated from Derwentwater by a single range of hills. By road it is about 3 miles to the small hamlet of Stair, at the start of the valley. A narrow winding road, Newlands Pass, with frequent glimpses of the Newlands Beck leads you to Littletown, another small hamlet, then on to Buttermere.
Near Littletown is Newlands Church, a pretty whitewashed building situated at the foot of the hills.
The Newlands Valley makes an excellent base for a walking holiday and provides a huge variety of walking routes including low level valley walks, ridge walks and fell walks such as Causey Pike, Barrow, Robinson, Hindscarth, Catbells, Maiden Moor and Dale Head.
The Newlands Valley is well known for its links with Beatrix Potter. ‘The Tale of Mrs Tiggywinkle’ uses the Newlands Valley as its backdrop. Catbells, Skelgill and Little Town can all be recognised from her sketches. She also knew Newlands Church, becoming acquainted with its Vicar and his daughter Lucie Carr.
Newlands Valley 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.
The Newlands Valley was extensively mined and quarried for many centuries, with lead, copper, silver and even gold being extracted over the years. The most famous mine in the Lake District is situated in Newlands. This is the Goldscope mine, located on the lower slopes of Hindscarth near Low Snab farm, which has operated since the 1500s. It yielded such large amounts of lead and copper that it was called ‘Gottesgab’ (God’s Gift) by the German miners who were brought over to develop the mine in its early days. The mine closed at the end of the 19th century, not because it was exhausted but because the mine’s main shaft had gone so deep it had become uneconomic to pump the water from it.
Other well-known mines in the valley are Barrow lead mine, located on the slopes of Barrow, which closed in 1888; the Yewthwaite lead mine which occupies a small valley between the fells of Catbells and Maiden Moor and ceased production in 1893; and the long-closed Dale Head copper mine, which was started by German miners in Elizabethan times.