High Dam & Bobbin Mill
Two idyllic lakes, hidden in Scots pine and larch woodland in low foothills, with plenty of places to swim and paddle from rocky headlands. Possibly our favourite mid-level tarn. It was formed in 1835 when the original Finsthwaite Tarn was enlarged to provide power for a waterwheel at Stott Park Bobbin Mill (now intriguingly restored – in its day it provided literally millions of wooden bobbins to the Lancashire weaving and spinning industry). Finsthwaite, with its whitewashed stone cottages, has a fascinating church, St Peters, with an unusual squat steeple and a timber- framed porch.
Directions: From Newby Bridge (A590) head to and through Lakeside and follow signs for Stott Park Bobbin Mill (1⁄2 mile, LA12 8AX, entry fee) bearing L at fork on bend. Turn R up into woods after 300m and park. Walk uphill for about 15 mins, past the first, smaller lake, and you’ll arrive at a larger lake. Turn right over the wooden bridge and there are numerous entry points.