High Dam is a picturesque tarn near Finsthwaite and Lakeside at the southern end of Windermere. A dam was built across the southern end of the tarn in the early 1800s to supply water to the bobbin mill at Stott Park a few miles away. It is surrounded by mixed woodlands of oak, birches, larch and Scots pine to name a few that we spotted. The woodland floor is scattered with bilberry, bracken and heather.
Anyone who walks in the hills and mountains will be familiar with the concept of 'false summits'. Here we have a false tarn. Just before reaching High Dam there is the far smaller body of water of Low Dam.
There is a Lake District National Park Authority pay and display car park amongst the trees in Bell Intake, Finsthwaite.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Return to the entrance of the parking area and bear right, follow the track past the relief indicator and information boards. Keep left, follow the yellow arrow footpath markers. A small beck burbles close by to your left.
A permissive path bears off to the right to avoid a section of the rough path. Ignore it and strive ahead, it's rough all the way to High Dam anyway.
Low dam appears quite quickly. Continue ahead, with the tarn on your left. After a further short little rise High Dam appears suddenly.
The difference is immediately obvious: High Dam has a low wall running its length, and is a considerably greater body of water.
Turn right over the footbridge, and then bear left to follow the path through the trees near to the shore line.
Reaching a junction, keep left. Cross the boardwalk at the far end of the tarn. This boggy area is chock full of rushes and sedges, you'll also notice the heady resinous scent of bog myrtle.
As you head back towards the dam the path on this side becomes much narrower. Small glades along the shore provide a sheltered spot for just sitting on a handy tree root and watching the wildlife.
Reaching the dam, cross to the far side, and turn right just before the bridge to follow the path back to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|A short sharp walk to Gummer's How||2.2km (1.4 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011