I had walked much of this route before when we were last staying at The Mouse House At Rowling End. You can read about my walk to Little Town here, and my walk from there into the Newlands Valley (and beyond) here. I should warn you that the second link takes you to a tale of extreme stupidity and great peril. This blog will be much lighter reading.
I would be doing this walk with Debbie, and we started from The Mouse House and walked down into the field, trying to avoid the waterlogged parts as much as possible until we reached the bridge which would take us over Newlands Beck, and from there we would follow the road to Little Town, and the starting point of this route. However, as we were walking down the field we met a man out walking his dogs who very kindly informed us that the bridge had been swept away in Christmas 2015 and was yet to be rebuilt, so we would have to retrace our steps and follow the road round to Little Town.
We did not have to follow the road the long way all the way round as we were able to cut across at a new house, using a wooden footbridge to cross the fast flowing stream, which was so full it was impossible to cross it on the road, and from there we continued in the direction of Newlands Chapel, not taking the fork to go to the church, but instead carrying straight down to the parking area beside Chapel Bridge. There is a £3 charge for parking there, which appears to be voluntary as you pay into a box but there do not appear to be any tickets, and I do not know who the proceeds go to. This is the real starting point for this walk.
We walked along the lane which leads to Little Town, passing the remarkable scene of nine dead moles attached to the fence on our right, left there by the mole catcher as evidence for the farmer, and came to a step-stile on the right which took us on to steps to a higher, more substantial track which headed right, down into the valley.
We followed the track down, passing a handful of people as we walked below Looking Crag, then Knott End, then Little Mine Crag, before finally we were under Lowthwaite Crag. Here the intake wall of Low Snab Farm changes direction, and we followed it to the right, crossed some boggy ground to a wooden footbridge which took us over Newlands Beck, then turned right again on to a broad track, which became a permissive path through the farm.
We followed the track to Newlands Chapel. The tiny chapel was noted by Wordsworth in May 1826, who was struck by the appearance of the church gleaming through a veil of half-opened leaves.
We saw it through a tree shed of all its leaves, and spent a while inside, enjoying some peaceful reflection.
At the junction near the church we turned left, and followed the road back to a footpath above our cottage, which we used for the first time to bring us down to the driveway. Thw weather had held fine, despite the clouds and the growing wind, and it had been a very enjoyable walk out.
You can see more photographs from the walk here.