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Walkers on path alongside Newlands Beck copyright Charlie Hedley

Miles Without Stiles 32: Stair Riverside


PLEASE NOTE: This route is currently closed as a section of the path has washed away following Storm Ciara in February 2020.  This route is likey to be closed for several months whilst options on how the path might be re-instated or diverted are investigated.  

Route type: For some. This is a beautiful riverside walk in a quiet and unspoilt corner of the northern Lakes - OS Explorer Map OL4

Distance: 3.25 km or 2 miles

Start point: Informal roadside lay-by at Little Braithwaite - grid ref. NY 239230

Turning point: Path junction with minor road - grid ref. NY 239215

Facilities: None on route. Swinside Inn is 400m away from the southern end of the route.

Getting there: Bus: not directly served by public transport but the Portinscale stop on 77/77A Buttermere Rambler service is 1km or 06 miles away. Do check timetables. Car: From A66 follow signs to Portinscale. Turn right at the Ullock sign and right again after 1km 0r 0.6 miles. Park on right before the bridge.


From the lay-by, go through the gate on the left of the road. The path winds past gorse bushes. In spring and early summer you will probably smell the coconut scent of its yellow flowers.

Newlands is one of the Lake District's quietest valleys, but is no less dramatic than others. Ringed by a circle of steep-sided fells, Catbells is on the left with Hindscarth and Robinson dominating the skyline at the head of the valley.

After about 1 km or 0.6 miles, the path goes up a short ramp and continues through a gate, along the top of an embankment. Look out for dippers and wagtails in Newlands Beck from this elevated position. The level path passes through two more gates. It weaves through mature trees to reach the road, 300m north of Stair Bridge. There is limited parking here, so use only as a pick-up or drop-off point.

You can go back along the path. Alternatively turn left and head up the steep hill (1:8 gradient) to Swinside Inn for refreshments. Those who go to the pub can take the tarmac road back to Little Braithwaite.


Map of the Stair Riverside Miles Without Stiles route