Route type: For all. A level path alongside the River Kent and minor tarmac road, return to Staveley Mill Yard - OS Explorer Map OL7
Distance: 1.25 km or 0.8 miles
Start and end point: Staveley Mill Yard - grid ref. SD 472983
Facilities: Café, pub and toilets all in the Mill Yard. Toilets are also available beside the main bus stop.
Getting there: Bus: The 555 bus from Kendal to Windermere stops at Staveley every hour until the early evening.
Train: The Kendal to Windermere train stops at Staveley, but there there are two flights of steps from the pavement to access the platform.
Reach the footbridge over the River Kent by either walking past the front of the glass fronted Hawkshead Brewery in Mill Yard, and through a gap in the yard wall, or walking along Main Street to St Margaret’s Chapel and taking the public footpath on the left.
The River Kent is one of England’s fastest flowing rivers and historically was essential to the success of local industry. There were once over 30 mills reliant on its waterpower. The mill on this site was constructed around 1825 by local businessman Thomas Taylor. He recognised that with the new canal to Kendal, there was a ready market for bobbins and reels for the Lancashire cotton mills, and plenty of local timber in Staveley to provide the raw materials.
Continue past the weir, built in 1853, and alongside the deeper waters of the river. Watch out for kingfishers and dippers speeding by. The path soon reaches a minor road. Continue along this to Barley Bridge and turn left and left again to return to the village centre. Once past the church, Back Lane is the quietest route to the Mill Yard.