The History of Newlands

Newlands was opened in 1905 by a group of enterprising gentlemen who, encouraged by T.Arthur Leonard the founder of the Co-operative Holiday Association and the Holiday Fellowship Ltd., bought and renovated an old graphite mill turning it into ‘a place of sweetness and light. It provided full board accommodation and guided walks for the workers of the large industrial areas of the North and Midlands as well as church and youth groups. It was then purchased by and remained in the hands of the Holiday Fellowship Ltd. until 1989 when it was sold to three local business- men who pledged to carry on running it as an activity centre.

Newlands is now for everyone; school trips, national and international businesses, university groups, clubs or individuals. Over the years, thousands of people have taken on the ‘Newlands Challenge’, often experiencing what the great outdoors can offer for the first time and many return year after year to this special place. Newlands is always looking forward, making sure our future is as solid as our past; developing and changing with the times without losing our core values of safety and fun.

We are always on the look out for old and interesting photos of the centre and it’s surroundings. If you have any we’d love to hear from you.

We get asked a lot of questions about Rookery Woods so we hope thought we would answer some of them here for you! 

Where is Rookery Woods? 

  • Rookery Woods is based at Keswick Climbing Wall next to Castlerigg Stone Circle!

Do I need to Book? 

  • No! Rookery Woods does not require a Booking! However if we are really busy there may be a short way until we can let you in the Woods! During that wait you could use our onsite Café, The Hungry Heifer! 

How Much does it Cost? 

  • Rookery Woods is £5 per Child for all day! That’s it! Adult’s do not need to pay to enter Rookery Woods however you did need to be supervising your children in the Woodland at all times.

What is the Age Limit? 

  • Rookery Woods is designed for Children aged 8 and under!