…And Back

During our wander round to Arnside, it struck me that over of the last year or so, some of our most memorable days have been spent walking to, from or in the vicinity of Arnside. I was thinking of the time that we were briefly marooned at New Barns by a very high tide, around a year ago. Or the bright cold walk along the estuary which kick started 2009, or my weekend hostelling trip last summer. The common factors of these outings, apart from location, are sunny weather and my daughter A. On our present trip she had early decided that she wanted to walk home from Arnside even though that was not part of our original plan. I had told her that she could, expecting that she would tire, or that her resolve would crumble when she saw others setting off in the car, but I underestimated her. I was doubly surprised that she stuck to her guns when everybody else decided to take the easy option. So just the two of us for the return journey then…

We climbed up through the Ashmeadow estates grounds. There are permission paths around the grounds which we haven’t explored properly – we must come back for a better look soon. A was very impressed with the information board about the wooded grounds and praised the detail and colour of the map on the board. She had clearly taken careful note because as we passed picnic tables and a wooden arch she said: “They were on the map Dad, it’s like the map is coming to life.”

A steep climb up Redhill Road was rewarded with excellent views and cowslips on the verge. We climbed through Redhill Wood and onward across the open field on the north side of Arnside Knot, A talking ten to the dozen, me saving my breath for the climb.

As I have said before, Arnside Knot is an Insignificant Hill with Disproportionately Magnificent Views. Hills that we had glimpsed form the estuary could now be seen in their place and be more easily identified. In particular, a hill seen quite prominently from near White Creek, which I had thought might be Fairfield, I could now see was Stoney Cove Pike, with Wansfell below it.

Looking over the Kent Estuary and Cartmel Fell to the Coniston Fells

Over the viaduct. Stoney Cove Pike above Whitbarrow on the right. Fairfield very prominent right of centre. Hellvelyn in the centre. Distant Skiddaw, just visible through Dunmail Raise left of centre.

Howgill Fells

I have a hare-brained scheme for an Arnside Knot Skyline long distance route taking in all of the hills which create a horizon from the Knot. It would be pretty challenging and very eccentric – Black Combe, Caw, all of Lakelands higher fells, the Howgills, the hills along the fringes of the Dales including Ingleborough, the Forest of Bowlands northern rim, but then taking in Snowdonia somehow too, since I have seen the hills of North Wales from here (but only once).

Maybe A will walk it with me one day. She does enjoy reaching a summit…

She also has an amazing memory and wanted to pose on these exposed beech tree roots for the simple reason that she did the same when we passed this way last summer.

As we emerged from the woods on the Knot it was evident that big changes are afoot in Middlebarrow wood…

Where all of the alien conifers have been felled…

Leaving some very tall and spindly trees, mostly birches, and some more substantial yews. Hopefully, this is the first step in a process of restoring more natural woodland.

We passed Arnside Tower Farm, where a very growly dog upset A.

And then Arnside Tower itself…

The blackthorn has been flowering for a while, but climbing through the wooded fringes of Holgates we were passed through a tunnel of spiky bushes and were struck by the very strong scent of the flowers…

In a small open glade a peacock butterfly fluttered past. I’m not generally very successful in photographing butterflies and this one was too fast for me. We waited a while and two or three more passed through. Eventually one sat still long enough…

“You can’t beat a butterfly Dad”

Nope. Nor can you beat a sunny day and a walk in good company.

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…And Back

3 thoughts on “…And Back

  1. As always Mark I’m thrilled be your resent posting and enjoyed very much the views seen through your eyes… loved the butterfly and blackthorn, the moles in the post below are a truly sad sight… but a very good advert to for the mole catcher… I came across four foxes a while back… all had been trapped and clubbed.. a terrible sight. I was amazed at the Nuthatch though.. that is a striking pose.

    All the best.. hope you all had a great Easter.

    Tom

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