Littledale and Ward’s Stone

20200926_112844
Udale Beck

Proper Fell walks have been few and far between for me, since the various lockdown restrictions began. This walk, from back in September, was a notable exception. To be honest, I don’t remember what the rules were at the time, and I was probably a bit vague about them even then, since the rules have always lacked clarity. I didn’t see any other walkers all day, just two mountain bikers in the afternoon, which makes me think that I must, at the very least, have been pushing the envelope a bit.

20200926_112859
Footbridge over Udale Beck

Anyway, it was a windy, overcast day. Cool with a few flecks of rain in the wind from time to time. But despite that, I enjoyed myself enormously.

P1320653
Gregareth, Whernside and Ingleborough.
P1320652
Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent.

I’d been perusing the map for quite some time the night before, always a dangerous occupation, and had hit upon the idea of combining two cherished ambitions – one was too explore the valley of Artle Beck and the other to have a walk along Hornby Road, a Roman Road which traverses the Bowland Hills

20200926_115736
Foxdale Beck

The first part of the walk took me firmly into the territory of my ‘Lune Catchment’ project. Sweet Beck, Udale Beck, Foxdale Beck, Artle Beck, Ragill Beck, Closegill Beck (streams tautologically named both gill and beck seem to be a speciality of the area), Bladder Stone Beck, Mallow Gill, the River Roeburn and Salter Clough Beck (again – aren’t clough and beck synonyms?) were all ticked off on my nominal list of tributaries of the River Lune.

20200926_120208
Littledale Hall.

I was quite surprised by Littledale Hall. It’s a Grade II listed building, dating to 1849 and possibly designed by Lancaster architects Paley and Austin. These days, it’s a residential centre for the treatment of addiction. I guess that it’s remote location makes it ideal for that purpose. It looked to me like a Victorian railway station marooned without a railway line.

20200926_121558
Artle Beck
20200926_122702
Looking down towards the confluence of Ragill Beck and Closegill Beck.
20200926_124954
20200926_125713
Not sure what these are, but they were by the stile adjacent to Bladder Stone Beck.
20200926_131101
Haylot Farm.
20200926_131903
Melling Wood.
20200926_132208

A fallen tree in Melling Wood, on a slope much steeper than the photo suggests, was quite awkward to navigate. It seems odd that nothing has been done about it, given how much care has been taken with the path nearby…

20200926_132304
20200926_132345
Mallow Gill.
20200926_133425
Either the River Roeburn, or Salter Clough Beck.
20200926_134900
High Salter.
20200926_145451
Hornby Road.

Given that I’d set off with fairly ambitious plans, I hadn’t started very early. I think I dropped off one or other of the boys, somewhere or other, before starting the walk. Anyway, I soon realised that I was quite short of time. I’d originally intended to stick with Hornby Road until I could take the path onto Wolfhole Crag, partly because I don’t think I’ve ever been up there. But that will have to wait for another day, since I decided instead to take the track from Alderstone Bank down to the River Roeburn and then back up via Mallowdale Fell. You can see the track on the photo below…

20200926_144855
20200926_150456
Roeburndale
20200926_150616
River Roeburn.
20200926_152211
Looking toward the three peaks again.
20200926_152225
Shooting Cabin on Mallowdale Fell.
20200926_153637
Three Peaks and the hills above Kirkby Lonsdale.
20200926_161506
20200926_164739
Ward’s Stone.

From Ward’s Stone the walk was on more familiar territory – over Grit Fell, past the Andy Goldsworthy sculptures and back to the Littledale Road, where my car was parked, via a stalker’s path and back to Sweet Beck.

20200926_164829
Morecambe Bay from Ward’s Stone.
20200926_164841
Looking towards home from Ward’s Stone.

I even had some occasional moments of sunshine, and the light out over Morecambe Bay was absolutely superb. My photos don’t really do it justice, but it was lovely to keep getting views of it as I descended.

20200926_174541
Looking back to Ward’s Stone.
20200926_175007
The River Lune and the Bay from Grit Fell.
20200926_180329
Spoil heaps on Grit Fell.
20200926_180522
Andy Goldsworthy sculptures on Grit Fell.
20200926_185833
Arriving back at the car park with not too much daylight left.

The route was around 17 miles, with a fair bit of up and down. I wish I could provide a map, but although MapMyWalk worked on the day, it subsequently lost the data. I’ve since uninstalled and reinstalled the app, which, touch wood, seems to have had the desired affect.

A great leg-stretcher, on a mostly gloomy day, which has left me with a number of ideas for further routes.

Advertisement
Littledale and Ward’s Stone