Eastern Martindale Fells

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Steel Knotts / Pikeawassa

This was the day after my Holme Fell and Black Fell outing with TBH. After that modest affair this was much more ambitious. I think I was frustrated that the first week of the Easter holidays had only yielded three Wainwrights. In my defence, the weather hadn’t been much cop and we had also been decorating our living room. I say ‘we’, but in honesty TBH had been decorating the living room and I had been ferrying the boys about to give her the time to do that. I did put a coat of paint on the ceiling I suppose. I had to really, I’d told the kids that anyone who didn’t contribute would lose their TV privileges. Anyway, over the next three days I made an effort to make up the deficit (of Wainwrights bagged, not decorating).

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Hallin Fell

I parked by the ‘new’ church, below Hallin Fell, dropped down to Howtown and then climbed steeply towards White Knotts.

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Steel Knotts / Pikeawassa and Martindale.

I don’t know who made the path, or why, but it was very cleverly done.

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Ullswater.

Having hit the ‘ridge’ – it’s neither a ridge, nor a plateau, so I’m not sure what to call it – I had to descend slightly to reach Bonscale Pike. From Easter onwards (and quite often in the winter) I habitually wear shorts. It was very windy and very cold this day and I wondered at times whether I would have to turn back, but I found that by layering up on my top half, with a couple of fleeces, hat, gloves and at times my cag too, my legs didn’t seem to be an issue.

Bonscale Pike has lots of humps and hollows – thinking, quite rightly as it turned out – that shelter would be at a premium, I stopped for a cuppa.

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Skiddaw and Blencathra. Gowbarrow and the Mell Fells in the middle distance.
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Arthur’s Pike (on the right) from Bonscale Pike.

From Bonscale Pike the route drops into a hollow and then climbs out to Arthur’s Pike.

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Bonscale Pike from Arthur’s Pike.

From there, it’s a long series of very gradual ascents, over Loadpot Hill, Wether Hill, Red Crag, and Raven Howe to my high point for the day High Raise.

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The route ahead.
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Cross Fell catching the sun on the other side of the Eden Valley.
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The Trig Pillar On Loadpot Hill.

Clearly the showers we’d watched the day before shrouding the long ridge from the Dodds down to Fairfield had fallen as snow on the higher parts of the range.

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The snow-capped hills on the western side of Patterdale.
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Red Crag (on the right) and Low Raise and High Raise ahead.

I had my eye on the wall in the photo above from quite some distance away. It looked like it might offer some shelter. It did, and it was most welcome. I sat behind the wall here for quite some time, ate my lunch and had another hot drink (Pink Grapefruit squash – a tip from old friend the Hairy Oatcake).

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The hills across Patterdale again.
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High Raise, Rampsgill Head, The Knott and Rest Dodd.

It seemed to take a long time, but I was gradually reeling High Raise in.

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The shelter and the cairn on High Raise.

I didn’t have high hopes for the little stone shelter, but in the event it wasn’t too bad. I finished off the Grapefruit cordial and enjoyed the views over the Eden Valley.

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Looking across Low Raise from High Raise to showers over the Eden Valley.
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Kidsty Pike and Rampsgill Head. High Street beyond.
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High Street.
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Kidsty Pike from Rampsgill Head.

There’s a high ‘ticks to effort’ ratio here, with not much energy expended to grab Kidsty Pike, Rampsgill Head and The Knott.

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Harter Fell, Mardale Ill Bell, High Street, Thornthwaite Crag.
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Looking back to High Raise and Raven Howe.
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Catstye Cam stands out in this view of the fells west of Patterdale.
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Huge Cairn on The Knott.
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Rest Dodd – showers behind.

Rest Dodd is not such a push-over, with a steepish re-ascent to be overcome.

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High Raise and The Knott.

It looked like frequent showers were tracking south along Patterdale and I thought it was only a matter of time before I got a drubbing, but aside from a few flurries of snow, they never materialised.

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Two cairns on Rest Dodd.
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Icicles on Rest Dodd.
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Raven Howe and High Raise.
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The Nab.

The ground between Rest Dodd and The Nab looked like it would be very heavy going, but although there was a fair bit of bog and some big peat hags, it was surprisingly easy to circumvent.

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High Raise and Rest Dodd.

I knew, from a previous visit, that there’s a superb path which spirals down the western flank of The Nab. Again, I don’t know who made it or why, but it’s a great bit of work. In places the slope is extremely steep, but the path, narrow at times, keeps on contouring and descending very gently. Perfect.

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The well-made path on The Nab.
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Hallin Fell and Steel Knotts / Pikeawassa looking down Martindale.
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The Nab.
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The Bungalow.

“Constructed in 1910 as a shooting lodge for Hugh Lowther, Earl of Lonsdale, in a colonial style to host a visit from the German Kaiser”

Nowadays, it’s self-catering accommodation, sleeping 10, so the likes of you and I can rent it out and see what kind of luxury was laid on for ol’ Wilhelm.

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Looking up Martindale.

The long walk down the valley on the road was…well, long. I was getting a bit worn out by now.

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Martindale Old Church, St. Martin’s.
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The Nab and Beda Fell.
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Cotehow – Grade II Listed of course.
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Hallin Fell.

But then the sun came out and I was quite tempted to tag on Hallin Fell. It was already pretty late however, so I decided to leave that for another day.

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Martindale New Church. St. Peter’s.

Some hike stats: MapMyWalk gives 14½ miles and 980m of ascent (which is bit of an underestimate I think).

Wainwrights: Bonscale Pike, Arthur’s Pike, Loadpot Hill, Wether Hill, High Raise, Kidsty Pike, Rampsgill Head, The Knott, Rest Dodd, The Nab.

Birketts: those ten, plus Red Crag. I could, and should, have revisited the top of Swarth Fell while I was at it. But I didn’t. Never mind.

Eastern Martindale Fells

Aysgarth Falls and Castle Bolton

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Wensleydale. Penhill and Height of Hazely in the background.

Every year, at the start of December, I get a Monday off work. Actually, this year, it was the last Monday in November. It’s intended as a Christmas shopping break, which is anathema to me, and I habitually moan about it, but despite my indifference to the idea, since the inception of this one day holiday, I’ve had a string of great days out.

This year was no exception. Happily, TBH, being part-time, gets a Monday off every fortnight and this fell on one of those Mondays. So she had transferred the booking she made for a night away, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, to the Sunday night after Storm Arwen.

We stayed at the Wheatsheaf at Carperby, in the Yorkshire Dales, which was very welcoming and comfortable, with nice beer and lovely food (if somewhat limited for vegans). On the Sunday evening we sat in the bar watching the Ladies’ Darts Team play a match and played cribbage ourselves, before retiring to our four-poster bed. (Don’t think I’ve slept in one before – can’t say I noticed any difference!)

On the Monday, the landlady was happy for us to leave our car in their carpark whilst we went for a walk, so we set-off from there, across the snowy fields and through the snowy woods…

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…to Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure.

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I don’t think I’ve ever been here before, which given that it’s about a forty-five minute drive from home is a bit of an oversight.

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Part of High Force.
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Another part of High Force.
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High Force from Yore Bridge.
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Middle Force.
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River Ure – looking upstream from Lower Force.
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Part of Lower Force.
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River Ure – looking downstream from Lower Force.
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Lower Force.

TBH left me at Middle Force, because she didn’t want to watch me scuttling around on the snow covered banks taking photos – she was worried I would fall in. When I eventually tried to catch her up, I couldn’t work out where she’d gone. It turned out she’d found a rocky little scramble which took us down to the bank of the river. A broad shelf of limestone, wet, icy, snowy, uneven – essentially an accident waiting to happen – gave a route back up toward the falls.

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Could I resist temptation? Could I ‘eck!

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Lower Force.

The steep, rocky bank here was dripping wet and where the water was running down the rocks anything below was liable to have acquired a thick coating of ice. Twigs….

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Even blades of grass…

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Lower Force – from as close as I managed to get.
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The treacherous route back. Amazingly, I managed not to fall over. Or in.

From Lower Force, we climbed away from the Ure and across the fields towards the village of Castle Bolton, which is dominated by Bolton Castle.

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Our first view of Bolton Castle.
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Getting closer.
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Nearly there.
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In Castle Bolton.

I’m almost as much a sucker for castles as I am for waterfalls, and so was once again snapping away like a loon.

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St. Oswald’s Church.
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Bolton Castle is remarkably well preserved for an English Castle, most of which were ‘slighted’ during the Civil War. I shall definitely have to come back to have a proper look around at some point. And a peek in the church too.

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Wensleydale.

There’s a very direct route from Castle Bolton via West Bolton back to Carperby. The wind had picked up and it was now bitterly cold. I really should have stopped and put more layers on.

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The tea rooms at Yore Bridge had not yet opened when we got there, and Castle Bolton didn’t have anywhere serving refreshments (though I think the castle has a restaurant in the tourist season), so once we got back to Carperby, we drove to Hawes for a very late cafe lunch, then hurried home to meet the boys from the train.

Not only had I enjoyed the walk enormously for its own sake, I was also pleased that I’d had no obvious Covid fatigue hangover, and I’d had no problems with my Plantar Fasciitis. I’ve had issues with it for years, on and off, but recently it had been much worse. I’d seen a physio who had me working on a programme of stretches and I was pleased that they were seemingly having a positive impact. (And continue to do so.)

Aysgarth Falls and Castle Bolton

A Long Awaited Visit.

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Mum and Dad by the Pepperpot.

At the end of August, my Mum and Dad came to stay for a few days. It was the first time we’d seen them for quite some time, so it was great to have them with us, and also very handy that we had some pretty good weather for their visit.

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Coming down from Fleagarth Wood towards Jenny Brown’s Point.

I think we sat out on our patio quite a bit, but we also managed to get out for a number of walks.

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Sea Aster.
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Dad near Jenny Brown’s Cottages.
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Warton Crag and The Forest of Bowland on the horizon.
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Roadworks – the wall at Jenny Brown’s point was repaired. Signs said that the road was closed, even to pedestrians, but that turned out not to be the case.
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Colourful hanging baskets at Gibraltar Farm.
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Little S passing Woodwell Cottage.
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Another walk.
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Half Moon Bay. Sadly, there’s a Nuclear Power Station just to my left and behind me when I took this photo.

I think Mum and Dad were particularly impressed with our walk on Heysham headlands.

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Ship – Anna Gillespie.
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Across the Bay to the hills of the Lake District from Heysham Headland.
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Another view across the Bay.

B likes to come to Heysham headlands with his friends to watch the sunset and to swim when the tide is in, and I can see why.

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Rock cut graves.
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St. Patrick’s Chapel.
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The Spirit of Heysham by Michael Edwards.

I should mention that we had lunch at Tracy’s Homemade Pies and Cakes cafe, which was amazing value and very tasty. Highly recommended.

We had a day out in Kirkby Lonsdale too, although I don’t seem to have taken any photos. I was shocked by how busy it was; we did well to find car-parking spaces. I knew that it was touristy, but hadn’t expected it to be so thronged.

Looking forward to some more blue sky days, and for infection rates to settle down so Mum and Dad can visit for a few more walks and a postponed Christmas dinner.

A Long Awaited Visit.

Cark to Grange with X-Ray

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Cark Hall.

TBH had missed out on our walk from Cark to Grange via Cartmel and I thought she would enjoy it. X-Ray was keen to meet us for a walk, and perhaps a bite to eat, and I was pretty sure he would enjoy it too. Actually, as I recall, I presented X-Ray with a number of options and this was the one which most appealed. He hopped onto the Northern Fail service at Lancaster and we joined him at Silverdale for the short journey around the bay.

Cark has a pub and a cafe and I made a mental note that an evening repeat of this walk could start with a meal at one or the other. Cark also has Cark Hall, an imposing building which is now three dwellings. It dates from 1580 with a Seventeenth Century wing and alterations. Three hundred year old home improvements! The doorway looked really imposing, from what we could see of it, but good old-fashioned English reticence prevented me from wandering in to the garden to have a proper gander. (Historic England listing)

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Hampsfell from just beyond Cark.
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TBH and X-Ray sat on the fish tables (apparently) outside the Priory Gatehouse in Cartmel.

We bumped into a couple of old-friends and former neighbours in Cartmel who had won (in a raffle?) a meal at L’Enclume, Cartmel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. When we spoke to them later in the week they were highly impressed. Might have to check it out, if I win a booking in a raffle. Or rob a a bank.

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Cartmel Priory
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Cartmel Priory interior.
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Inside the church there was an exhibition of painted masks. They’d been there on my previous visit, but I paid a bit more attention this time. Collectively, they were very striking.

Ironically, the forecast was much better for this walk than it had been a few weeks before. On that occasion, the showers held-off. This time, sod’s-law was in operation and it rained quite a bit as we climbed Hampsfell. On the top we were shrouded in clouds and it was very cold for August.

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There’s a small hearth in the Hospice and somebody had laid a fire, it was very tempting to light it while we sheltered inside and made a brew.

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On our descent, at least the cloud lifted a little and we saw fleeting patches of sunlight on the Bay. It was actually quite striking, but sadly the photo doesn’t begin to do it justice.
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We came a slightly different way down in to Grange.

We were hoping to enjoy some lunch in a cafe near to the station which we used to bring the kids to when they were small, but were disappointed to find that they had nothing vegan on the menu for TBH. With a train imminent, and a long wait for the next one, we reluctantly had to abandon our late lunch plans. Maybe next time.

Cark to Grange with X-Ray

Cark to Grange via Cartmel

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Arnside through the train window, crossing the viaduct.

With a pretty dismal sounding forecast, we couldn’t persuade any of the younger members of the party to join us for walk from Cark to Grange. So it was only Andy, TBF and myself who caught the train from Silverdale to Cark.

I remember the walk from Cark to Cartmel being very pleasant, if perhaps unremarkable, but I don’t seem to have taken any photos until we reached Cartmel…

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The Priory gatehouse, built around 1330.
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Cartmel market cross.
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Cartmel Priory Church.

The Priory Church was built between 1190 and 1220 and was part of an Augustinian monastery, but most of the monastic buildings were destroyed after the dissolution of monasteries.

I haven’t been inside the church for far too long, and was very pleased to have a little nosey on this occasion.

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The choir stalls.
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A green man?

I took lots of photos of the amazing intricate carving in the church, but the light was very low and they didn’t come out too well.

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Looking back to Cartmel.
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Hampsfell Hospice.

Built in 1835 by George Remington, a former pastor of Cartmel Parish, Hampsfell Hospice has verses on boards around the walls inside, which make a puzzle, and on the roof, accessed by a narrow flight of stone steps, a view indicator.

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I think it was pretty windy up there on this occasion. But the forecast showers held off and the views were still quite good.

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Looking south to Humphrey Head.
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Looking North – Newton Fell.
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Looking West – How Barrow and the high moorland west of Ulverston beyond – if you click on the photo to see a larger image, you can just about pick out the wind turbines on Lowick High Common.
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Looking East – the limestone hills of home and the Kent Estuary.
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Heading down to Grange pano.
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Arnside Knott across the estuary.
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Grange Station.
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Yewbarrow and Whitbarrow Scar seen through the train window from the viaduct.
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Kent Estuary seen through the train window from the viaduct.

A terrific walk which packs a lot into its slightly more than six miles.

Cark to Grange via Cartmel

Glasson Dock and Cockersand Abbey

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Taking in the view from…Bodie Hill or Tithe Barn Hill. The road sign has one, the OS map the other.

Back to July. The Madley Massive were in town, collecting the Professor at the end of his term. Andy had the excellent idea of meeting for a walk at Glasson, seeing that the forecast wasn’t great, so that a coastal walk seemed like a sensible alternative to a soaking in the hills. I carried an umbrella, but it wasn’t needed and the weather brightened during the walk, so that we eventually had some sunshine.

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Across the Lune to Sunderland Point.
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Coattages at Crook Farm – with large anchor and….buoy?

There’s something very enticing about the paraphernalia of shipping and trawling: nets, lobster pots, anchors and such like. Is this big rusty ball a former buoy? I suppose that if metal ships can keep afloat then so can metal buoys?

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By coincidence, TBH and I had occasion to walk a short part of the Lancashire Coastal Way a couple of days ago and I was thinking how nice it would be to walk it all, or at least the part which goes around Morecambe Bay.

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Plover Scar Lighthouse.

Funny what perspective can do – I assumed that Plover Scar lighthouse was quite small, but I’ve since read that it is 8m tall. Now I’m thinking that I’d like to have a wander out, at low tide, to take a closer look. Lighthouses too are fascinating in some way. This was one of a pair which used to guide ships into the Lune Estuary. It was damaged in 2016 when it was hit by a commercial ship which was on its way into the docks at Glasson. Must be a bit embarrassing to run into a lighthouse.

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Lancashire Coastal Way, looking towards the Forest of Bowland hills.
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Approaching the remains of Cockersand Abbey.

In his post about this walk, Andy had this to say:

I’m sure when Mark gets around to posting about this walk (sometime in 2027 I think) I’m sure he’ll tell you more about it.

So: around 1180 a hermitage was built here, which soon became a hospital, then a priory and finally an abbey. It belonged, in the first instance, to Leicester Abbey, which seems quite odd, given that Leicester is quite a long way from here. When it was built, this area was marshland, so the location is a bit odd in that respect too.

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Cockersand Abbey Chapter House.

The intact building is the Chapter House, where meetings would have taken place, which was restored and refurbished and used as a mausoleum, from 1750 to 1861 by the Dalton family of nearby Thurnham Hall. The actual abbey was much more extensive than this small building would suggest. Here’s the Historic England listing.

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This track took us to a minor lane which ought to have been quiet, it being a dead-end road, but in fact there was quite a lot of traffic, presumably due to the caravan park at the end of the road.

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Lancaster Canal, Glasson Dock spur.
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The marina at Glasson.
Glasson Dock and Cockersand Abbey

Pedalling the Perimeter – A Trial Run

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So, I think I mentioned that my Mum and Dad very kindly donated their ebikes to us. We were keen to give them a go. Well, I was, I couldn’t persuade TBH of the merits at this point, so she was on Little S’s bike (she prefers it to her own bike, I think it has much lower gears), Little S was on an old bike of B’s and B was on his own bike. A is not keen on cycling and wouldn’t be persuaded to join us.

First stop, as you can see, was Arnside Prom for a pasty lunch. Actually, this was our second trip out – we’d already cycled halfway to Arnside, the day before, when I realised that the cracked pedals on my borrowed bike weren’t going to last the course. We had to return home. Fortunately, B had some spare pedals and, better yet, he fitted them for me.

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I’d been looking at the National Cycle Network and discovered that routes 700 and 90 come almost past our door, whilst 6 connects with those two to make a little loop around the Arnside and Silverdale AONB. Route 700 is the Morecambe Bay cycleway (of which more to come), 90 is a North Lancashire Loop and 6 seems to be London to the Lakes, presumably shadowing the A6?

From Arnside, we took the B road towards Milnthorpe but turned off through the grounds of Dallam Hall on a very minor little lane which took us to Beetham…

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In Beetham.
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Beetham Post Office.
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Beetham Church.

From Beetham a steep climb took us to Slackhead, followed by a long downhill, another climb over Thrang Brow and a steeper descent to Yealand Storrs.

Recognising that we were close to home, Little S deserted us at this point. Apparently, all of the up and down was a bit much for him. I have to say, had I not had the advantage of an ebike, I think I would have felt much the same way: there are a lot of ups and downs on this route, none of them very big, but in 17 miles we managed a little over 400 meters of ascent, according to MapMyWalk anyway.

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In Yealand Redmayne. A rare flatish bit.
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In Yealand Conyers, near the top of another long climb. I presume the steps were for mounting a horse?
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The small Quaker church in Yealand Conyers.
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Richard Hubberthorne fought in the Civil War, was a member of a Westmoreland religious group, the Seekers, and converted, if that’s the right term, to Quakerism after George Fox preached in the area. He wrote about his faith, and died in Newgate Prison.

More details here.

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A very successful first trip and one of many. In fact, I did much more cycling this summer than walking, so more posts of this kind to follow.

It would be pretty easy to put together a similar route, on footpaths, which would not only tour the AONB, but also take in all of the little limestone hills of the area, a walk I’ve often contemplated, but never got around to. One for the future.

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Pedalling the Perimeter – A Trial Run

A Walk from Bowland Bridge

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Across the Winster Valley to Whitbarrow Scar.

A hot Saturday afternoon, towards the end of April. TBH and I escaped for a short stroll around the Winster valley.

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Eastern Fells from Raven’s Barrow.

Raven’s Barrow isn’t really a summit, just a bump on the edge of sprawling Cartmel Fell, but it has a huge cairn (with a seat built into it) and superb, panoramic views. We found a place to get out of the wind and sat for quite some time. With a brew, of course.

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Whitbarrow from Raven’s Barrow.
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Looking South from Raven’s Barrow.
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With annotations – what do you think?
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Hmmmm – not sure that I agree.

I like the idea of footpath signs with a quote. I always like to know where quotes originate, but couldn’t track this one down. I did find this…

“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.”

…which seems to be often wrongly attributed to Emerson, but is actually the work of Muriel Strode, ‘the female Walt Whitman’, who I think may repay further investigation.

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St. Anthony’s Church.
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Whitbarrow Scar again.
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River Winster – looking South.
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River Winster – looking north.
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Raven’s Barrow from the edge of Colehowe Wood.
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Cowclose Wood.
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Cowclose Wood bluebells.
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Nearing the top of Cowclose Wood.

The bluebells in Cowclose Wood were fantastic. I’m afraid, as usual, my photos don’t begin to do them justice.

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Pool Bank.

Pool Bank is a tiny hamlet, full of charming old buildings.

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Fox’s Pulpit Pool Bank – another place where the Quaker founder preached in the open.
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Descending towards Coppy Beck accompanied by Blackthorn blossom.
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Cowmire Hall and the northern end of Whitbarrow Scar.
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The Hare and Hounds – back in Bowland Bridge.

I think the battery on my phone died at Pool Bank. From there we followed the path through Broomer Dale to near Lobby Bridge, then another path to Scale Hill, then back along the minor lane we had started on.

A Walk from Bowland Bridge

A Market, A Fire-pit, Clouds and Sunsets

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Ruskin’s View

Mid-April. Most of these photos are from a single day, which started with rugby training for B in Kirkby Lonsdale. The measures around the pandemic almost entirely wiped-out B’s final season with his age group team, although knee surgery would have kept him on the sidelines anyway. Hopefully he’ll soon be fit to join his contemporaries in the Colts team.

While he was training, I took my usual stroll by the Lune and through Kirkby. It’s unusual to see the river so clear.

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St. Mary’s churchyard, full of daffs.
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The Manor House.
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The Lune.

In the afternoon, TBH and I were out completing a circuit of Jenny Brown’s Point for a change! The sunshine was still with us, but now there were very dark and brooding skies too, a combination I find irresistible.

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Hollins Lane.
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Warton Crag and a snow-dusted Ward’s Stone across the salt-marsh.
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Warton Crag.
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Quicksand Pool and the copper-smelting chimney.
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The Bowland Fells across Quicksand Pool.
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Jenny Brown’s pano (click for larger image).

The remaining photos are from odd days during the second half of our Easter Break.

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Cove sunset.
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Huge cloud.
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Post sunset from Jack Scout.

B often does his best to present himself as a bit of a Philistine, memorably dismissing a stunning cave in the Cévennes, for example, as ‘just rocks and water’, but secretly he’s a bit of a romantic after all. He likes a good sunset and often watches them from Heysham Barrows with his school friends. I think this photo was taken on one of a couple of walks we took together in an attempt to catch the sunset from Jack Scout. We were a bit late on this occasion.

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Saturday market, Dalton Square, Lancaster.

I’m not entirely sure why I was in Lancaster, possibly due to the return of BJJ training on a Saturday morning. What I do remember was how shocked I was to see market stalls and shoppers. Although I’d been back at work for a while, Lancaster always seemed to stay resolutely quiet and traffic free.

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Washing-machine tub fire-pit.

This photos is a bit of a cheat, since it’s from March. Our washing-machine conked out, and, having replaced it, over a couple of Saturdays I dismantled the broken one and salvaged the drum to use as a fire-pit.

It wasn’t until April that we put it to use, toasting some marsh-mallows…

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TBH got a bit carried away…

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Flambéed marshmallow.

Actually, this is typical TBH cooking – she would call this ‘caramelised’.

A Market, A Fire-pit, Clouds and Sunsets

Company on Calf Top

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Uncle Fester in Barbon

The title says it all really. The restrictions were relaxed, some meeting up outdoors was allowed again – at last. So we arranged to meet in Barbon for a walk.

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Barbon Church

Despite having the least far to travel, we were, inevitably, the last to arrive. Or we would have been, had not the Yorkshire contingent parked in Barbondale, near Blindbeck Bridge I think. Somehow, for reasons I never quite fathomed, this was my fault. Not to worry, we were eventually assembled and ready to embark.

Incidentally, A had driven us to Barbon and would later drive back too. One unexpected consequence of the lockdowns has been that she hasn’t been able to have many driving lessons, so it’s fallen to me to teach her. It was a bit nerve-racking at first, but ultimately, a nice way to spend time together. Hopefully, she’ll soon manage to get a test booked.

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Waxcaps

Our route took us to the highest point in the Middleton Fells, Calf Top, and then back by the same route. (An alternative plan to drop down into Barbondale and return that way was abandoned because the sun was shining and leaving the ridge would have meant dropping into shadow, which seemed a shame.)

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Waxcaps?

The grassy, lower slopes of Eskholme Pike were decorated with lots of colourful Waxcaps. And also clumps of yellow stalks. I couldn’t decide whether they were also Waxcaps, perhaps in a more or less advanced stage of their life-cycle?

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Across the Lune Valley. Lakeland Fells on the horizon. Howgills top right.
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Thorn Moor

The Middleton Fells give easy walking, without any particularly steep climbs, and expansive views.

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TBH takes a nap. Snow-capped Lakeland Fells in the distance.
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Crag Hill.
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Professor Longhair leads the way.
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Calf Top from Castle Knott.
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Looking over Howegill Head to the distant Lakeland Fells.
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On Castle Knott.
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A negotiates a boggy bit.
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Looking back to Castle Knott.
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Crag Hill. Whernside in the background (I think).
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Nearing the top.
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The Howgills
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TBH next to the (unusually) decorated trig pillar.
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Looking down to the Lune valley.
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Retracing our steps from the top.
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Eskholme Pike
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…good place for a very belated lunch and brew.
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It would have been a good day’s walking in any circumstances, but throw in the opportunity to see friends with whom we’d missed several regular annual get-togethers, and the fact that I’d not ventured off home territory much for some months and this became a really special day out. When we said our goodbyes, we agreed not to wait too long before we met for another walk.

Company on Calf Top