WHITBARROW from MILL SIDE

 


Summary

Date - 29th March 2009 Distance - 7 miles
Map - OL7 Start point - On old road at Mill Side (SD 451 840)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Lord's Seat on Whitbarrow 706 215 SD 4418 8705

 

The Walk

Three weeks earlier Dad had been waiting just a few minutes at Levens, for Uncle Eric to arrive. It was a nice morning so he got his camera out and snapped this shot.

"What’s that", we asked.

"Whitbarrow", replied Dad.

"I have not climbed that", complained Allen, "and you promised to do Grizzly and my outstanding Outlying Fells, so that we can all complete them together."

So I was very happy when today Dad said he was taking me and the rest of STAG to climb this fell.

Whitbarrow is not very high but large in area and dominates the A590, Barrow Road. We started from Mill Side, where the end of the fell rears up high above.

Allen said, "however will we get up there".

Much to Allen’s relief, Shaun replied " there are zigzagging paths in the woods that will easily get us up"

So off we went along the road and hardly had we gone any distance, when we saw this huge bear standing guard at the entrance to a house.

He just stands there day after day, and we reflected how lucky we were to be able to go on all these adventures.

Soon a signpost came into view and here Dad took the track as directed. This led through Low Fell End Farm, and then on into the woods. The path climbed steadily to reach a wide forest road, where we turned right. Soon a house came into view and here Dad spotted the indistinct path climbing steeply left. After a while this levelled off and reached another track. Going right this soon led to a seat where there was a fine view over the estuary. Here we turned sharp right to follow a track that eventually was to lead us to the wide top of the scar. However this was not before Dad had to perform a limbo act to get past a fallen tree.

Eventually, all of a sudden we exited the woods and the wide expanse of Whitbarrow was spread before us. We were now in the part called Farrer’s Allotment, the cairn ahead being our first objective.

Allen said, "Dad, is that the top?"

"No Lad, there is still a long way to go yet", Dad replied.

Despite that he did take our picture at the cairn. This area is limestone as you can see from the rocks.

A line of further cairns beside the wide path marked out the route ahead, as the path undulated up and down. Dad kept to the path and did not go near the edge. We were very glad too, as there are dangerous and sheer crags.

As we walked along we spotted a large building below. "What’s that?" asked Grizzly.

Dad replied, "it is Witherslack Hall, a private school. We will get a much closer view of it later in the walk."

Soon we reached an impressive wall with a stile allowing access through it.

This marks the boundary of what is called the Hervey Nature Reserve. The Lake District Naturalists’ Trust was formed in 1962 largely as a result of the efforts of Canon G A K Hervey. After his death in 1967 an inspired proposal to acquire Flodder Allotment as a memorial to him was brought to fruition. This area includes Lord’s Seat, which is the highest part of Whitbarrow. The area was declared a nature reserve in 1969. A visible recognition of the Canon’s services to the Trust being accorded by a tablet built into the fine new cairn at Lord’s Seat.

 

The tablet reads -

This Reserve

Commemorates

CANON G A K HERVEY

1893-1967

Founder of the

Lake District Naturalists’ Trust

"Thanks", said Allen. "That is another catch up done".

We had not seen another soul up to then, but suddenly there were people approaching from all directions, so Dad got our picture just in time. He kindly took another picture for a couple on their camera. We sat nearby on some limestone rocks eating our sandwiches, while looking at the wonderful view over the Winster Valley and towards our beloved Lakeland Fells.

All too soon it was time to set off again so we hopped into Dad’s rucksack, and headed down, to come beside and follow a wall to reach a stile, over which we were on open fell again. Soon we turned left, and followed the path as it re-crossed the wall and then descended steeply past an old mining level and spoil heaps.

The path brought us to a gate, beyond which the narrow path zigzagged steeply down the fell. It eventually levelled out, continuing as a wider track through the woodland to a narrow quiet road. Turning left we were now to follow this for about a mile and a quarter. Fairly soon we spotted this signpost, that made us laugh as it seemed to us to be contradictory.

We were rather smug, but Dad soon pointed out the error of our ways when he showed us the map. We then humbly admitted that the sign was quite correct, as there are in fact three parts to Low Wood, namely Low, Middle and High. Well that’s us put in our place!

Continuing along the road we approached some buildings and then to our left spotted Witherslack Hall that we mentioned earlier. It really is an impressive place.

Soon the road did a double bend, and just before this, set in the wall, was this post box. At first glance it looked to have been installed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but on closer inspection we saw that in fact it dated from the reign of Edward VII.

As we walked along to our left Whitbarrow towered up and we could see again those precipitous crags.

We took a bridleway on the left, this pleasant path eventually leading into Beck Side. Here the road was followed to Mill Side with its charming duck pond.

Just a short walk now returned us to the car. Although we had not been very high we had still enjoyed wonderful views and learnt quite a lot about the area. Thanks Dad!

As we drove off we called out "home is left not right", but soon realised that of course Dad was off in search of refreshment at Jane and Sam’s, Hat Trick Café.

It is a wonderfully cosy place with all sorts of interesting things to look at, from the wonderful clocks to the many pictures and the amazing array of hats. It is called the Hat Trick Café because it is the third such business that Jane and Sam have run.

Here is Jane

And here we are with our friends Citroen and Dougal.

Dad enjoyed their magnificent club sandwich (a three-decker). We do not know how he managed to finish it. We were a little surprised when he then went on to have gorgeous apple crumble and cream, although Sam was not. It goes without saying that he had a few cups of tea. Needless to say he did not need much more food that day. Dad and Uncle Brian come here regularly, so it comes highly recommended. A link to their own website can be found on the Tea Stops page.

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