WHITBARROW from MILL SIDE

Celebrating Shaun's 24th birthday in 2021


Summary

Date - 29th March 2009 & 22nd February 2021 Distance - 7 miles
Ascent - 1040ft
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

 

Foreword

After nearly 12 years we revisited this summit. The country is in lockdown due to Covid, so we cannot travel too far from home. Our pal Southey was very pleased as he alone had not been to the summit. Dad took the camera, and as it was a mostly sunny day, like in 2009, was able to get some good pictures. So, we are able to enhance the account with some of the photographs. The majority of the narrative relates to the walk in 2009. We hope you like our augmented account.

 

Preface

Three weeks earlier, we had been waiting with Dad just few minutes at Levens Bridge, for Uncle Eric to arrive.

It was a nice morning so he got his camera out and snapped this shot.

"What are you photographing?", asked Little Eric.

Tetley was quick with the answer, "Whitbarrow Scar, pal."

"We drive past it every time we use the A590 to get to the start of walks", said Allen. "Little Eric and I have not climbed it. You promised to do mine and Grizzly's outstanding Outlying Fells, so that we can all complete then together."

"It would also help me to maybe in the future complete that challenge", added Little Eric.

"I know lad, and I promise, soon to take you to the summit", replied Dad.


It was a couple of weeks later when Shaun and Grizzly came in, to find Allen and Little Eric hunched over the laptop.

"What are you on with pals?, asked Grizzly.

"Looking at the pictures Dad took last Sunday on the walk with Uncle Bob from Settle. They have come out ok and should illustrate our story well", replied Allen.

"It was very windy", said Shaun, "I don't know quite how we hung in for Dad to take our summit pictures, even with the rucksack as a windbreak."

"I really thought I would blow away", said Little Eric. "I was always glad to get back in the rucksack."

Allen looked up, saying "you bring tea and biscuits. Thanks pals. You know I am always ready for tea."

"Of course, tea belly", laughed Grizzly.

Soon we had steaming mugs in paw, and were dipping in the biscuit tin. "Heaven", said Allen.

Little Eric was just about to take a another biscuit, when he paused, saying, "where's Tetley? He may not be as much a tea belly as you Allen, but would never want to miss out."

"Not sure", replied Shaun. "Though I think I saw him talking with Dad."

Minutes later, Tetley came dashing into the room. "I bring news of the next walk, which will please you Allen and Little Eric."

"Have your tea first", replied Allen. "I can wait."

So after a little while, Tetley gave us the news. "Uncle Bob is not free this coming weekend, but nevertheless we are going for a walk. He as told me that we are to climb Whitbarrow Scar."

"Oh that's just great", cheered Allen. "Little Eric and I have waited a long time to tick it off."

"Yippee", called out Little Eric, and raising his mug said, "here's to the best Dad ever."

 

The Walk

Whitbarrow, although not very high is large in area and dominates the A590, Barrow Road.

As we drove from home, Little Eric said, "where to we start from?"

Shaun replied, "Mill Side, where the end of the fell rears up high above."

As Dad got ready, Allen looked up saying, "however will we get up there?"

Much to Allen’s relief, Tetley replied " there are zigzagging paths in the woods that will easily get on to the top."

So off we went along the road and hardly had we gone any distance, when Grizzly called out, "look at that huge bear standing guard at the entrance to that house."

"He just stands there day after day" said Allen. "How fortunate we are that Dad takes us on all these adventures."

"We are blessed", agreed Tetley.

Passing in 2021, he was no longer there, Grizzly saying, "he's gone walkabout."

Coming to a track, Shaun said, "that's our route to and through Low Fell End Farm."

Beyond the buildings, we went left to a gate into the woods, the path climbing steadily to a wide forest road.

"It's right", instructed Shaun. Soon a house came into view and Shaun said, "we take an indistinct path climbing steeply left, just around here."

"There", pointed Grizzly.

By 2021 the route had been changed. The land through which the path goes is private and the access is permissive. At the forest road a waymark now points left. Then in a few hundred yards, the path up the fell is off to the right, climbing quite steeply.

After a while this levelled off and came to another track. "Turn right", advised Shaun. "Then soon we will come to a seat."

On the February day, Southey said, "come on pals, let's have our picture here."

We then sat a few minutes with Dad looking out at the fine view across Foulshaw Moss and the estuary of the River Kent.

"We take the path climbing left", pointed Shaun. "This will eventually led us to the top of the scar."

Along this a tree had fallen. "Oh dear", pointed Tetley. "Looks like it is limbo time, Dad."

This obstacle behind us, Dad climbed on and all of a sudden we exited the woods and the wide expanse of Whitbarrow was spread before us.

"Wow", called out Little Eric. "I would not have thought the top was so expansive."

"This part is called Farrer’s Allotment", said Grizzly. Then looking to the distance he said, "the fells in view are, from the left, Helvellyn, Dollywagon Pike and the Fairfield Horseshoe."

"That was to be my next question", replied Little Eric. "Thank you."

"We head for that cairn", pointed Shaun.

Allen said, "is that the top?"

"No pal, there is still a long way to go yet."

"Despite it not being the summit, will you still take our picture at the cairn?", asked Tetley.

"Of course lads."

This area is limestone as you can see from the rocks. Grizzly remarked, "Whitbarrow literally means 'the white hill' from the limestone.

Back in the rucksack, and looking ahead, Grizzly said, "there is no doubting the route. Just following those line of cairns beside the wide path."

Dad kept on the path across the undulating ground. "I'm glad you are keeping away from the edge, as there are dangerous and sheer crags", commented Little Eric.

"That's Chapel House Scar", pointed Tetley. "And in the distance we can see the Langdale Pikes."

As we strolled on Allen asked, "what is that large building below the crags?"

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

After dropping the path climbed again, "that Scots Pine will make a nice shot against the blue sky", suggested Little Eric.

Then soon passing these limestone outcrops...

...the path led on to this impressive wall with a stone step stile allowing access through it.

Grizzly said, "in 1815 the Heversham enclosure award resulted in the division of the Lyth Valley and Whitbarrow into allotments. On Whitbarrow these were named after the farms or people to whom they were apportioned. Hence Farrers', Flodder and Township. This wall marks the boundary between Farrer's Allotment and Flodder Allotment. This latter 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.

Over the wall, Dad strode on, and soon we arrived at the summit. Grizzly told us, "as a recognition of the Canon’s services to the Trust, a tablet was 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

"Thank you pal for explaining all about this area", said Allen. "And thank you Dad for bringing me here. That is another catch up done."

In 2021 it was Southey's turn to say, "thank you. I have added to my summit total."

We had not seen another soul up to then, but suddenly there were people approaching from all directions.

"You got our picture just in time", laughed Tetley.

A couple approached the cairn, and Dad said, "would you me to take your picture here."

"That would be very kind", said the gentleman handing his camera to Dad.

"Lunch time?", said Allen hopefully.

"Yes lad, let's sit on those rocks over there."

While we had our sandwiches and cake, we looked out at the wonderful view over the Winster Valley and towards our beloved Lakeland Fells.

"Breathtaking", said Little Eric.

By what seemed a strange coincidence in 2021 we again had the summit to ourselves, but as soon as Dad had taken our picture, people began arriving from all directions. Dad had again sat by some rocks for a break and we had gathered round to have our sandwiches etc.

Two ladies spotted us so Dad had to explain and told them our names. They asked if they could take our picture. "Of course", replied Dad. "They are never shy."

After a poor start to the day in 2021, the weather improved dramatically so again there were fine views. We include a few pictured below.

First this of the Fairfield Horseshoe and Red Screes...

...then the Langdale Pikes, Pavey Ark and High Raise...

...and finally Caudale Moor and the Kentmere Horseshoe.

All too soon however, it was time to set off again, so we hopped into Dad’s rucksack. "We head down to that wall, and keep by it to the corner", instructed Shaun.

There, seeing the ladderstile, Little Eric said, "is the route over that?"

"No pal", replied Shaun. "We just turn left beside the wall."

The path, gentle a first, began to descend more steeply becoming narrow and covered in stones.

"What is that?", asked Little Eric.

"An old mining level, according to Wainwright", replied Shaun.

The path led to a gate, beyond which the narrow path zig-zagged even more steeply down the fell. As well as the loose stone the ground was damp, so Dad took his time and was very careful on this section.

It eventually levelled out, Allen saying, "phew, thank goodness that section is over. It was a bit hairy at times."

"Aye lad. I really could have done with my stick."

The path now continued as a wider track through the woodland to a narrow quiet road.

"Turn left here and then we will follow the road for about a mile and a quarter", advised Shaun.

Fairly soon we spotted this signpost. We all laughed, Allen saying, "it seems to be contradictory."

We were rather smug, although we noted that Shaun had not laughed. Showing us the map, Shaun said, "the sign is quite correct. There are three parts to Low Wood, namely Low, Middle and High."

"Well", said Grizzly, "that’s us put in our place!"

Continuing along the road we approached some buildings and then to our left Grizzly pointed, "that's Witherslack Hall that we saw from the top of the scar. It really is an impressive place."

Almost immediately the road did a double bend, and just before this, set in the wall, is this post box. Glancing Grizzly said, "it dates from the reign Queen Elizabeth II."

But peering closer, Little Eric corrected him saying, "no pal, it is actually from the reign of King Edward VII."

The view opened up to the left and we could see the precipitous crags on Whitbarrow.

Strolling on Southey pointed, "aww there's some Herdwicks. Our favourite sheep."

Fairly soon a bridleway branched left. "That's our route", said Shaun. "It will lead us to Beck Head."

As we passed the buildings we spotted this sign.

Tetley said, "I remember that from 2009. It was open, but Dad did not call as we were going afterwards to Sam & Jane's. We passed some children who asked if we had been to the cafe. They were disappointed when Dad said no. Of course it is closed now due to Covid restrictions."

"Had it been open I still would not be able to buy anything as I have no money with me", commented Dad.

At Beck Head, Allen commented, "that's a pretty scene. The water comes out from under that small limestone cliff."

Joining the road we strolled passing this White Park cattle. "An impressive beast", said Grizzly.

Then very soon this brought us to Mill Side with its charming duck pond.

By the junction Little Eric called out, "there's the post box. Please take a picture."

Turning left here Dad strolled on to the car.

"That has been a super walk", said Grizzly.

"Yes", agreed Allen. "Wonderful views and we have learnt quite a lot about the area."

"Thank you Dad", as always added Shaun.

As we drove off in 2009, Tetley called out, "home is left not right." But almost immediately he realised Dad was off in search of refreshment, "You are going to Jane and Sam’s, Hat Trick Café."

"Correct lad."

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.

In 2021, Shaun said, "thanks Dad, I have enjoyed today and it had been a nice way to celebrate my birthday."

We should qualify that Shaun's birthday is actually on Wednesday 24th, which was to be a wet day, so hence the slightly earlier celebration.

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