Preface - Langdale Goes Skiing



Date - 27th December 2009 Distance - 9 miles
Map - OL7/OL41 Start point - Kellet Road, Carnforth (SD 500706)


Preface - Langdale Goes Skiing

We were in the grip of some cold and wintry weather. Even in Morecambe, where we hardly get any snow, one morning we had woken up to find about three inches had fallen. This prompted our Lakeland Bear pal, Langdale, to get his skis on and take advantage of it.

"I'm having a great time", Langdale called out to his friends Ruskin and Beatrix, who had come out to watch.

Just after Dad had snapped his photo, his friend Ruskin, while walking over, stumbled and fell in the snow.

"Oops a daisy, are you all right ", said Langdale

"Yes I am fine apart from a rather wet nose and face", replied Ruskin, picking himself up and posing with Langdale and Beatrix.

Beatrix then went off to check on her flock of sheep, while Ruskin continued to watch Langdale enjoying himself.

It was as well Langdale took advantage, as even though it snowed lightly again a couple of days later, by Boxing Day it had nearly all melted away. Dad wanted to get some fresh air and exercise, so we were pleased when he told us late that evening that we were going to walk tomorrow.

"Where are we going?", asked Grizzly.

"I have decided to do a country walk from Carnforth, as it is not far to drive to the start, so we won't have to be up at the crack of dawn", Dad replied.

"Haven't we done that before?", said Tetley, who has a good memory of past adventures.

"Yes, four years ago, but it is a nice walk, and the nine miles will do me the power of good", said Dad.

"That was before I was born", piped up Little Eric, "so at least it will be new to me."


The Walk

Sunday dawned, and after breakfast, Dad got his kit together and loaded it into the boot of the car. This was our cue to trot out and settle on the front seat. Carnforth is just a few miles away, so it took about fifteen minutes to get there. It is a small town straggling the A6, once the main road north to Scotland, before the M6 was built. Unremarkable, it is perhaps most famous for its railway station, where many scenes from the classic film 'Brief Encounter' were shot. By the 1990's the station had fallen into disrepair, and was in danger of being demolished. However a group of determined volunteers got together to campaign against this and get the station restored with a visitor centre recounting its history. Also celebrating the filming of Brief Encounter, in particular the faithfully restored Refreshment Room. It just goes to show what people power can do. More information can be found by clicking the following link.

Our start point was just up from the station at a car park on Kellet Road, that was slippy with ice, so Dad exercised great care while getting his boots on etc. We jumped in the rucksack, and got settled, before Dad shouldered this and set off up the road to the bridge over the canal. Here we went down the slope and joined the towing path, which on this particular stretch was ice bound. By hanging on to the fence Dad negotiated this section on to ice free path.

Onwards now heading north, and soon passing under one of the many graceful stone arched bridges. This is bridge 129.

Shortly after this the canal is crossed by the M6 motorway. This is a modern concrete structure, that is functional, but completely lacks any style compared to the graceful bridges such as no. 129.

For most of the section that we walked beside, the canal was frozen hard, which was hardly surprising. This did give Dad the opportunity to capture this rather unusual shot of the reeds and trees reflected in the ice.

Due to the ice, we did not see a single barge or boat plying its way along, so we got our paws busy and searched Dad's archive for pictures taken when we last did this walk on 1st January 2006. We found this one he took of a barge plying the canal and decided to include it. It was obviously another calm day then as there are excellent reflections.

Just a little further along a seat had been placed by the Lancaster Canal Trust in memory of a Geoffrey Allen. We thought that this was an appropriate place to have our picture taken, especially as the gentleman's surname is shared with one of our group.

After about another mile we reached Capernwray, where we left the canal, and walked through the farmyard to the road, then going left until a stile over the wall on the right was reached. Here we crossed half right to the trees. Then two stiles either side of a track, allowed progress alongside the trees to a corner, where we turned left and on beside them. A stile in the fence ahead was climbed, and heading slightly right over the brow another fence and stile was crossed. Now we descended to a tree girt rocky hummock, cutting through this to a metal ladderstile.

If you look carefully following a line roughly from the waymark arrow on the post you might just make out the next distant waymarker and beyond that the buildings that are part of the village of Over Kellet. This was our objective, reached via a lane after we had crossed the large pasture to and beyond the waymark. Over Kellet has a pretty green at its centre, with a number of seats. We all took advantage of one of these to sit and have our sandwiches. However we did not sit too long as we soon began to get chilled.

Our route now lay through some of the woods seen distantly in this picture. First we walked along the road towards Nether Kellet, leaving it soon, just before the building that was the old school, to climb a steep bank and on up over the fields and into the woods, where initially the path was still covered with snow.

This path led unerringly for some distance meandering through the woods. All the time to the right hidden from view were the workings of two quarries. Dad took us up to the viewpoint of the second one so we could see just how huge it is.

The path then took us in front of the office buildings, and along beside the road, to then follow a path on the other side into the village of Nether Kellet. Walked through the village and out over the M6 motorway.

The cars were rushing along on journeys to who knows where, but Dad was glad to be with us on the walk, where we were unhurried and free from cares. Immediately over the bridge, we took the track right, and in fifty yards another good track left. At its end then we descended over pastures to another track. Here going left to pass some houses and come to a crossroads going right on a good track. This took us past Mount Pleasant, house and farm, and then finally down again to the canal on the southern outskirts of Carnforth. Crossed it at the bridge, then walked north to the start. The sunlight was catching the trees with a dark bank of cloud behind, just above which we could see the moon.

"That will make a good picture", remarked Grizzly.

"I agree", replied Dad getting the camera out yet again.

Well that was to be our last walk in 2009, and we reflected on a good year of adventures, and a number of milestones reached. Grizzly completing his Wainwrights, and us all completing the Outlying Fells. Not least too, the number of outstanding Birkett tops had been reduced by about 50%. We look forward to many more adventures in 2010.

We can only say, "thank you Dad, once again for taking us!"


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