Date - 1st April 2010 Distance - 6.5 miles
Ascent - 1200ft
Map - OL6
Start point - Layby on A5092 opposite Farmer's Arms (SD 302850)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Lowick Beacon 692 211 SD 1860 8393


Preface & Route

Allen & Grizzly were sitting staring out of the window, looking very glum.

"Whatever is the matter", said Shaun, who had just trotted in with Little Eric riding on his back.

"This winter seems never ending. The hills are blanketed with snow again, and we wonder if it will be fit to go walking this week", replied Allen, mournfully.

Little Eric piped up, "there is not any snow at lower levels, and I have seen Dad scrutinising the weather forecasts for later in the week."

"Here comes Tetley, in a rush, so maybe he will have some news for us", called out Shaun.

"Good news Lads", said Tetley breathlessly. "Dad has just spoken to Uncle Eric and they have arranged to walk on Thursday as the weather promises to be good."

"Hooray", called out Allen & Grizzly, the glum looks having been replaced with smiles

"Where are we going?, asked Shaun.

"To walk in the area around Lowick Common", replied Tetley who had been doing his homework on the route. "It was originally published in the Westmorland Gazette, after those terrible floods in November 2009, when many footpaths were impassable. It will be mostly on narrow quiet side roads, but there is the promise of good views and not a little interest too."

Here is a map of the route -

From the layby we take a narrow road to the cluster of buildings at Wood End, then along a track to Beck Bottom and the road. This we leave shortly to climb the prominent hill, Lowick Beacon, to the right. Descending we reach another road/farm track passing eventually Bark House. Crossing the main road we follow the lane to pass by pretty Lowick Church, the graveyard a blaze of colour with spring flowers. The lane then comes to Lowick Bridge where we cross the River Crake, and turning right follow the lane to the village of Spark Bridge, where it is just a short walk uphill to the start.


The Walk

Thursday dawned, and we were up and ready in good time, Tetley helping Grizzly to make the sandwiches for our lunch, which were then packed safely into Allen's rucksack.

As we heard Dad getting his kit into the car, we rushed out and settled on the front seat ready for the off. The road we took was a familiar one along the A590 under Whitbarrow Scar to finally turn off at Greenodd.

"I wish I had a pound for all the times we have driven this route", remarked Grizzly.

"Absolutely", replied Shaun.

It was not long before we arrived at the start, a layby, that was once the actual road until some improvement was done. Uncle Eric was already there.

"Good morning Uncle Eric", called out Allen. "We are looking forward to having your company on the walk."

"Hello lads, nice to see you."

Dad hurried to get ready and we jumped into the rucksack and settled down.

Shaun instructed, "we walk south a few yards and then take the lane right to Wood End."

This climbed passing the now derelict Methodist church. "How sad and forlorn it looks", commented Tetley. "the slates are starting to come off the roof, which will hasten its decline."

Dad and Uncle Eric were to learn later from Sam at the Hat Trick Cafe, that when it closed it had been bought by a person who wanted to turn it into a house, but had been refused planning. For whatever reason, we did not think that this was a very good decision.

Continuing along the lane we soon reached the houses at Wood End.

"Wow", cried Allen. "Just look at that stunning view of the Coniston Fells. The summits of Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man are covered in cloud, while the sun shines on Swirl How and Wetherlam."

The metalled road ended here, Shaun saying, "we continue along that muddy track."

Here Uncle Eric strides out between the enclosing substantial stone walls.

This led down to Beck Bottom where there is a farm and cluster of houses. Behind these runs the pretty Otley Beck. "That will make a nice picture of the beck sparkling in the sunshine", said Allen.

Beyond the buildings the lane climbed slightly to a narrow road.

"Where to now?, asked Little Eric.

Tetley replied, "we turn left along this road for about a mile, below and then round that hill to the right, which is called Lowick Beacon."

Allen piped up, "it would be nice if we could climb that, as it would make the walk more interesting, and there is a clear path leading to the summit."

" Yes", agreed Tetley, "especially as we will end up back on the published walk after descending on the other side."

"Uncle Eric, Dad, can we climb over the hill", implored Shaun.

"Yes", they both replied in unison.

"Hooray", shouted Grizzly.

So instead after a short distance on the road we took a path right that meandered over the rough terrain towards Lowick Beacon. Soon a small tarn was passed.

Shaun consulted the map. "Somewhat unsurprisingly it is called Beacon Tarn."

"Very pretty", said Little Eric. "That small clump of daffodils in the foreground will add a little extra to the picture."

Then striding purposefully on, we soon reached Lowick Beacon summit at the modest height of just under 700ft, and stared in awe at the stupendous views.

"Stunning again of the Coniston Fells, now all clear of cloud, with part of Coniston Water", called out Grizzly.

Looking east Tetley said, "amazing too, of Red Screes, Caudale Moor and the Kentmere Horseshoe, all blanketed in snow."

The other important matter to attend to here, was to record our achievement of this hill, Little Eric saying, "come on pals let's sit by the summit rock for our picture."

Then we snuggled down again, and Shaun directed, "we have to head to a stile at the wall corner."

From there the descent continued over rough ground.

"Aww look that ewe has a totally black lamb", pointed Tetley

"Huh", grumped Allen. "I was hoping to avoid sheep pictures."

Ahead we saw a herd of cows, Uncle Eric saying, "I would prefer to deviate a little to avoid them."

Now above the buildings of Nettleslack, the route drifted right to the narrow road, where Shaun said, "turn right."

This took us past the buildings of Knapperthaw, and to a junction, where Shaun once again directed, "it's right here."

Strolling the delightful hedged road, we passed Bark House, former farm buildings that have been tastefully converted into houses. Then on to pass the houses at Wood Gate.

"Another superb view of the Coniston Fells", called out Grizzly. "We have been so blessed to have these wonderful views today."

Soon we reached the main A5092 road, which we crossed carefully to continue on the narrow road opposite. This led to St Lukes Church, Lowick. A fine building with a square tower.

Looking at some notes, Grizzly said, "the church dates from 1865. The 5-bay nave has lancet windows alternating with weathered
buttresses. The 2-bay chancel has a gabled organ loft with buttresses, quatrefoil south window and an early 19th century wall sundial from a previous church. The tower has weathered angle buttresses and lancets; a gabled south porch; paired louvered bell openings, embattled parapet and pyramidal roof with weather vane. There is a stair turret to north side. It carries grade II listed status."

"Thank you pal", replied Tetley.

In the churchyard was a mass of crocus & daffodils. "What a lovely spring sight!", cheered Little Eric.

Dad and Uncle Eric spent quite a while taking pictures, so we were able to appreciate fully the pretty scene. Then, taking a last lingering look, we walked on to come to the Red Lion pub at Lowick Bridge.

"We cross the A5084, and then along the road opposite", said Shaun.

This shortly brought us to the the bridge over the River Crake, that today was flowing swiftly. Tetley said, "it starts from Coniston Water and runs for about six miles into Morecambe Bay."

Immediately beyond, Shaun instructed, "we go right."

This quiet road passed Bridgefield. "Another former farm that has been converted to houses", commented Allen.

The fields were full of sheep and lambs, two of which were sitting together. "they are just asking to be photographed", said Little Eric.

"Hmm", huffed Allen. "But I have to admit they look so cute."

After more ups and downs the road led into the village of Spark Bridge, where we recrossed the river and climbed to the main road to regain the start.

"What a lovely adventure", said Tetley.

"And a completely new area explored too", added Allen.

"And as I said before, blessed with such wonderful views today", said Grizzly.

"I have enjoyed it very much", said Uncle Eric.

Refreshment time now so Dad and Uncle Eric went to the Hat Trick Cafe at Low Newton, run by Jane and Sam.

The great thing was that we, with our pals Barnaby, Lee, Grizedale & Ginger, went in too.

Dad made this his main meal having a delicious bacon lettuce and tomato toasted sandwich, followed by apple, prune & almond crumble with cream, It looked, and was, Dad said delicious as always.

Even before Dad had ordered his main course, Jane said, "I can see you are already looking at the pudding board."

What a reputation!!


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