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ENVIRONS of the KETTLES BECK, from HARDEN BRIDGE

 


Summary

Date - 27th May 2012 Distance - 9.75 miles
Ascent -
1000ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Harden Bridge (SD 7624 6780)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

"With Dad and Uncle Brian having been on holiday in Northumberland, it's two weeks since we walked", remarked Shaun, as he poured the tea.

"They had really poor weather. Rain, and it was cold too, but now like turning a switch, it is suddenly hot and sunny this week", added Allen.

"Such is the British weather", sighed Tetley.

"Thanks", said Allen accepting the steaming mug of tea, then grabbing the iPad, he quickly navigated to the Met Office app. "It's set to continue through the weekend too."

"Well I'm sure Dad will take us out on Sunday, so that Uncle Brian can watch the Monaco GP in peace?", said Grizzly.

"The question is where to go?" said Little Eric. "It will be hot work on the fells, and no doubt busy too, so perhaps we can find a low level walk."

"We could do another circle from Harden Bridge", said Shaun getting the appropriate map. "We will have to walk to Lanshaw Farm again, but then we can spur west and south in circle as far out as Israel Farm, returning via High Birks etc. The last part will have to be along lanes, as going on north would mean walking back along the busy A65, which is not to be recommended."

"Not spectacular, but there should be nice views of Ingleborough" said Tetley, as he followed Shaun round with the highlight pen to mark the route.

"Have you finished your tea, Allen?, he then asked.

"Yes pal,"

"Right then, here's the map, off you go and see if Dad is happy to do this route."

"Why don't you go for a change?", asked Allen.

"Because as I have said before you are the most persuasive", replied Tetley.

"OK", he said resignedly, as he trotted out of the room.

"I'll pour him another mug of tea for his trouble", said Shaun.

Allen soon returned, with a smile on his face. "It's on" he announced, gratefully accepting the tea.

"I'll bet the fact that Elaine's Tearoom is near the start, helped to make up Dad's mind too?", remarked Grizzly.

"Precisely", replied Allen.

The Walk

As the day promised to be very warm, Dad did not want to hurry, but yet wanted to get finished before the hottest part of the day. The plan was therefore to start walking no later than 09.30. So, we were up and ready for the off about 08.15, and calling a goodbye to Uncle Brian, dashed out and settled in the car. Dad could almost do the drive with his eyes shut, as this is the way to Elaine's Tearoom, that almost without fail, he and Uncle Brian visit each Monday. The parking area lies just across the old Harden Bridge, long replaced by a new and wider once just adjacent.

Dad did not waste any time getting ready, and with us settled safely in his rucksack, we set off crossing carefully the busy A65, to walk along Orcaber Lane, as we had done previously. A sign at the start told us we were entering the Forest of Bowland.

"We have to repeat the previous walk from here, as far as Lanshaw Farm", said Shaun. "So we need to walk along until we get to the access track to Gayclops, and follow along this, going ahead where it turns left".

"Over that awkward stile", added Tetley.

This can be seen in the picture below, looking back along the access to Gayclops. The stile was constructed as a stone step stile in the wall, but it is the addition of the fence that has made it awkward to cross from the access track.

As before, we now crossed the fields to Lanshaw Farm. Here again the lapwings were flying over, and we all thought of Uncle Brian as he loves to see and hear these birds.

Entering the grounds via a gate, Shaun called out, "we need to go right."

"That will be along the access road", replied Allen.

This brought us to our first encounter with the Kettles Beck, crossing it by a small bridge then walking along with it to the left, to Eldroth Road, where the beck is crossed by the unsurprisingly named Kettlesbeck Bridge.

"Right here, then soon left on Cragg Lane", Shaun called out.

The lane crossed the railway and then after a few hundred yards, Shaun said, "we go left here through this gate".

It was a good job that he was following the map, as although this is a footpath, it was unsigned.

The cart track curved right to a gate at a fence corner, then descended to some buildings. The map showed the route was off to the right up to a gate, but we think it is now probably through the buildings. Whatever both led on along the cart track to another gate.

The paths divided here and Little Eric asked, "which way now Shaun?".

"Left down to the ford and footbridge, on the Kettles Beck", he replied.

As so often happens, it was sods law that a herd of cows were standing in the ford, and also blocking access to the bridge. However they moved away as we approached, and otherwise did not bother us, except to follow inquisitively. Crossed the field diagonally now to the gap stile, seen clearly in the wall, where there was a sign reading - bull in field. While there were certainly more cows, we did not see any bull. Passed through another gate, and on to Holm House, the path being to its left over a stile and through a gate to the track, then on over the stile opposite into a large pasture, where we walked along by the wall. There were some pretty flowers growing here, and Dad took a picture for us. We think it is called Cuckoo Flower or Lady's Smock. However we will stand to be corrected by more learned readers!

"Beyond the rise, we will need to drift a little way left from the wall, according to the map", said Shaun.

Well route finding presented no problem, as looking down we could see the field bridge, then the stiles in the two cross walls. Beyond the way led up to Lingthwaite, and through the gate in the wall on right into grounds, and along the access track to the road, beside which was the old milk churn stand.

"I'm going to make another stop to have a drink, and also a sandwich", said Dad.

"Ooh good", replied Allen, I was getting a little hungry."

"Me too", added Grizzly.

"Before we set off again, this will make a good place for us to have our picture taken", said Tetley.

Immediately across the road was a track, with two iron gates bearing the name Chapman Bank. "That's our route", said Shaun. "We do not go to Chapman Bank as such, but climb ahead up the rough ground where the track turns left."

As we began the climb, Tetley called out, "there are good views here of Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough."

Dad took two shots, and yes they are a little hazy, but they do accurately reflect the visibility today.

First unmistakably Pen-y-ghent (2278ft),

and now Ingleborough (2373ft).

These, together with Whernside (2416ft), form what is known as the Three Peaks. A fell race takes place over these each year, usually the last weekend in April. The course is some 23 miles, the all time record being 2hrs 30mins.

A narrow trod climbed above a tiny valley with its beck, which higher up we had to cross. Suddenly we all had that feeling we were being watched, and there on the ridge, were these sheep standing sentinel.

Climbing left, we came by the wall and shortly the gate we had seen on the skyline, into the next field. Then crossed the corner of this field and through a tumbled wall to descend to the buildings of Israel Farm. A somewhat intriguing name as the other properties close by merely reflect the name of the beck. Some of the buildings had or were being converted to dwellings, so as a consequence the route of the right of way was not now so clear. The simplest way was to keep right of the wall, passing the farmhouse, and then on down towards the ravine of the Kettles Beck bordered by these lovely trees.

"We do not go all the way down, but turn right soon and head across the pastures to that house called East Kettlesbeck", called out Shaun.

This brought us to a gate in the boundary wall and through this into the garden. No signs pointed the way, and after a bit of wandering about along the pathways, one ending abruptly with a vertical drop into the ravine, we went through another gate and then over the step stile in the boundary wall to escape.

Suddenly now waymarks abounded, and our way was clearly over the stile in the fence on the left and down to the beck, crossing by the new footbridge. The old stone and cobbled one was adjacent. This with the trees and flowers made for a very pretty scene,

and within a taped off area this swathe of bluebells.

"How lovely", sighed Grizzly.

The clear path zigzagged up to the right of High Kettlesbeck, then over a stile, and in a very short distance went sharp left to a gate to the access track.

"It's right here, then left at the junction.", said Shaun.

"I can see the signpost by it", called out Allen.

So, having come from Kettlesbeck, we now headed to Cragg Lane. The path was by a fence on the left, and almost immediately by a gate some young cows inquisitively jostled to eye us up.

Well it makes a change from sheep!

Then soon we took the gate in the fence, to continue on ahead now with the it to the right and an area of felled woodland on the left. The fence became a wall as we neared the junction, to join Cragg Lane again, but further up.

"What are those birds with the long beak, sitting on the wall"?, asked Little Eric.

"Curlews", replied Tetley.

Suddenly they took flight, making their distinctive cry as they circled overhead, to then land in the field.

"How I wish that Uncle Brian could be here", said Allen, "he would love to see them."

Turned right to march along Cragg Lane, and come to a recently converted barn, where it was left along the concreted access to High Birks, the owner conveniently being there to point the way. This was over a grassy pasture to then take the left of two gates into another, which like a number we had walked through today, was full of wildflowers.

Although not in view, somewhere down the bottom of the meadow is the footbridge leading to Middle Birks, the path now waymarked round to the right to avoid the buildings, and so on down to Low Birks, where again the right of way has been diverted through the buildings not to the left.

"Just beyond the buildings we go right through the gate, and across the field to the far left corner", said Shaun looking closely at the map.

At the corner was the old iron gate out of the field, and we could see the next two gates of the right of way. However progress was barred by a new fence with a barbed wire strand across the top.

"Oh heck", exclaimed Little Eric.

Undeterred however Dad carefully climbed over, with just a slight scratch on his left leg. The subsequent gates were climbed as they were tied up, to reach the next set of buildings, where we walked left through them, to then turn right by the wall, and across to Watson House. The map seems to indicate that the right of way goes through the grounds, but we were unable to see a stile or the like. Perhaps we did not look hard enough. So instead Dad climbed the substantial wall to gain the road. He is pretty much a veteran at this these days.

"It's through those new gates opposite and then diagonally across the field", said Shaun.

Strolling on, Allen said, "this field does not seem to be as large as indicated on the map."

He was right in a way as a new rail fence had been erected that effectively split it in two. The fence climbed we continued down to the bottom, and all seemed to be right by the map, but on reflection we think that maybe the field had also be split across as well as down. We should have been more over to the left by Lawsings Plantation. Instead to gain the road, we crossed a tumbled wall right then climbed the gate at far end of this next field.

"We go right, and then left under Lane Side Bridge that carries the railway" advised Shaun.

You will see that the road beyond bends right. This is in fact Eldroth Road, further along which we had walked earlier from Kettlesbeck Bridge. There is another lane at the junction going left and signed Austwick 2. This Shaun told us was our route. It is called Flummerber Lane.

At Waters Bridge, we had our last encounter with Kettles Beck, just below it confluence with Fen Beck. Soon now the Kettles Beck loses its identity, as it joins the Austwick Beck.

Flummerber Lane leads to Orcaber Lane, by the track to Gayclops, and so on to the car.

"Well that's another area explored", said Grizzly. "Thanks Dad."

"To Elaine's now, I guess?", said Tetley.

"Absolutely", Dad replied.

As we pulled in Dad noticed the car next to him was Uncle Bob's. He was with two pals and had been round Crummack Dale, over Thwaite Scar and Moughton, which we have done a least twice before. Dad sat with them chatting, while having tea and cake. Good to see him and what a coincidence!

After they had left for home, Dad chatted to the staff, particularly Ngaio and Laura, and finally before heading for home ourselves, he chatted to Elaine.

A nice day.

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