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


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



"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.

Allen said, "you could almost do the drive with your eyes shut Dad, as this is the way to Elaine's Tearoom that almost without fail, you and Uncle Brian visit each Monday."

"Aye lad. Uncle Brian refers to Monday as Feizor Day."

The parking area lies just across the old Harden Bridge, long replaced by a new and wider one just adjacent.

Dad did not waste any time getting ready, and we got settled safely in his rucksack. "We walk down Orcaber Lane as previously", said Shaun.

To do this Dad carefully crossed the busy A65. 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.

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 and 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's a good job you are following the map pal, said Grizzly. "Although this is the footpath, it is unsigned."

The cart track curved right to a gate at a fence corner, then descended to some buildings. Tetley was looking at the map. "It shows the route is off to the right up to a gate, but I 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, over 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.

The next field we crossed to the gap stile, seen clearly in the wall, where there was a sign reading -'bull in field'.

"Hmm", said Little Eric. "We have passed bulls in the past on walks and they have never bothered us, just giving a piercing stare as we passed by."

Well, while there were certainly more cows, we did not see any bull today.

Beyond the path led to Holm House. "We go left over that stile, and then through the gate on to the track", instructed Shaun.

There he then directed, "climb the stile opposite into the large pasture, and walk on 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.

Looking down Grizzly said, "no problem route finding here. There's the field bridge, then the stiles in the two cross walls."

Beyond the way led up to Lingthwaite, where it through the gate in the wall on right into the grounds, and then along the access track to the road, beside which is 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. "Cross the corner of the field and through that tumbled wall to descend to the buildings of Israel Farm", advised Shaun.

"That is a rather intriguing name as the other properties close by merely reflect the name of the beck", mused Grizzly.

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 is to keep right of the wall, passing the farmhouse, and then on down towards the ravine of the Kettles Beck bordered by those lovely trees", suggested Tetley.

"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 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. "That makes a pretty scene with the trees and flowers", commented Allen.

"And those bluebells within the taped off area", he went on.

"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.

"Makes a change from sheep!" exclaimed Allen.

Soon Shaun called out, "it's through this gate in the fence, then on ahead now with the fence to the right."

To our left was an area of felled woodland. The fence became a wall as we neared the junction, joining 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."

Looking up at the sign...

...Shaun said, "we go right towards Birks & Lane Side."

Dad marched along, coming to a recently converted barn.

"Left here", called out Shaun.

This was the concreted access to High Birks, the owner conveniently being there to point the way.

He told us, "cross the grassy pasture and then take the left of two gates into another."

"Thank you", replied Dad

The second pasture, 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. Here the waymarked path led right to avoid the buildings, and so on down to Low Birks. There the right of way has been diverted through the buildings and 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. He was in shorts of course.

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", said Allen.

"Well, there is no sign of a stile or the like", replied Grizzly.

Perhaps we did not look hard enough. Instead Dad just 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. This climbed we continued down to the bottom, and all seemed to be right by the map.

Reflecting on this, Tetley said, "I think maybe the field has also be split across as well as down. We should be more over to the left by Lawsings Plantation."

"Hmm", said Dad. "Well instead to get onto the road we can cross that tumbled wall to the right, and then climbed the gate at far end of this next field."

Here Shaun instructed, "we go right, and then left under Lane Side Bridge that carries the railway."

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. "That's our route", said Shaun. "It is called Flummerber Lane."

"What a lovely name", laughed Little Eric.

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.


shopify analytics