RATHERHEATH & CUNSWICK SCAR

 


Summary

Date - 10th October 2012 Distance - 7 miles
Ascent -
650ft
Map - OL7 Start point - Old road loop at Ashes Lane (SD 4883 9616)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Cunswick Scar 679 207 SD 4915 9430

 

Preface

"We should have been walking with Uncle Eric, but he has had to cancel, as he has another appointment now on Wednesday", remarked Grizzly.

"Does that mean we are not going at all then?", asked Little Eric mournfully.

"No Lad", Grizzly replied. "Dad has said he still intends to walk, dependant on the weather of course."

"Well that's soon checked out", cried Allen, grabbing the iPad and opening up the Met Office app. "Hmm the forecast is for a dry day, with little wind, and rather cloudy and cool."

"Perfect for walking", said Little Eric, his face brightening.

"So...where to go", replied Grizzly.

"Tea first, I think", said Allen, "it helps to get my brain working."

"Now how did I know you were going to say that", said Grizzly laughingly.

Well, as if by magic, Shaun and Tetley came in, with the flasks, and a plate of scones too. "I watched them as you asked Grizzly", said Tetley.

"Yes they are done to perfection", he replied. "They are apple and cinnamon, today.

"Ooh yummy", cried Allen, dashing off to get the plates and mugs.

So us all settled contentedly, we put our minds to the task in hand.

"How about doing another of the walks from the newspapers, that Dad has collected in those binders", suggested Grizzly.

"Good idea", replied Shaun, as with Tetley's help he lifted the binder down.

We scanned down the index, that Dad had helpfully done, and Tetley said, "this is a nice walk to Ratherheath and Cunswick Scar. It is 2002 when Shaun and I did it, and it would be completely new to the rest of you."

"Sounds good to me", said Grizzly.

"I agree", added Allen. "So if we are all agreed, I'll go and ask Dad what he thinks."

"OK pal", said Tetley. "We'll see your mug is replenished, for when you get back."

"Thanks", he called out as he dashed out of the room.

"Such energy", sighed Shaun. "It makes me tired just watching him."

It hardly seemed any time at all before Allen was back, his face wreathed in smiles, so we knew that Dad had agreed.

"Can't wait", said Allen breathlessly, as he accepted his steaming mug of tea.

 

The Walk

It was not all that far to the start, in a loop that was that was once the main A591 road, just north of Kendal. Dad parked near start of loop, so once ready we had to walk down past the junction with Ashes Lane, to the clearly signed path left.

This led through lovely woodland, crossing a stream via a small bridge and exiting to Ashes Lane.

"Where now?", asked Little Eric.

"We cross then road and take the gate opposite, through more woodland to come to Ratherheath Tarn", replied Shaun.

The path was pretty muddy in places, but Dad is so well used to that, especially after the wet summer. The path led to a gate, to come beside the end of the tarn, which is private, use being restricted to Windermere, Ambleside and District Angling Association members only. The tarn holds excellent stocks of carp, roach, bream, tench and perch. It made a perfect scene today, with beautiful reflections.

"Right", said Shaun, "we go on ahead over that step stile."

After this we were in open pasture and strolled across this to come finally to a step stile to Ratherheath Lane, where it was left, to then go right along the access track to Moss End. Just before the house we went left over an undulating pasture to reach a gate in a wall, and just beyond, then took the left of two gates.

"If I remember correctly, our return route will be through that gate to the right", said Tetley.

"Correct", replied Shaun.

Through the gate we climbed the pasture to come in sight of the house called Bank End. We should have taken the gate below into the grounds, but we all felt this was private, so instead went right to climb the waymarked stile on to the access track.

By doing so, however this confused the directions, so we walked to the house entrance, where everything became clear once again. It was in fact necessary to retrace our way along the access, where Allen called out, "there is the stile we want up on the bank, by the wood."

Beyond, we walked on to a stone step stile in the right corner, then on across the next field and through a gateless gap.

"We go right here by the hedge to take us to the Crook Road", called out Shaun.

Crossed this and took the stile immediately opposite.

As can be seen a clear path crosses the field, and then enters the woodland, through which the path climbed steadily.

"Where does this lead to?", asked Little Eric.

"Up to Cunswick Scar", replied Grizzly.

This walk did not actually go to the summit, which is one of the Wainwright outlying fells, and we had in fact all been there before, at least once.

"I'm going to the cairn", said Dad.

"Ooh great", cried Allen, "that's will be another summit nearer to 1000 for me."

At the gate on to the Scar, our route should have been on onwards by the wall, but Dad struck left, and very soon the large summit cairn came into view.

"Will you take our picture?", asked Allen, as we all scrambled out and settled on the stones.

"Sure", replied Dad.

"Lunchtime", said Dad.

"Ooh great", enthused Allen, "my tummy is rumbling."

There were no other walkers about, so we just sat munching our sandwiches and taking in the views, in the quiet and peace of the surroundings.

"Have you finished?", enquired Dad, after a while.

"Yes", replied Tetley.

"OK, then we'll set off again."

Settled in the rucksack, Dad then shouldered this, and we walked along the scar. Because the actual route did not take in the summit, we were on a higher path, and hence we walked past the gate, into Scar Wood. Dad retraced the short distance to this and we made our descent on the narrow twisting path, the eventually exited into a field, adjacent to pretty Cunswick Tarn.

"We go across the field, into Ash Spring Wood", advised Shaun.

We were in fact crossing the narrow end of the wood, and soon we exited by another stile, and the turned left down to the track to Cunswick Hall, where it is said that Henry VIII once stayed while courting Catherine Parr. Little now remains of the original Hall, that dated from the early 13th century.

We had made a detour for Dad to take this picture, so now returned to the point where the path from the wood had met the access. Here we went left over the rough pasture, and curve round right and descending on a narrow trod, that went through this tunnel of trees.

This led into open pasture, where Shaun called out, "We need to look for a gate on the left into the adjacent narrow walled field."

"There it is", called out Allen, after a little while.

It was right along this field and to the top left corner and through the gate and the opposite gate too, and so down a track to Fell Gate Farm.

"We have not seen many sheep like that", remarked Dad, as he got his camera out once again.

"No", replied Tetley, knowing full well that this would put paid to us getting away without any sheep pictures in the story.

Through the farmyard, we walked along the access road, and just before a cattle grid took the stile on the right, and over the clapper bridge.

"The beck make s a nice scene here, Dad", called out Tetley.

An indistinct path led up to a gate on to the Crook Road, where we walked right to High Brundrigg. Entering the yard, we went through the gate on the right and walked round the back of the buildings, and so on over pasture to come through the gate mentioned earlier by Tetley. Here we rejoined the outward route, along the road and through the woodland passing Ratherheath Tarn and finally crossing the stream in the woodland (this being the view looking back), just before reaching the road where the car was parked.

"That was a lovely walk. Thanks Dad", said Allen for us all.

"You are most welcome Lads. It is just great to be out in the fresh air."

I guess it is refreshment time now", laughed Tetley.

"Too true."

Dad's plan was to eat at Low Sizergh Barn, but cafe was full. Still the visit was not wasted as he took the opportunity to get some Little Black Bomber cheese, bread and pork pies. For food he instead went to Sheila' Cafe within Bob Parratt's at Milnthorpe. Here he had sausage & mash with vegetables, followed by syrup sponge and custard and of course a pot of tea. Very nice too, he told us.

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