Date - 14th October 2012 Distance - 12.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7 Start point - Flookburgh (SD 3671 7560)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Humphrey Head 172 53 SD 3910 7382



When Shaun & Grizzly, strolled in with the tea and scones, they found Allen, busy on the iPad, while Little Eric and Tetley looked on.

"Wow!", exclaimed Tetley, "for once it looks like this Sunday is going to be sunny and warm."

"That is certainly more of an exception this year. Dad has said in all his years of walking he has never ever known the ground to be so wet", stated Allen.

"Great", cried Little Eric. "That means we should get out for a walk, and if so I was wondering if you minded doing another Outlying Fell.

"OK by me", piped up Grizzly.

Looking up, Allen spotted the flasks and scones, and his face brightened up, as he called out, "Oooh tea! Just what I was ready for."

"What are the scones today?", asked Tetley.

"Cherry and ginger", replied Grizzly.

"Those are my absolute favourites", cried Little Eric. "Thanks for making them. You do spoil us."

So the mugs filled with steaming tea, and us all happily munching on the delicious scones, our thoughts once again turned to Sunday's walk.

"Had you any preference as to which Outlyers you wanted to do, pal", asked Allen.

"Well I know it is the very lowest in height at just 172ft, but I would like to get Humphrey Head out of the way", replied Little Eric. "It's just that the walk Wainwright describes is not all that long."

Grabbing the map, Shaun looked at the surrounding area, and said, "well if we were to start from Flookburgh, we could take in part of the Cumbria Coastal path, at the end from Cark, and get to there by going via Allithwaite."

"Hmm", mused Tetley, "we had better get Dad to have a look too, to agree the exact route."

So after finishing our tea, Allen went to get Dad.

"I am very happy to do Humphrey Head again. Now let's have a look and see where we can go from there", said Dad. "Yes as you said Shaun, it is logical to go to Allithwaite and then to Cark, and complete the circle via the coast. We have done a lot of this before, in the past, but it is a nice walk. I'll highlight the route to make it easy to follow on Sunday."

"Here's the highlight pen", said Allen helpfully.

"Thanks Lad."

"It looks to be quite a long way", said Little Eric.

"I, perhaps about 8-10 miles, but it is all low level walking", replied Dad, dismissing the idea of measuring it.

So all agreed, we now just had to be patient until Sunday arrived.


The Walk

The day was indeed as forecast, dry (well from the sky), with some sunshine, no wind, and it was warm by the afternoon. Calling our goodbyes to Uncle Brian, we scampered out and settled in the car. It is not a very long drive, round the top of Morecambe Bay, and then along the road to Barrow, passing under Whitbarrow Scar, which we had climbed a few times. Then on through the lovely town of Grange over Sands and then Allithwaite and so to Flookburgh.

The parking is opposite some houses just out of the village, where there was just one space. It does in fact seem to be used exclusively by the residents of the houses, although there are no signs to indicate that the public cannot use it.

Dad ready, and us snuggled in his rucksack, it was south along the road, to then go left at the junction along a narrow road that is part of the Cumbria Coastal Way, opposite which is a small industrial estate. If you have read our stories before, you will know that our Dad likes his food, including puddings. One of his favourites is the wonderfully delicious sticky toffee pudding, of which that originally made in Cartmel, is recognised as one of the very best. So popular now the company had to move to larger premises, which are on this industrial estate. Like Dad calls Newby Head Farm, where he gets his cakes made by Eileen, 'Cake Heaven", this picture below is of 'Sticky Toffee Pudding Heaven'. Sadly for Dad, being Sunday the factory & shop was closed.

As we strolled along the narrow road, Tetley said, "look Little Eric, there is Humphrey Head."

The road bent left and reached a junction. "I guess we go right here", said Little Eric.

"That's right pal", replied Shaun.

Arriving below the headland, Shaun said, "For now we need to ignore the left turn on the Coastal Way, and go on just a short way into the entrance to the field centre."

Passing the turn to the Coastal Way, Allen remarked, "that pool looks like it may be a problem later."

Yards into the entrance, we went right on the grassy path, crossing a stile part way, on the gentle ascent to the trig point marking the summit, 172ft above mean sea level, and the lowest of any summits defined by Wainwright in his books.

"Picture time", cried Grizzly.

"Yes, and it's is calm enough for us to sit on the trig point", added Little Eric.

As you can see we are sitting on Dad's map case, because the top was wet. He is a very considerate Dad!

There was a herd of cows grazing here, and one seemed to be taking an interest in the trig point, and after we had got down, we found out why. It wanted to use it as an itching post!

Behind is part of Morecambe Bay, with the coast line and hills behind, and if you look carefully, you will spot a prominent summit just above the cows right ear - Ingleborough.

Looking beyond the trig point, Allen said, "you really get an idea of how large the expanse of the Bay is."

"Over 120 square miles", replied Tetley, who had been looking at a website about Morecambe Bay. "It is really interesting and worth looking at", he went on.

Our home, Morecambe lies distantly across in the centre of the picture, and we all waved a paw to Uncle Brian and the rest of our Hug pals.

"That plane is coming over again. What is it all about Dad?", asked Shaun.

"It is from Cark Airfield, by the road we walked along at the start, and it is taking parachutists up."

Just then it passed right over and Dad was able to snap a picture.

We watched as it circled ever higher, then finally they tumbled out, the parachutes opening as they glided gently back to earth. We were only at the beginning of the walk, but when we completed the circle some hours later, the plane was still at work.

We now returned along the headland, and then the few yards on the road to rejoin the Cumbria Coastal Way, taking the path right.

"Hmm, I see what you meant about the water obstacle, Allen", said Dad.

Dad took a few tentative steps forward, but the water was clear enough to see that the depth was over the top of his boots. The best solution, despite the awkward vegetation, was to edge along the left side, as you look at the picture above, taken after the successful negotiation, with thankfully for Dad dry feet. Beyond the path was muddy, but flood free.

"You said that the building at this end of the headland was a field centre", said Little Eric. "Do you know anything more about it?"

"To be honest I don't", replied Dad. "Something for you to look up when you get home."

Our research informed us that the field centre and indeed the area of the headland is under the care of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, having been leased from the Holker Estate since 1992.

The path crossed the headland, and then beyond a gate, went left, as indicated by one of the many Cumbria Coastal Way waymarks we were to see today.

In a few yards we came to a muddy patch that was so wet the ground wobbled under pressure. Dad immediately retreated and edged round it, later warning walkers coming in the opposite direction. All along here the path was wet and boggy, but this was no surprise as the ground is barely above sea level, and there has been so so much rain. The walkers we had passed, told Dad that the path by the coast was very wet and difficult.

"Is that we way we have to go?", asked Little Eric.

"No lad", said Shaun. "We climb the step stile in the wall on our left, then go on ahead under the railway line."

"That's a relief", he replied.

Our euphoria was short lived, as the route to Allithwaite, was over exceptionally wet and boggy fields. Boot sucking at times, but Dad made it without wet feet. At one kissing gate the water was so deep he had to stand on the wooden rails to get past. At one ladderstile there was an obstacle of a different kind. An inquisitive cow, barring our way. Reluctantly it moved off as Dad commenced climbing over.

Dad then snapped the one tagged with number 600477, who posed for Dad.

The last section into Allithwaite, was through some farm buildings, where we saw this donkey. We felt rather sorry for him having to stand in the mud.

Entering the village, Grizzly said, "well at least for a while you have a good dry route, but we all know that it will not last as there will be more boggy ground to cross before we finish."

The route was on through Allithwaite passing the church and school.

"What's that over to the right?", said Tetley.

"The Millennium Mosaic", replied Allen as we got closer.

Although perhaps not completely discernible from the picture, a plaque beside told us what is depicted -

First the outer symbols, clockwise from the bottom -

Three Lambs from the Coat of Arms of Victorian benefactress, May Lambert of Boarbank Hall, and also symbolises farming.
The Flying Owl is a link to the logo of St. Mary's Primary School.
A Village pump symbolises several springs which exist around the village.
The Red Rose with Whitebeam leaf links the parish to its historic past as part of Lancashire.
Weathered Limestone with fossils represents the local quarrying of the past.
The Water Wheel represents the former Mill and the Brewery of Beckside.
The Urn is symbol of the Bronze Age burial site discovered here in 2001.
The legend of the last wolf in England, reputedly killed on Humphrey Head.

Surrounding all this is the Yellow Stone Rope that represents the history of hemp, while outside this are Roman Numerals and within compass points, for learning about time and place.

Finally the Central Motif has symbolic links with the Millennium Parish Map which can be seen in St. Mary's Church and Cartmel Priory.

"How wonderful", sighed Shaun.

"I'm so glad we came this way and saw it", added Grizzly.

"Better be getting on Lads", said Dad.

"OK", replied Little Eric.

"We go on until just after the houses, where we take the path left to Templand Farm", directed Shaun.

Long ago there used to be a lovely garden with wishing well etc, here, but it has been overgrown for years now. We noted that the farm building was undergoing considerable renovation, so perhaps the garden may get restored as well in time. On ahead the we reached a road.

"We go right here, then take the footpath left to Birkby Hall", directed Shaun again.

Crossed a field, then into the next, that was populated by ewes, and the tup (ram), who had been busy doing what tups do at this time of year, and can be seen here sizing up his next conquest.

We got a bit confused as to the directions here, going too far left, and so ended up in the wrong fields and too far south.

Retracing, we went though a gate by some woods, and were now in the correct field.

"Sorry", said Dad, "we should have kept right and crossed that stile over to the right to get here."

"My fault", said Shaun, "I was not paying enough attention to the map."

Now back on track, we passed through a gate and followed a narrow and muddy path down through the trees to Birkby Hall, and along its access to the road. Crossed this and almost immediately opposite continued in the same direction over two more pastures to the road between Cark and Cartmel.

"I think we will stop here and have a bite to eat", said Dad.

"Ooh good!", exclaimed Allen, "my tummy is rumbling, and I am gasping for a mug of tea."

"No surprise there", replied Tetley getting the flasks and pouring the tea out.

Suitably refreshed, and settled into Dad's rucksack again, we walked along the track to Lower Bank Side, then left along the Cumbria Coastal Way once again, to the road and on into the village of Cark. Crossed the bridge and then it was right by the pub and left to cross the railway, following the Coastal Way to the buildings at Sand Gate, where the salt marsh stretched away before us, and yes those distant white dots are sheep grazing.

Glancing at his GPS Dad said, "we have walked about 9.5 miles so far."

"Looking at the map there is nearly another 3 miles to go", replied Shaun.

"Hmm, it is further than I expected", replied Dad. "That will teach me to measure my made up routes in the future, but 12 miles will be good for regaining my stamina."

So now we were literally walking round the coast via Lenibrick Point and Cowpren Point, passing the farm called Canon Winder. This part was basically south being stony at first then grassy and inevitably boggy. After Cowpren Point we swung east to Gully Nab and then along the Old Embankment.

"What are those houses over to the left?", asked Little Eric.

"A housing estate called Ravenstown", replied Allen.

We were intrigued to learn more about this place, and this in brief is what we found on the internet. Vickers the shipbuilders in Barrow in Furness, were pioneers in the building of airships. During the First World War, the government wanted even bigger airships and asked Vickers. Their existing sites were not suitable but Winder Moor, around which we had walked from Sand Gate, met with their requirements for a new airship station. However it lacked the accommodation for the staff needed to support it, so Ravenstown was built. This information has been obtained from the Cartmel Peninsula Local History Society website, and clicking the link will give the full story.

From here too, the Lakeland Fells were prominently in view. On the left in shadow is White Maiden and Walna Scar, running up to Dow Crag, while in the sunshine is Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell, Swirl How and Wetherlam.

Continuing along the embankment we reached West Plain Farm, here joining the road for the about three-quarter mile walk to the car.

"I have enjoyed the walk, but I have about had enough now", said Dad.

"Thanks for a nice day", replied Tetley. "I guess it's refreshment time now?"

"Sure is. I'm going to Jane and Sam's."

Here he had a bowl of the delicious apple, apricot and almond crumble with cream, and a welcome pot of tea.


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