Date - 25th April 2013 Distance - 8.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL2 Start point - Devil's Bridge (SD 614 783)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



It was a quiet Monday afternoon, and we were all settled with mugs full of steaming tea in paw, and a piece of Grizzly's delicious coconut cherry slice on the plates.

"I think this is my favourite of all the cakes you make", enthused Allen, taking another bite, his eyes closed in ecstasy.

"Thanks pal. I found the recipe in the drawer, being one of the cakes that Dad used to make. So easy as the coconut etc is just mixed in a pan, and then spread over the chocolate base once it has cooled and set", replied Grizzly.

"Well you certainly have the knack, pal, for which I am very grateful", said Little Eric, as he helped himself to another piece. Then he went on, "it was good of Dad to take us to Wet Sleddale last Saturday, so that I could tick off those summits."

"It was a good day, and thankfully for Dad's sake the ground was drier than when we first did the walk in November 2005. Nevertheless, as there are no paths and the terrain is very rough, I am sure that Dad is glad to have got it out of the way, as far as your challenge is concerned", replied Tetley.

"Are we walking this week?" asked Allen.

"Well Dad has a date down to walk with Uncle Eric on Wednesday, and I think he is planning to suggest doing part of the Lune Valley Ramble from Devils' Bridge", replied Shaun.

Checking the Met Office app on the iPad Allen said, "The forecast does not look too good, but seems to improve as the day goes on, so we perhaps had better be prepared to get a bit wet.

Tetley then said, "we have done some of the river path, but in the opposite direction from Whittington to Devil's Bridge, on the walks that took in Sellet Bank, that was your first and one thousandth summit, Allen."

"You are right of course", replied Shaun, "But Dad is planning to continue on by the river to Newton, and then walk from there to Whittington, where we will again follow the route we took outward to Sellet Bank."

"Well even though there will be some repeat, it sounds good to me," said Grizzly. "I do not really mind where we go, as long as we get out in the countryside."

"Here's to Wednesday", called out Little Eric, raising his mug.


The Walk

Despite the forecasters predictions, the weather turned out to be worse, the rain albeit light persisting for the bulk of the walk, and in consequence the views were rather poor.

We met Uncle Eric at Devil's Bridge, calling a cheery good morning to him, and soon ready, with us snugged well down in the rucksack, we set off along the Lune Valley Ramble, following the River Lune down stream towards its estuary at Lancaster.

From the bridge we crossed the picnic area, then carefully the main A65, to walk on beside the river, to pass the bridge with four large pipes, that carries the Haweswater Aqueduct over the river. You may think that at this point the weather had dramatically improved, but no this picture was taken on 3rd February 2013, when Allen bagged his one thousandth summit.

"This and the Thirlmere aqueduct is a quite amazing feat of engineering, in that the water flows by gravity, all the way to Manchester, without any need of pumping stations", remarked Tetley.

Strolling on we came to a section where the path climbed a little way from the river bank, Dad stopping before this to take this shot of the sweep of the river. Now you can see what sort of a day it was!

Stiles provide routes over the cross fences, Dad catching Uncle Eric in the process of crossing one a little further on.

Fairly soon we crossed another stile, and looking at the map, Shaun said, "the path going right is where we came along from Whittington, so from here on we are on new ground."

A few minutes later, Little Eric asked, "what are those sections of white railing for?"

"Well lad", Tetley replied, "it is part of Whittington Racecourse, and if you look over the far side of the field, and to the right too in the line of the railing, you will see some of the fences that the horses jump. It is Point to Point, in the same manner as the meetings held at Cartmel. Here at Whittington, the Vale of Lune Point to Point is held usually on Easter Saturday, then a few weeks later on a Sunday, the Holcombe Point to Point.

"Thanks Tetley", replied Little Eric. "I see that like Grizzly, you do your research, to make the walk more interesting."

Onwards the route was clearly signed, the majority of the next section not being an actual right of way, but a permitted path for use by the public with the agreement of the landowner. After a final stile the waymark indicated the path swung away from the river, and across a field to a gate.

"This is where we leave the Lune Ramble for today, going through this gate and following the track to the road and then go right to Newton", instructed Shaun.

This we did and soon a clear sign told us we had arrived.

As we approached a road junction, Grizzly said, "where now?"

Shaun obliged by replying, "We go left on the road to Docker."

This quiet road runs arrow straight for a while, the trees forming an arch over the road, and looking quite lovely, in this shot that was taken a month later, when, on doing another section of the Lune Valley Ramble, we walked along here again. A patch of bluebells on the right give a splash of blue amidst this predominately green scene.

Out in the open again, the road bent left and then right. Then just beyond where a track went off right to Quarry Wood, the road swung left and climbed, coming to the clearly signed access road to Outfield Farm. As you can see from the sky this too was taken a month later.

Reading the sign, Grizzly laughed, "it reads more like a cricket match, what with Outfield and Infield."

Well as we set off along the access road , it became plain. The farm is Outfield, and the separate bungalow, by the access is Infield, as it literally is in the field on the right, albeit fenced off. Here Uncle Eric can be seen striding purposefully out.

Well this amusing diversion did cheer us up a bit, as the rain was heaviest at this point.

At the farm, we skirted right through the buildings and on along the bridleway, with the lovely woodland of West Hall Park away to the left. In the hedgerow were primroses, which are a particular favourite of Uncle Brian.

At its end, we reached West Hall Farm, where we joined West Hall Lane, that took us past the impressive Whittington Hall, this being the best shot that Dad could get. Just as well the trees were not in leaf at this time.

Grade II listed it was built between 1831 and 1836, to a design by George Webster for Thomas Greene MP, then being passed down through subsequent generations. Alterations were made in 1887 that included adding a billiard room and garden loggia, and in the 1930s the drawing room and dining room were remodelled in a Georgian style.

The good news was that the rain had now stopped, so making for more pleasant walking. The road led into Whittington village and just before the church, Shaun called out, "we go left here along Hosticle Lane."

"This will be the third time we have walked along here, but the first in this direction", said Tetley.

Initially the lane climbed uphill before levelling and continuing on to pass a house on the right, then coming beside Hagg Wood to the left. Across the fields rising up to the right we could see Sellet Bank, the trig point clearly in view, as can be seen in this picture taken on 3rd February 2005, when it was our pal Allen's first summit, and at his request his one thousandth, exactly 8 years later to the day.

Soon now we came to the gates of Sellet Hall, which Uncle Eric had particularly wanted to see, having taken photographs a long time ago when he visited with his mum. Then the gardens had been open and plants were for sale too. Now it seems to be private, and any plant centre has long gone. The hall itself seems to date from the 17th century, but has been extensively altered over time.

Opposite the road junction, just beyond the hall, we climbed the stile right, into the field, following the waymarks that indicated the path was by the fence that bounds the hall grounds.

"There's as sheep eating the grass by those daffodils on the far side of the fence", said Allen. Then almost immediately he went on, "no, it's a statue. I thought is was very still."

"So it is", agreed Grizzly, laughing. "Well as it is not real we will have to let Dad put the picture in the story."

The field however was full of real sheep and lambs, that stood posing for Dad. "Oh heck" cried Allen. "That's a real sheep picture free story out of the window yet again!"

Keeping by the boundary, we reached the stile in the hedge on the right below Sellet Bank. Here the path went left below the hill, to go left at gate across a narrow field and then right to climb the stile on to the track at Sellet Mill.

Although Dad did not need any directions here, Shaun nevertheless said, "we go left to Wood End."

The path is rough and stony, and in parts as Dad had done before it was necessary to walk in the stream to make progress. At Wood End the route was right to cross the stile in the wall on the left, skirting the farm, and then on down steeply to the Whittington road. Crossed this to take path opposite between the houses, then over the field to cross A65 and finally again across the picnic area to cars.

"That was a nice walk, despite the rain", said Shaun.

"Yes agreed Tetley, and even though we had done parts before, it was all this time in the opposite direction. Thank you Uncle Eric for your company."

"You are welcome lads", he replied.

We now stayed in the car and had our picnic, while Uncle Eric and Dad walked into Kirkby Lonsdale and went for a meal at Cariad on the square. Uncle Eric had very nice lettuce, tomato & chilli soup, while Dad had beef chilli with salad, and tea of course to wash it all down.


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