Date - 23rd May 2013 Distance - 10.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL2 Start point - Loyn Bridge (SD 5809 6975)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen had the iPad in paw, and looking up from the calendar he said, "there is a walk date with Uncle Eric this Thursday, so we will have to get our thinking caps on to come up with a suitable route."

"OK", replied Tetley, "but as you often say, I think better with a mug of tea in paw."

"And some of Grizzly's delicious cake too", added Little Eric.

Well as luck would have it, just then Grizzly and Shaun came in with the cake tin and flasks.

"It is chocolate fudge cake, today", announced Grizzly.

"Ooh, scrumptious", enthused Tetley, "I really am a bit of a chocoholic."

Meanwhile, Allen had got the mugs and plates, and soon we were all sitting contentedly, mugs in paw and munching away on the cake.

"So", said Allen, "we now need to get on with the matter in paw, and decide where we are going to walk."

There was silence for a minute or so, then Shaun suggested, "well, we all, Uncle Eric included, want to finish off the sections of the Lune Valley Ramble we have not yet done, so how about we see if we can come up with a circular route for one of the two remaining."

"There is parking at Loyn Bridge on the road between Gressingham and Hornby", suggested Grizzly.

"That's perfect, as we need to do the section from there to Newton", replied Shaun. "I'll get the map, and we can then see how we get back to the start."

He spread it out, and Little Eric perched on his back, while the rest of us looked over his shoulder. Tetley pointed and said, "we will need to go along the Docker road, as we did last time, but further on all the way to the Docker Park Farm."

"Yes that's right", agreed Allen."Then over to Gunnerthwaite Farm, and along Locka Lane, to its junction with the main road, then through the parkland of Storrs Hall to rejoin the outwards path."

"Yes that will do just fine", agreed Shaun.

Allen drained his mug and went off to show Dad the suggested route. He was back soon, and said, "Dad is happy with the suggestion, and will speak to Uncle Eric tomorrow, and see what he says."

"Great", cried Little Eric, "let's hope he agrees", as he helped himself to another slice of cake.

"You really are a cake stuffer, just like Dad", laughed Allen.

"No more than you are a real tea belly", replied Little Eric.

The next evening we were all sitting quietly, when Allen came rushing in, saying, "Uncle Eric is happy with the suggested walk."

"Super", cried Tetley. "Roll on tomorrow."


The Walk

It is little more than 10 miles to the start, so unlike some of the walks in the past, we did not have to be up too early. We all lent a paw getting the picnic ready and safely stowed in Allen's rucksack. Then, headed out to the car, when we heard Dad slam the boot shut, calling out our goodbyes to Uncle Brian and Gladly, who was helping him with the Daily Telegraph crossword.

Dad was early, so when we got to Gressingham, he stopped to take some pictures of the church. Grizzly said, "this will stand us in good stead, as when we do the last section of the Lune Valley Ramble, we will walk through Gressingham, and we can include those pictures then."

Dad got ready, and while we waited for Uncle Eric, we went to have another look at the bridge from the river bank.

Seeing Uncle Eric pull up, we dashed back, calling out, "good morning, nice to see you", in a cheery manner.

Soon ready it was time for the off, climbing the stile in the wall, by which, the signpost clearly indicated our first destination.

Crossing the pasture, we soon entered woodland, the narrow path running just above the river.

This was a truly delightful section with swathes of bluebells and wild garlic with its heady scent.

"How wonderful, we are walking just at the right time of year to see this", remarked Grizzly.

Out of the woodland, we were suddenly faced with this waymarked post.

"Well that's a bit confusing. Which path should we take?", asked Little Eric.

"The map is no help as it just shows one path", replied Shaun.

"The one left uphill looks in the best condition, so let's go with that", suggested Uncle Eric.

We did, and in a short while the two routes joined again, and then it was onwards, climbing a few more stiles in the process, including this,

that led us over open countryside, all the way to the village of Arkholme.

Here facing the river stands a house called Ferrymans Cottage. "I suppose from the name, there must have once been a ferry across the river?", mused Allen.

"Well pal", replied Grizzly, "I was browsing the Internet, about this part of the river, and you are right. Arkholme is directly opposite the village of Melling, but there is no road joining the two across the river. There has not been a ferry since about 1960, when the river bailiff, who lived here would ferry people across in his rowing boat. He even took motor bikes! The river was, and still is prone to flood over the pastures either side, and he would also use his boat to rescue sheep that got stranded. Going back long before then, the church here, was originally a chapelry of the Parish of Melling and all weddings and funerals took place in Melling, so this gives and indication of how the coffins would have been transported. This was until 1866 when Arkholme became a parish in its own right and burials could take place in the churchyard."

"Thanks pal", Allen replied. "It is these things that make the walks more interesting, and add to our knowledge too."

The road led uphill, into the village, but soon our route was right along the road past the church. As we walked into the churchyard, Little Eric called out, "that mound looks like a motte."

"You are absolutely right", confirmed Shaun. "It is shown on the map. This is yet another example of the remains of a motte & bailey castle, in the Lune Valley, like the ones we have seen, at Hornby, Burton in Lonsdale and Melling. Here the church dedicated to St John the Baptist, stands on the site of the bailey."

The Church probably dates from around the year 1450, and was originally a simple barn-like structure. The building is known to have been refurbished at least twice, the first time in 1788 when the bellcote was added together with a small vestry and a door in the west wall. The second restoration was in 1897  by Austin and Paley of Lancaster, when the door in the west wall was replaced by the present window, and most of the other windows were replaced too. The vestry was enlarged and the porch reconstructed.

"Can we go inside?", asked Grizzly, who as we have said before loves to look round churches.

"Sure", replied Dad. "Let's hope it is not locked, like many we have found recently.

Well luck was with us, and Dad took this shot looking along the nave.

The organ, donated to the church, dates from 1906. The pulpit replaced a three decker one, in the restoration of 1897.

As we were leaving, Tetley, said, "just look at the lovely model of an organ attached to that pillar."

On walking into the church, Allen had remarked, "there is another of those mosaics, like we saw a while ago at Whittington and this morning when we stopped to look at the church in Gressingham."

The days of each church having its own vicar have gone and now a number are grouped together under what is called a benefice, which in this case is formed from this church and those at Gressingham and Whittington. A notice in the porch here told us that the benefice commissioned local artist Maggy Howarth, who works in this medium, to design and produce the pebble mosaics, to mark the Millennium.

They are as follows from left to right -

Arkholme - roundel depicting the Saint John cross, since the church is dedicated to Saint John the baptist.
Gressingham - the church is dedicated to Saint John the evangelist. In the mosaic he is depicted as an eagle.
Whittington - the church is dedicated to Saint Michael. In the mosaic he is depicted as a soldier.

Having made the most of our visit here, we now strolled on, Dad taking this shot of the other side of the church, showing the vestry, and the fact that the motte is almost as high as the church itself.

"We continue on the track by the river and soon we will pass under the railway viaduct", said Shaun.

Before we reached this, however at a bend in the path, Allen called out, "that is just a lovely view of the river, no wonder a seat has been placed there."

Then shortly afterwards, as Shaun had said, the path passed beneath the impressive six arch viaduct, of which only the largest actually spans the river.

"I reckon that the other arches are to allow for times when the the river overflows its banks in times of flood." remarked Grizzly.

"We have seen this before, when we walked along the other side of the river from Loyn Bridge to Greta Bridge", commented Little Eric.

Immediately beyond the way led up the banking passing a large hut that according the the inscription on the seat outside, belonged to Barrie Greenhalgh, Dedicated Fisherman and Riverkeeper.

Then it was onward above the river beside woodland on the right, to pass through Lower Broomfield Farm, and on down the track to open pasture, where under the trees to the left, a tree trunk had been fashioned into a seat.

Glancing at his watch, Uncle Eric said, "looks a good place to stop for lunch."

"Ooh yes", enthused Allen, rubbing his tummy in anticipation of the sandwiches and cakes, in his rucksack."

The seat faced east the distant view dominated by Ingleborough, that while we were munching away, nearly disappeared under a passing rain shower.

"I'm glad we are not over there", exclaimed Tetley.

In fact the showers persisted over there all day, but apart from a brief shower of about five minutes on the next section, it was dry for us all day. Cool at times when in the wind, but this was not as strong as we had expected.

Finishing lunch, Allen said, "this will be a good place to take our picture for the story."

The onwards route, as had been all the way so far, was well waymarked, and led first over a footbridge and then a stile in the fence and on to pass Higher Broomfield. More stiles followed and then the path curved left away from the river by an embankment, then following this round right. This then led on to a gate on the left on to the track to the road, and thus we had come to the point where we had walked down from Kirkby Lonsdale last time.

"We walk to the road and then go right to Newton", instructed Shaun.

As we approached the junction, Shaun said, "we go left, as we did on the walk from Kirkby Lonsdale."

Strolled the familiar road that climbed to pass the track to Outfield Farm that we had taken last time. Eventually, to cut off a corner, we took the bridleway on the right.

As Dad walked to open the gate ahead, Uncle Eric was alert here saying "the map shows the path is to the left of the fence."

"You're right", replied Allen, "there's the easy to miss stile in the wall on the left."

Through the grassy pastures, this then brought us to Docker Park Farm, which is a visitor centre & farm with lots of different animals and birds. A perfect place for children. Nearing the buildings it was left over a waymarked stile into a field with two pigs and over this to a gate on to the road.

Turned right and walked on to take the track to Gunnerthwaite Farm, where route finding was a bit difficult as there were no waymarks, but between us we kept on the right path. Crossing some rough pasture, we took a gate right into a field by a wood, and then climbing steeply up beside the wood and on across the pasture to a stile in the far right corner. Over this we kept ahead to climb a stile in a fence and so on up to a gate on to a narrow road called Locka Lane.

"We go left", said Shaun

This eventually brought us to the main road near Arkholme, passing by Red Load Farm.

At the junction there was another one of those mirrors to assist traffic and Dad could not resist taking his reflection, as he had done in Burton in Lonsdale. What is he like!!

"OK, where now?", asked Grizzly.

"We cross the road and take the signed path through the wooden gate into the grounds of Storrs Hall", replied Shaun.

"There are two options", said Little Eric.

Well Dad's plan had been to go via Gressingham, but after a little debate he and Uncle Eric decided to take the path, that overall was the shorter route, to Loyn Bridge.

As we headed out into the field, Shaun said, "I know we are not going to Gressingham, but I think we should head for the stile ahead and slightly right."

Well, no one took any notice of this remark, and instead we walked straight ahead, the result being that when we did eventually rejoin the Lune Valley Ramble, it was a bit nearer Arkholme than the actual path on the map.

It was as we crossed the field that Tetley called out, "there is a lovely view of Storrs Hall."

So turning Dad lined up the camera and this was the result.

On reviewing the pictures when we got home, Allen said, "oh no, Dad has confounded us again. With this shot, we have failed yet again to have a story without any pictures of sheep!"

Regarding the hall, it is built in the Gothic style with a 4-storey embattled tower with octagonal corner turret.  It dates from 1848, being built by Francis Pearson, who had purchased the estate. It replaced and existing building on the site.

Turning back to start our way across the we enjoyed another lovely view of Ingleborough, with the village of Melling whose church tower can be clearly seen to the right. Oh and yes yet more sheep!

Once the Ramble path was rejoined, it was just a matter of retracing the route to Loyn Bridge.

"Thanks for a good walk, Uncle Eric and Dad, we have really enjoyed the day", said Grizzly on behalf of us all.

"You're welcome" replied Uncle Eric. then he went on, "that just leaves the section from here to Aughton to complete the route all the way from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale."

"Time for a cup of tea", said Dad.

For this they drove the short distance into Hornby and went to the cafe at the Post Office. A refreshing pot of tea, and Dad had a delicious cheese scone.


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