Date - 3rd July 2013 Distance - 8.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL41 Start point - Loyn Bridge (SD 5809 6975)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Another quiet Monday afternoon, as Dad and Uncle Brian were at Elaine's as usual. Shaun with Little Eric on his back and Grizzly, came in to find Allen and Tetley with one of the OS maps spread out before them.

"What are you on with pals?", asked Shaun, putting the flasks down and going off to get the mugs.

"We are looking again at the route to Pen, the last Birkett top, and seeing if there is a better or easier way to get to the summit", replied Tetley. "We so hope that Dad will be able to take us there this year and finally get this challenge out of the way."

Looking up Allen spotted the flasks and shouted, "ooh great tea, I'm gasping for a cuppa. Let's get sorted with that, then we can go on and discuss Pen."

"You're always ready for tea", laughed Grizzly, as he passed the plates round, and then held out the cake tin. I have made mincemeat slice for today."

"Lovely", breathed Little Eric taking a slice. Then taking a bite he said, "it's delicious and I like the way you have added vanilla essence, which enhances the flavour."

So all happy, Tetley turned the conversation back to Pen. "Allen and I have looked and looked, but can't find an alternative, but perhaps you can come up with something, Shaun, as after all you are our expert guide."

"There is certainly no alternative on the walk in, the best way being via the path from Taw House. It is when we get into the valley and below the crags, that we need to see what can be done. I think it might be a good idea if we looked at the Scafell Pike chapter in Wainwright."

"I'll go", said Tetley. "It's Book 4 - Southern Fells, we want."

"That's right", replied Shaun. When Tetley handed it too him, he quickly found the chapter and the pages relating to the Eskdale ascent. "The last two attempts have been made via Narrowcove, that involves walking along the valley past Dow Crag, but look, there is a suggested route, albeit it trackless, from the Cam Spout side of Dow Crag."

"Well it would save some distance", agreed Allen. Then looking at the map, "but from the look of how close the contours are, it will be very steep."

"Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out to Dad", replied Shaun.

"I agree entirely", added Grizzly.

And indeed this was the route we were to take about 6 weeks later, when Pen was conquered.

Little Eric then said, "what about the date we have to walk with Uncle Eric on Wednesday."

Allen replied, "the weather is not too great, although any rain will die out quickly, but I think it may not be a day for the fells. So I wondered about suggesting to Dad that we do the last section of the Lune Valley Ramble. It would be nice to complete that mini challenge."

"I think that is a good idea", agreed Shaun. Then cocking his head to one side, "Dad and Uncle Brian have just drawn into the drive, so give them a few minutes then you can go and see what he thinks of your suggestion."

"Well fill my mug up first, as I am still a bit thirsty", said Allen holding his mug out, and saying, "thanks", as Shaun obliged.

About five minutes later, after draining the mug off he went, and it was not very long before he returned. "Dad is in agreement, but we will have to see if Uncle Eric agrees too."

Well he did, and here is our account of that adventure.


The Walk

This walk would mark the completion of the Lune Valley Ramble path from Lancaster (Green Ayre) to Devil's Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, a total distance of some 17 miles, with today walking the final section from Loyn Bridge to Aughton (pronounced Afton).

Met Uncle Eric at Loyn Bridge, as we had done for the previous section. It was drizzling, but very soon this passed over and the day improved considerably being breezy and with sunny periods.

As they were getting ready for the off, a gentleman arrived, to take his dogs for a short walk in the direction of Aughton. Some chat ensued, and it was obvious that he, like us had walked extensively when younger. In looks, he actually reminded us a little of Wainwright!

Ready and settled in Dad's rucksack, we set off climbing the step stile in the wall on the opposite side of the narrow road, and going left, as directed.

Very soon we came beside the river, walking along by it where the field edge had been conveniently cut. Not before, Dad went down the river bank, to get this nice shot of Loyn Bridge.

"Shall we count the stiles, Allen?", said Grizzly.

"OK pal."

At the end of the field the path drifted a little away from the river and into woodland via a stiled footbridge. The path was narrow with lush vegetation and undulated up and down, being wet too after recent rains so it was slippy in places. At one point, looking back, the view presented us with a lovely sweep of the river.

There were flowers by the side of the path, including this one, which our flora expert Moss, thought might be the flower of the watercress plant.

Exiting the first section of woodland. by a kissing gate, Grizzly, called out, "that's four stiles."

"OK, noted pal", replied Allen.

There was a track and looking at the map Shaun said, "this runs from the end of Sandbeds Lane. We continue ahead over the field, and there should be a stile to climb over the fence on the right."

After the stile, we headed away from the river across the field to the valley side, passing to the right of a small tarn, where there were swans, geese with young, and heron. Then into Crow Wood below the house called The Snab, going left along it access road for a little way until it turned right, by another house .

"We turn left here, to go along by the river", said Shaun.

More stiles followed on this section, numbers 8-10, each being followed by a footbridge over tiny streams. Then through a gate soon after, into more woodland and two more footbridges and yet another after stile 11. This section was close to and quite high above the river, and somewhere along this Dad's foot slipped off the path and the next thing we knew he had rolled down the bank into brambles, that prickled us as he was lying on his back. Initially he was totally unable to get up and his and our immediate concern was that he might roll down into the river. We certainly did not relish the prospect of getting soaked!

Uncle Eric said, "are you OK."

"Yes, and if you can just give me a bit of a hand I will be able to turn over and grapple my way up again."

Once on the path again, Dad found that he was OK apart from a few scratches and he took this rucksack off to check that we were OK too and that we were all still safely tucked inside.

Looking down, Tetley said laughingly, "you have made a bit of a mess of those brambles. A bit of a vandal Dad, I think."

"Yes you're right", replied Dad ruefully.

Through Great Close Wood, the river had divided the main channel being a distance away. Here there were now two islands that further divided this loop, the far side calm, this side running fast. For a section between the two islands it was calm, like a small lake. The river itself is further away across the valley and out of sight at this point.

The path exited the wood via a stile, and Grizzly said, "that's 13 stiles, Allen."

"OK pal."

Now in open fields we just continued ahead. At one point there was a group of cows with young, one of which was rather inquisitive.

More stiles in fences then brought us to Aughton Barns and a gate, that finally marked the completion of the Lune Valley Ramble. Well done all round, we say!!

That's 17 stiles in all to here", called out Grizzly.

"Noted pal", replied Allen.

Just past the gate, on the left was this lovely stone house.

The name can just be seen on the lintel above the door, and reads 'Afton Barn Cottage', the name spelt as it sounds, not like the actual spelling of the village name, Aughton.

Now we climbed steadily the steep road to the village, where we sat on a seat, for a little while.

Noticing the stone with the village name inscribed on it, Allen said, "will you take our picture sitting on it, Dad?"

"Of course lads", replied Dad.

It is a nice village with houses mainly in stone, like these below.

It was a few weeks after the actual walk, that we got down to writing the story, and on their trips to Feizor, Dad had noticed a large banner advertising the Aughton Pudding Festival, that was to be held on 26th August 2013. This intrigued us and Dad, so we had to find out more. It is held every 21 years, and involves the making of a giant, and we mean giant plum (Christmas) pudding. The previous two events were held in 1971 and 1992, which saw the largest pudding of them all and captured the Guinness World Record, that still stands to date. It weighed in at 3.82 tons (7231 lbs 1 oz). Wow!

Walking on we continued up the hill to Aughton Road, where it was right, to then soon take a signed path off left. First however we stopped to look at St Saviour's Church, indicated by this somewhat rustic sign.

"Can we go and have a look inside, please?", asked Grizzly.

"Of course", replied Dad, "but like many we encounter these days, I suspect it will be locked."

Sadly, to Grizzly's disappointment this was the case, so he had to be content with the outside view.

It is thought there has been a chapel here since 1554, but the church seen above was built in 1864 to the design of Lancaster architect E. G. Paley, with lancet windows, including a triple lancet at the east end. As can be seen too, it has a bellcote at the west end, and a south porch. The cost was £590 (£50,000 as of 2013),  and provided seating for 100 people. In 1913–14, a parclose screen that divides one area from another, was added.

Climbed the stile to the path, then over a further stile into a large pasture, where Shaun said, "there are two alternatives here. We can either go on ahead across to the stile by the trees, or half right up to that fence corner. The first route takes us via Whinney Hall, and on to Sidegarth, the second being directly to Sidegarth."

"The gentleman we met at the start told us that Whinney Hall is a place where retired racehorses go, so perhaps it would be nice to see that", suggested Tetley.

"OK with me", replied Uncle Eric, striding off ahead.

Beyond the next stile the route climbed up, and then the area was divided into paddocks, and we had to climb further stiles to reach the buildings.

As can be seen the house is undergoing renovation and we thought that maybe the owners were living in the caravan in the yard. There is an extensive range of buildings that we assumed were for the horses, and more large paddocks too. By the house we turned right and walked along the track to Sidegarth, passing where the other route joined.

"Hmm, I think we made the right decision about which route to take", remarked Allen. "This other path is very overgrown and I am not sure how we would have got through those trees."

At Sidegarth the track turned left and took us to the road at Sidegarth Gate.

"Six stiles to here", said Grizzly.

"Right", replied Allen. "That makes 23 on the walk, so far."

"It is right here along the Kirkby Lonsdale Road, to the junction where we go right", instructed Shaun.

Uphill at first, passing a side road on the left, where we had joined this road on the drive to the start this morning. Then from the brow a steady downhill to go right at the junction and shortly reach The Redwell Inn.

On the right, just before was a signpost, and Shaun called out, "we go along the track as indicated by the signpost."

Beyond the gate we entered a yard by some buildings, and then through a further gate into a field, where Dad took this shot that clearly shows our onwards route.

Across the field, to go through the gate that can be seen under the large tree in the corner, and then up and over the hill beside the wall on the left. This section was rough and muddy too, until about halfway it became a surfaced track that led to the Aughton Road again.

"Where now?", asked Allen.

"We go left and then immediately right along the road that leads to Eskrigge, but soon then we need to go left through a gate", replied Shaun.

Now, there was no sign whatsoever for the path left, so it was just as well that Shaun was looking closely at the map and marking our progress passing fences and wall lines on either side, so that he was able to say with certainty when we reached it, "here's the gate where we go left."

Keeping by the hedge to the left, we crossed the field to a stile and then on down to a gate.

Reaching the stile, Tetley called out that is a fine view of Ingleborough."

"I get the hint", laughed Dad hauling the camera out.

We like the way he has framed the shot with the oak tree branches.

After the gate at the bottom of the hill we then walked an overgrown track that led us ultimately to Walnut Tree Farm, having passed through more gates on either sides of cross tracks. The vegetation was very lush, and Dad and Uncle Eric had to take care as there were hidden stones underneath.

After the farm we joined the road leading into the village of Gressingham, and as we passed Swing Gate cottage, Allen called out, "those brightly painted plates adorning the side of the building, are lovely."

"It reminds me of houses in Spain", replied Dad, getting the camera out once again.

Grizzly, then said, "that is one further stile."

"OK", replied Allen. "24 in total now."

Shortly we turned left to cross the bridge over the stream that is heading down to pass Fleets Farm, and then soon join the River Lune. Indeed we must have crossed it by one of the many footbridges on the Lune Valley Ramble path this morning.

The road then brought us up by St John the Evangelist's Church, seen here from its south aspect.

The church is built in sandstone rubble with a stone slate roof. In plan it consists of a west tower, a nave with clerestory, a north aisle, and a chancel with a small chapel to the north. Parts date from the 12th century and it was then partly rebuilt in 1734, and restored by the architect E. G. Paley in 1862. The restoration included the removal of the porch, rebuilding the south wall with the addition of buttresses and windows, adding a new east window and new lights in the north clerestory, restoration of the chancel arch, reseating, removing the ceiling, and tiling the chancel. This amounted to a cost of about £300 (£20,000 as of 2013). At the left of the south aspect is a Norman doorway with jambs in three orders, the outer order having a chevron design and the middle one ropework.

Two cyclists had paused outside the church to check on their route to Clapham. They were opening a new map and Dad remarked "it's a good job it is not windy."

As a result Dad and Uncle Eric got into conversation. They were from Yorkshire, and the gentleman said he has some old maps one such that he has had to draw the M1 motorway on to.

"Just like me", responded Dad. "I do not like to replace them as they are like old friends."

His wife remarked that he was true Yorkshire and Dad commented about Uncle Bob only putting one tea bag in the pot.

"We do the same", she replied!

Lovely people and so nice to chat with them.

So, we set off again on the final section to Loyn Bridge, the cyclists calling out as they passed. Where the road bent right, we climbed the stile into a field then crossed this to the stile onto the road by the bridge.

The farmer saw us crossing and when we got to him, he asked politely if we would keep to the edge of the field, so that the grass would not be pressed down thereby making it easier to mow. A fair comment and something we will remember for the future. It was he who had kindly mown the edge of the field on the other side that we had crossed at the start of the walk this morning, for which we were grateful. More chat then ensued and when we told him where we had walked, he said, "that's more than I would be able to do."

Another good walk, and we and Dad say a big thank you to Uncle Eric for your company.

And not forgetting too, that this marked the completion of the Lune Valley Ramble path.

"That was two more stiles to the finish, so I make that 26 in total for the walk", said Allen. "Still no where near the number on that walk from Bentham, via Burton and Ingleton."

During the walk, Dad had suggested going to the cafe at the Post Office in Hornby afterwards, a suggestion to which Uncle Eric was very agreeable.

Here they had an excellent and well filled bacon and sausage bab with a refreshing pot of tea. Just the ticket!!

We meanwhile sat by the river and had our picnic. Lovely ham cheese and chutney sandwiches and pieces of Grizzly's gorgeous chocolate caramel shortbread.

With eyes closed in ecstasy, Little Eric said, "this cake is just divine, pal."

But...........that was not to be the end of happenings related to this walk. On Saturday, Dad and Uncle Brian went to The Lowry in Manchester for a performance of Siegfried, the third of the Ring operas by Richard Wagner, and our concert going pals, Crumble and Wayne went too. They told us that it was a truly memorable evening, with wonderful singing and marvellous playing by the orchestra. It started at 4:30pm and ended at 10:30, but there were intervals too, of course. Wayne says that they can't wait for next July, when the final opera, Gotterdammerung is performed.

So, how does all this relate to the walk. Well, on arrival home Dad noticed that there was a message on the phone, and it was Uncle Bob. He told Dad that he had been contacted by an Alan Crane from Whittle-le-Woods near Chorley, who had found Dad's mobile phone lying by the riverside path, having somehow fallen out of his pocket, not we hasten to add when we tumbled off the path! Now Dad is well up on technology, but as far a mobile phones are concerned, he has a healthy dislike and only has a very ancient and basic one. Such is his dislike that he was totally unaware that he had in fact lost it!! Just what is he like! Thankfully all ended well as he contacted Alan, who kindly sent the phone in the post, the cost of which Dad of course reimbursed. So we and Dad want to say a big thank you to Alan for finding it, and taking such trouble to reunite Dad with it. We intend now to make sure that Dad takes more care not to lose it in the future!

During the conversation, they of course talked about walking, and Alan mentioned that a nice one took in the ruins of Frith Hall, where there are lovely views of the Seathwaite Valley. Well as you will see on the 2013 listing, we found such a walk amongst the many that Dad has saved from various sources, and this will be the subject of the next story.


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