Date - 11th December 2013 Distance - 8.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL2
Start point - Wheatsheaf Inn, Ingleton (SD 6968 7318)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Low Plain 1312 400 SD 6847 7628
Tow Scar 1256 383

SD 6847 7601



"It is over a fortnight since we were last out walking, but of course one week of that was taken up with Dad and Uncle Brian's usual pre Christmas stay at Armathwaite Hall, and this seemingly constant rain and wind does not help either", said Allen mournfully.

In and effort to cheer his pal up, Tetley reached for the iPad and navigated to the Met Office app. "Wednesday is a fine day, and there is nothing on the calendar, so perhaps Dad will want to get the chance for some exercise and we can get a walk in."

"Let's hope so", replied Allen his face brightening.

And then it broke into a wide smile, as Shaun, with Little Eric riding on his back and Grizzly trotted in with the flasks and cake tin. "Just what I need to fully cheer me up, a mug of tea and some delicious cake", he went on.

Tetley went and got the mugs and plates, while Grizzly said, "there are fruit scones baked by Little Eric and I have made mincemeat slice."

"Yummy!", cried Allen. "One of each please,"

"And for me too", chimed in Tetley, as he set the mugs and plates out.

So with steaming mugs in paw and cakes on our plates, all was well with the world. Tetley then explained about the good weather for Wednesday, and we all put our thinking caps to come up with an idea.

Looking at the last few walks, Shaun remarked, "they have been either in the Lake District, or Cumbria. So perhaps it might be worth thinking about going to Yorkshire, and if we plan it right, Dad can go to Elaine's at Feizor afterwards, where we always get to go in too."

"Let's have a look in the walks binders", suggested Allen.

"Good idea", replied Shaun, who with Allen and Tetley's help lifted them down.

We all looked eagerly at the index, and almost instantly Grizzly said, "this one looks interesting. It goes to Masongill then round and across Kingsdale and back to Ingleton. Dad's note shows he walked it back in 1992, but that was long before any of us went walking."

Shaun got the map, and reading it through traced the route. "It is mostly new ground, with the exception of the path descending to Kingsdale, which we have walked before in the opposite direction with Uncle Eric."

"Looks to be a goer then", said Little Eric, "and even though Dad has done it, being over 20 years ago, I am sure he will be happy to repeat now."

So, as usual, draining his mug, Allen took the instructions and went off to see what Dad had to say. He was soon back, and his smile told us the walk was on. "Dad thinks it is a great idea and said he honestly has no recollection of the route, apart from that above Kingsdale."

"Great!", cried Grizzly, and raising his mug, said, "here's to Wednesday."


The Walk

For once we were not setting off too early, so it was actually light when we got up, and packed our picnic. Then as we heard Dad slam the boot of the car shut, we hurried out calling goodbye to Gladly and Uncle Brian, who were busy with the Daily Telegraph crossword.

The drive up the Lune Valley was delightful, through the pretty villages of Hornby and Melling, both of which we had either walked from or through on previous adventures. Then at Greta Bridge it was right through Burton in Lonsdale.

"There's the motte and bailey we visited on the walk from High Bentham, and Dad took our picture sat on that seat outside the church", called out Shaun.

Further through the village, Tetley called out, "there's that mirror that Dad used to take a 'selfie!"

Soon Ingleborough was looming large and at the A65, Dad went straight across and down to Ingleton. The walk instructions stated that there was free parking at the start of the famous waterfalls walk, but this it seems is now dependant upon paying to walk round the falls, so instead Dad went to the main village car park, only to find he did not have enough change! So hunting for a shop to buy something and get the change, he then found a spot outside the Wheatsheaf Inn, where there was no time restriction.

"That's a good result", remarked Grizzly.

Soon ready, and with us tucked in the rucksack, Dad shouldered it, and set off down the street, passing the church of St Mary the Virgin, bathed in the morning sunlight.

The font dates back to around 1150, so it is possible that there has been a place of worship here since the 12th century. The oldest remaining part of the present Church is the tower of 15th century perpendicular style. It was on 18th May 1886 that the foundation stone for the new Church was laid. Designed by Cornelius Sherlock of Liverpool and built by John Hewitson, a local builder, the Church is constructed from blue limestone from Skerwith quarry.

Descending the hill, we came to Oddies Lane on the right.

"We will return along there at the end of the walk", remarked Shaun, as he looked at the instructions.

Now though, we crossed the bridge seen on the left of the above picture. This spans the River Greta, which we had indeed crossed earlier at Greta Bridge near Melling on our drive to the start. About half a mile from Greta Bridge the river reaches its end, at its confluence with the River Lune.

As we looked over the parapet, Allen said, "Brrr. It maybe a sunny day, but that water looks, and is no doubt too, ever so cold."

Reaching the bottom of the hill, Shaun said, "we take that stone step stile across the road"

The signpost read 'FP Thornton Hall 3/4m', the next place we were to reach.

The wide path swung right as it climbed, coming to a kissing gate leading into open pasture, here keeping ahead with the wall on the right towards a barn.

Keeping to the left of the barn and then rounding the wall right onwards to Thornton Hall, the buildings of which can be seen in the distance.

Little Eric asked, "what is that building over to the left?"

"It is Thornton in Lonsdale Church, opposite which is the Marton Arms, where they have a wide range of real ales, and where Uncle Brian and I have spent some good drinking nights in the past", replied Dad.

The next cross wall was climbed via a stile, to a pasture with sheep, who as Dad passed by started following.

Allen burst out laughing. "I don't know if it is Shaun they are following, or you Dad." Then after a moments thought, he went on "on balance I think it is you Dad, as your bushy grey hair makes you look a bit like a Herdwick."

"Thanks a lot", Dad laughed back.

Across this field a substantial stone step stile, tucked in a corner of the wall, gave access to the final field and then via another kissing gate on to the drive of Thornton Hall.

Coming to the road, Shaun advised, it is right uphill, to just before the first house, where we go left on the grassy track and on to a gate into open pasture."

Once into the pasture, we kept up near the wall on the right, using a stile to get over a cross wall.

Tetley called out, "looking back there is a fine view of Ingleborough."

Stopping Dad turned and said, "you're right." Then getting the camera out and lining up the shot.

Going on the path descended to a ladderstile beside a metal gate at the forlorn and long abandoned ruins of Cowgill Farm. "I wonder what stories these ruins could tell if only they could speak?", mused Allen. "I wonder who lived here, before it was abandoned?"

Unfortunately buildings tell no tales, and neither too in this case does the Internet.

Beyond the buildings, the path crossed a small stream by the trees, to then proceed on across the pasture. Suddenly Dad stopped dead, hauled the camera out of the bag and swung round right, lining up a shot.

"Whatever are you taking a picture of that radio tower, for?" asked Tetley quizzically.

"Well whenever I come along the road through Burton in Lonsdale to Ingleton, I always see that tower in the distance, so now being so close I have decided to snap a shot", replied Dad. "I know it is not very interesting, but perhaps you will let me include it in your story."

"How can we really refuse", replied Allen, "after all you are the one that types them for us."

Looking beyond the tower, Shaun told us, "the rocky scar to the left is Tow Scar, which has a trig point. We will pass just below it, so perhaps you will take us to the trig point so we can bag the summit?"

"Sure lad, no problem."

The route led on pretty straight, via four more stiles over intervening walls, to arrive at Westgate Lane.

Glancing at the map, Shaun instructed, "it is over the stile opposite, then soon we will have to climb the stile in the wall on the left, and then continue in the same direction, but with the wall on the right."

Then followed a further two stiles, to cross a stream that descends this small but pretty valley that rises to the track called the Tow Scar Road.

Soon now we reached Fellside Farm, where a succession of four gates took us past the buildings, to the right side. There was a sheep dog we passed that just sat very quietly, and later Dad wished he had taken its picture. Then beyond three more stiles brought us to a hedgeline where we descended right beside it to Masongill Hall and its drive.

"Will you climb the ladderstile, rather than taking the gate", implored Grizzly.

As Dad reached the top, to our dismay we saw that the rungs on the far side had rotted and fallen off.

"Oh heck. I am sorry I suggested it now", said Grizzly.

"It's OK lad. There is a rock that I can use as a support for my foot."

It was right now into the yard, where there was a very noisy dog, in complete contrast to the one at Fellside.

"By the house we go left along the lane, then we go on to the next gate and up by the wood", advised Shaun.

Here we missed the stile in the wall on the left, instead going on to the wall corner and through where it had fallen to then descend left. Then left again and so round right to the signposted gate onto Masongill Fell Lane, which we then followed right.

This was a lovely section with good views although a haze of cloud was hanging over the plain. It was a steady and seemingly unending climb, but eventually we came to the end of the tarmac, to then keep on ahead up the steepening stony track.

Some cattle were in an adjoining field, and this young heifer, gave us a look as we passed by. We could not help but feel sorry for it standing in all that mud.

The stony track climbed on and finally after a sharp right bend the gradient eased and levelled off. " Phew!" said Dad. "I'm glad that is done."

"We soon go off right onto a grassy track that will lead us down to Kingsdale", advised Shaun.

We had not gone many more yards, when Tetley called out, "here it is."

This soon joined in to the main track where we went right again, and then it meandered steadily down below the scars.

"This is the track we climbed before, but in the opposite direction, with Uncle Eric", said Grizzly.

However we are not ones to take the easy option, and Allen spotted a prominent cairn above left. "Is that a summit?", he asked.

Shaun was quick to look at the map, replying, "it is shown as Low Plain with a height of 400m."

"Can we bag it Dad?, Allen then said.

"Certainly", Dad replied as he struck off left on a path that led to the cairn, over some limestone pavement.

Immediately we reached the cairn, we leapt out of the rucksack and settled for our usual picture.

Looking south across the depression containing the track, we could now see clearly the trig point on Tow Scar, that Shaun had referred to earlier. True to his word, once we were settled again, Dad set off towards it, descending to the track then climbing the slope beyond, where this solitary large boulder stood on a plinth.

"That must be an erratic", said Allen.

"Quite right", replied Dad, snapping a shot.

And for readers who are not familiar with this, and erratic is a rock of a different geological type to the surrounding rock which here is limestone. The erratics were originally brought down by a glacier from another location, being left high and dry so to speak on a plinth of the local rock, when the ice retreated.

Very soon now we were at the trig point on Tow Scar at 383m. and we scrambled up on top for our picture once again.

"Great", announced Grizzly. "When we planned the walk initially, we did not expect to bag any summits."

Settled again, Dad then made his way off the fell to the track that eventually brought us to the road through Kingsdale. Our direction was left, and soon this superb view of the valley was before us, the prominent distant hill being Whernside, which at 2416ft is the highest hill in Yorkshire.

"That was my first summit", said Little Eric. "I climbed it just one day after I was adopted by Dad. I recall it was extremely windy, but nevertheless I hung in on my own by the trig point to have my picture taken. It is hard to believe that that was over five years ago now."

Looking right over the wall, Shaun said, "our route is on the track between the walls, crossing Kingsdale Beck by the footbridge and then gently uphill and over the end of Twistleton Scar."

Beyond the scar, the path descended to the buildings of Scar End and Twistleton Hall, and here Shaun called out, "we go right between the dwellings, and then on along the narrow road."

This was walled at first, but then open on either side, leading to a gate Oddies Lane. Looking east, Tetley exclaimed, "that is a superb view of Ingleborough, and a good picture to round our story off."

So all that remained was to follow Oddies Lane, the descending gradient steepening on the approach to Ingleton. Then at the junction we turned left for the final short but steep uphill past the church and back to the car.

"That was an absolutely cracking walk!", exclaimed Little Eric. "Thanks on behalf of us all."

"You're welcome, as always."

We settled in the car, while Dad got changed, then tempted by the sign, he went had had a half of Theakstons in the Wheatsheaf, before driving on to Elaine's. As usual we got to go in as well, and we were commented on by some of the customers.

After all the exercise, Dad was hungry, and enjoyed sausages eggs and chips, followed by delicious apple crumble and custard, all washed down with a large pot of tea.

Then after chatting with Elaine and her staff a little, he said his goodbyes and we headed home after a really good day!!

It had been perfect weather too, with good deal of sun and little wind. Such a contrast to the next day,Thursday, that was very dark and gloomy with rain for a time.


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