Date - (1)-25th March 2015 (2)-14th August 2016 Distance - (1)-9 miles. (2)-7.5 miles
Ascent -
(1)-550ft (2)-400ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Hasty Brow Road (SD 4679 6487)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen and Southey were huddled round the laptop, as Tetley strolled into the room. "What are you looking at pals?"

"The pictures Dad took on our walk from Crosby Ravensworth a week last Sunday", responded Southey. "They have not been edited yet, but there will certainly be a good number for our account of that adventure."

"Great shot of us at the trig point on Crosby Ravensworth Fell", added Allen. "These days it is not often that we visit a summit that none of us have ever been to before."

"Writing that is something to look forward to, but it may be a while yet as Dad seems to have a lot on at present and not much time to devote to the website", said Tetley. "But the good news is Dad says we can go walking on Wednesday. We can choose, but he has said that he would rather it was in the local area."

"So we better get our thinking caps on", said Southey.

"Well I work better with a mug of tea and cake", replied Allen.

"No change there then", laughed Shaun, as he, Grizzly and Little Eric came in with flasks and cake tin.

Allen and Southey went to get the plates and mugs, and then Southey helped Shaun with filling them. Tetley asked, "what is the cake selection today?"

Little Eric replied, " Grizzly has made chocolate caramel shortbread, while I have done mincemeat slice."

"Ooh scrumptious!", cried Allen. They are some of my very favourites."

"Mine too", agreed Tetley.

Taking a bite Southey said, "Grizzly this is absolutely delicious."

"Thanks pal", he replied.

"The mincemeat slice is delicious too", added Shaun.

"You're welcome", said Little Eric.

So all content our thoughts turned back our prospective walk, Tetley having explained the situation to Grizzly, Little Eric and Shaun.

Grizzly mused, "if we are staying local then the canal and river are good areas to consider, and if we walk the right sections we will be able to view some of the construction works for the Heysham to M6 link."

"That would be interesting", agreed Shaun. "The road was first mooted in 1948, and nearly 70 years later it is finally being built. It will be great for Dad and Uncle Brian as they will no longer have to drive through Lancaster to get to the M6 when they go to Manchester for concerts etc., and to visit Aunt Tish and Uncle Eddie. Our walk route will be on map OL41."

"I'll get it", said Grizzly.

Spreading it out Shaun then said, "the nearest access to the Lancaster Canal is on Hasty Brow Lane, which is less that 2 miles from home."

"Excellent idea", said Tetley. Finding the location, he then said, "If we walk south towards Lancaster, we will see the new bridge being built over the canal and also the bridge over the railway line."

"Continuing as far as the Lune Aqueduct we can then get on to the river side path, and walk up via Halton Camp to where the Lune Bridge is being constructed", said Allen.

"OK so far, then we need a return route to complete the circle", said Little Eric.

Another scan of the map, and Shaun said, "it we take this path left just past the M6 bridge, we can get to Foundry Lane. Then walk up over the M6 and to the crossroads. Then right to take the path left and down to Slyne and on into Hest Bank to the canal again and then along to the start."

"Sounds and excellent plan", agreed Southey. Let's highlight the route so Dad can see it clearly when you go and seen what he thinks, Allen."

"OK", laughed Allen. "While I go, please refill my mug."

"OK pal", laughed Southey. "We have said this many times, but you are a real tea belly just like Dad."

Soon back his face wreathed in smiles, Allen said, "it's on. Dad likes the idea as we will see lots of the new road works, and also the section from Halton to Slyne is on paths none of us have walked before."

"Great", cried Little Eric. "Here's to Wednesday."

Notes on August 2016 walk

It had not been planned to repeat this walk, but due to Dad suffering a back injury, Dennis, his osteopath, advised him to stay off mountains for a couple of weeks. In the intervening 18 months, much progress has been made with the Heysham- M6 link road (the official name of which is The Bay Gateway), so we were interested to see how the structures spanning the railway and canal had changed. This is also true at Foundry Lane, where the bridge across the M6 has been extended to accommodate the new north on-slip. You may have noticed that this walk is shorter. The reason for this being the fact that knowing the footpath beyond Halton Camp was still closed, Dad stuck to walking along Halton Road, so did not have to backtrack. The downside however was that we could not get a picture of the Lune West Bridge. This is now almost totally completed and is partially open to vehicles joining the M6 northbound.

The narrative by enlarge remains a description of the original walk, with some additions and extra pictures from August 2016.

The Walk

The start point being so close, there was no need for an early start, nevertheless we made sure we were ready. Hearing Dad finally slam the boot of the car shut, we dashed out and settled on the front seat.

Setting off it was then just a few minutes until Dad was negotiating the single track canal bridge, number 114, and parking in the pull in on the left just beyond. A rough patch of ground and a bit overgrown, and sadly we noted that some people had dumped rubbish. However on the brighter note these daffodils provided a splash of colour and reminding us that spring has arrived.

The best day of the week and warm in the sun, but when it disappeared behind a cloud the was a distinct coolness to the air, so not yet t-shirt and shorts walking weather for Dad.

He was soon ready, and with us safely tucked in the rucksack, Shaun gave his instructions. "We recross the bridge then go through the gate on to the towpath, turning right."

The canal stretched out before us, soon to pass under bridge no.113, where just a little further a boat was moored to the bank. Having passed this, Allen commented, "that is a nice shot looking back to the bridge with almost perfect reflections, for inclusion in the story."

"How lovely and tranquil", said Southey.

Dad strode on and just a few minutes later, we saw the first of the works associated with the Heysham to M6 link road, as Tetley called out, "look over there to the right. That is Folly Railway Bridge that once fully completed will carry the road over the main West Coast Railway Line."

As can be seen the girders for the bridge deck are in place and the wing walls are under construction, between which the earth will be back filled as part of the embankment. By August 2016 construction of the bridge was complete with just the road surfacing to be finished.

This road was first mooted in 1948, but it was only in 2009 that it was actually passed by the Labour Government, only to be put under further consideration after the 2010 General Election. Some cost saving measures were made to the plan and it was given the go ahead. Objections were raised on environmental grounds by parties apposed to the road, but these were finally thrown out by a judge in late in 2013, and work finally commenced early in 2014, with a completion date of July 2016. This was put back to October 2016, due to delays caused by the storms of December 2015.

Again we walked on, and just over five minutes later our attention was drawn to the graceful arch of the bridge under construction to carry the road over the canal itself. "Ooh", cried Little Eric, "get the camera out Dad."

"I will", he replied, "but the sun is directly into the camera lens for this side, so it will be better to use a shot taken from the south side for the story."

Of course the towpath will eventually run under the bridge, but during the construction phase, it is diverted on a temporary path circling right.

Getting to the other side, "Southey said, "what it that narrow bridge just ahead?"

Grizzly replied, "it is a temporary bridge for use by the large wagons moving the earth to form the road bed and embankments etc."

Indeed as we stood looking at it one of the vehicles crossed over. Tetley said, "they can carry 40 tonnes of earth at a time."

Dad now turned the camera back to get this of the Milestone Canal Bridge under construction. Shaun said, "this bridge is the widest arched bridge over a canal in Europe."

Again it can be seen that the wing walls are under construction, the one in view to the left being nearly completed, while on the right the steelwork is in place, with this having been covered by form work, ready for the pours of concrete by the tall machine.

On our repeat walk, much had changed. The temporary bridge was gone, and the canal bridge looked like this.

By chance too, we met a gentleman from the Morecambe Bay Movie Makers, who have put some very interesting videos on Vimeo, charting the progress of the construction of the road. Dad told him how much he and Uncle Brian had enjoyed these. The gentleman also commented about Shaun's assertion that this bridge was the widest arch over a canal. Indeed at the time of our first walk this was the case, but now a bridge in Scotland has taken that accolade.

"How interesting already", said Southey, "and we have been walking for less than half an hour."

"Much more to come too, pal", replied Grizzly,

The canal now entered a more residential area on the towpath side. Rounding a bend and looking back Dad captured these lovely reflections of the trees.

"Beautiful", breathed Allen.

Shaun was scanning the map and said, "we continue along the canal as far as the Lune Aqueduct, leaving it on this side."

Shortly a bridge loomed up ahead, and Shaun said, "this is Beaumont Bridge that carries the A6 over the canal. We keep on under this."

This was plain to see from the sign directing to the aqueduct.

Another ten minutes passed, then Allen called out, "there is the aqueduct ahead."

A narrow path led down to the right to access the river side path that passes under the impressive structure.

The Lune Aqueduct is often referred to as one of the "wonders of the waterways" and is a masterpiece of civil engineering. Designed by civil engineer John Rennie and constructed by architect Alexander Stevens (died 1796, aged 66), it was completed in 1797 at a total cost of £48,320.18s.10d. It carries the canal 664 feet across the River Lune at a height of 61 feet (53 feet above the normal water level in the river) and is a traditional structure of that time, consisting of five stone arches supporting the stone trough. Within the piers, special volcanic pozzolana powder was imported to be mixed with cement, which allowed the concrete to set under water. Because of the rush to finish the initial stages, before the winter floods, the construction was carried out around the clock and the final bill for the project was over £30,000 over budget (2.6 times the original estimate). This vast overspend was the reason that the Lancaster canal was never joined to the main canal network, as there was not enough money for the planned aqueduct over the River Ribble at the southern end of the canal. The aqueduct was restored between 2011 and 2012 at a cost of £2.4m. It is a Grade I listed building.
On its South side, is the following inscription: "QUAE DEERANT ADEUNT: SOCIANTUR DISSITA: MERCES FLUMINA CONVENIUNT ARTE DATURA NOVAS. A.D. MDCCXCVII. ING. I. RENNIE EXTRUX. A. STEVENS. P. ET F.", which can be translated as: "Things that are wanting are brought together / Things remote are connected / Rivers themselves meet by the assistance of art / To afford new objects of commerce. AD 1797. Engineer J Rennie. Built A Stevens father and son"
(We wish to acknowledge Wikipedia as the source of this information.)

Just beyond these primroses were in bloom beside the path, indicating spring is here.

Strolling on the narrow pretty riverside path stretched before us.

After a while the path opened out, Southey saying, "what is this ahead."

"The Halton Military Training Camp", replied Shaun. "We keep on by the river through this and then on along the narrower path."

Eventually this brought us to the point where the path was closed due to the construction works for the Lune West Bridge to carry the road over the river. The piers largely complete can be seen to the right, and just in view to the left is part of the abutment.

"Oh heck", called out Little Eric. "What do we do now."

"Well, I am hoping that an alternative route has been provided to get to Halton Road", replied Dad.

Before seeking this out however we turned out eyes to the south bank of the river to view more of the piers, completed and under construction, that will carry the steel girders for the road deck. One of these can just be made out in the lower right of the picture. As we write this story at the end of April, we can tell you that one of the largest mobile cranes in Britain, at 1200 tonnes, is currently being used to lift the girders into place. This is not the crane in this picture.

"Right", said Allen, "now we have to find our way from here."

"Let's try that rough track behind us and see if we can find a way onto Halton Road", suggested Grizzly

At the top fencing stretched away left and right, surrounding Costain's main construction complex and offices.

"Well there will certainly be no way right as that is towards the bridge", commented Tetley.

"So left it is, then", said Little Eric.

Our hope was that there would be a way through for pedestrians, but this was totally dashed as the fencing stretched away ahead enclosing a materials storage area, and soon albeit at a higher level we were making our way back through Halton Camp. A substantial wall lies between this and the road, with no hope of climbing over.

Dad strode on, Southey calling out after a while, "there looks to be a gate from the camp to the road, maybe we can get through there."

Dad made straight for it, but again our hopes were dashed as it was securely padlocked.

"I don't want to sound too pessimistic, but I think we will have to retrace all the way to the aqueduct, to get on to the road", said Shaun.

"Yes lad I agree", replied Dad, "but not to worry we can make good progress along the road and it will add a bit of distance to the walk."

Dad was true to his word and in fact in just over half an hour we were once again passing the Costain compound, and then shortly we came to Shefferlands Bridge that will carry the link road over Halton Road.

Beyond to the left is where the slip road from Shefferlands Roundabout on the link road will join, and just beyond that the existing M6 bridge can be seen.

Looking up from the map Shaun said, " we walk on and immediately after the M6 bridge take the footpath on the left."

This climbed by the motorway and then swung away right to some houses, past which it climb in a loop to Foundry Lane.

"It's left now over the M6", instructed Shaun.

Pausing on the bridge, Tetley called out, "Shefferlands Roundabout is taking shape, and the area on the right where those orange pipes are is the location of the new northbound slip road. This bridge we are standing on is to be extended later this year and into 2016 to accommodate this."

"What's that in the distance on the skyline?", asked Southey.

"Lancaster Castle and the tower of the Priory Church", replied Grizzly.

By August 2016 the new slip road was complete and open to traffic. Here is the view towards Shefferlands Roundabout...

...and north on to the M6.

Onwards the road climbed steadily to a crossroads. "We along this most Monday's when Uncle Brian and I go to Elaine's at Feizor", remarked Dad.

"Yes", agreed Shaun, " and then it is straight on down Bottomdale Road, but our route today is right on Kellet Lane."

The view left was dominated by this, and anticipating Southey's question, Allen said, "that is the Nether Kellet television transmitter mast."

"Just before the mast, we should go left, at that signpost about 30 yards past the sign warning of horses", advised Shaun.

Crossing the field it was then over an awkward hurdle and double stile, where beyond was this old water pump and trough.

Reading the sign, Allen said, "I agree with the sentiments expressed and indeed it should be the watchword for all walkers."

"Quite", added Tetley.

Keeping by the hedge we walked up to the brow where there was a fine view over Morecambe Bay, but not clear enough for a picture.

Looking right, Southey said, "those are very odd looking trees."

Letting out a hearty laugh, Grizzly said, "that's because they are not really trees at all, but mobile phone masts disguised to look like trees!

Descending from the brow it was over a stile by a gate, where the path became a cart track. Shortly it was left through the gate into the farmyard and then right down the access road to Ancliffe Lane.

"We cross and go through that kissing gate opposite and then up the field by the hedge on the left", advised Shaun.

This led to a kissing gate into a hedged path, at the end of which another kissing gate gave access down steps into a narrow end of another field. Keeping ahead a further kissing gate led into the sports field.

"I think we should go left here", said Shaun.

"But, there is a kissing gate on the opposite side?", countered Little Eric.

"I think you are right, Shaun, but either way it will not matter too much", said Dad. "However if we go to the kissing gate and through the cemetery, there will be less road walking."

The cemetery was quite beautifully kept and there was a seat at the top. "Perhaps we can have a sit there", said Allen. "I'm getting a bit hungry."

"Well, no change there", laughed Tetley.

We had our sandwiches, while Dad just had some biscuits and then phoned Uncle Brian. Finally before leaving we posed for our picture. Well it's time we put in an appearance!

On the repeat, Dad said, "I am determined to try and use the correct path, and come out onto the road by the old stone footpath sign."

Looking about Allen said, "well we have to walk ahead then left on the far side of the football pitch to that small rail stile in the fence."

This done, he then said, "on the far side of the fence the path goes half left to the stile. However I am hungry, so how about we have lunch first."

"Well that sounds like the Allen we know and love", laughed Tetley.

Either side of the pitch were newly constructed dug outs. The one adjacent to the stile provide a seat for lunch, and a place for us to pose for our picture, afterwards.

From here we walked right on the road to its junction with the A6 crossing this slightly left to walk along Manor Lane and then round right onto Hanging Green Lane. At the next junction Shaun called out, "we keep on down Hatlex Lane, which will bring us to the bridge where we rejoin the canal."

It was busy on the towpath here with walkers and cyclists. This Mr & Mrs Mallard made a nice shot with the colourful plant growing out of the bank.

In August, flowers are in full bloom and these at this canal side house were very colourful.

We also spotted this interestingly designed metal seat by the canal. The dedication read - 'Just Cruising. Derrick Lilley Died 4th July 2001 Aged 70 years. Loving Husband Father & Grand Father'.

Then a little way on we passed a moored barge, Grizzly called out, "look at the name. You must take a picture Dad."

"I remember coming along this section when we did the walk from Hest Bank in January", said Southey. "That day we left the canal at the bridge by the Hest Bank Hotel."

"That's right pal", agreed Grizzly, "but today we will continue on to get to the start."

By the hotel, there are always number of boats moored.

Approaching one of the many over bridges, Dad took this shot of the ripples in the water reflecting on the stone of the arch.

Then finally bridge 114 carrying Hasty Brow Lane was reached, and in 2016 swans with six cygnets were paddling by.

As Dad left the towpath to cross it to the car he met Louise Whittaker, who with her late father George once ran the Lord Ashton pub in Lancaster, where Dad and Uncle Brian used to drink regularly. They had a nice chat and she asked about Uncle Brian too, and was pleased he was OK. Her daughter, now 17, has been picked to play netball for England, in Australia. "Wow"!, said Dad, "you must be so so proud."

"Scrambling out of the rucksack, Southey said, "thanks Dad on behalf of us all. That was a really interesting walk. You really are the best Dad in the world."

"Thanks lad. Just glad you all had a good day."


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