BEACON FELL via WHITECHAPEL & RIVER BROCK

 


Summary

Date - 21st June 2015 Distance - 6.25 miles
Ascent -
910ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Beacon Fell Visitor Centre (SD 5643 4266)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Beacon Fell 873 266 SD 5681 4283

 

Preface

Putting his mug down, Allen picked up the iPad. After few taps he announced, "the weather looks to be good for Sunday and Dad is free so we can hope that a walk will be in prospect.

"That will be good", mumbled Southey through a mouthful of cake. "This peach and apricot slice is really delicious, Grizzly, can I have another piece please?."

"Certainly pal", he replied offering the cake tin.

"More tea, anyone?, asked Shaun.

"Yes please", said Tetley.

His mug filled, he went on "no need to ask you Allen, as we all know what a tea belly you are", as he picked up and refilled Allen's mug.

"So where to go?", mused Little Eric.

"I think it would be nice to get one of the catch-up fells that only Shaun and Tetley have done, out of the way", suggested Grizzly.

"That is either Ward's Stone or Beacon Fell, then", replied Tetley.

"Well for Dad's sake, as he has had a busy time, I think we should suggest Beacon Fell", added Shaun.

The rest of us mumbled agreement, Southey saying, "we need to come up with a route then."

Shaun picked up the iPad and quickly tapped in a search in Google. "There is one here, published by the AA. It starts from the Visitor Centre and goes in a circle to the west before reaching the summit at the end."

Tetley had got the map, and with Shaun reading the instructions the route was soon highlighted. He had also printed the details too.

"Right", said Allen draining his mug, "time for me to see what Dad thinks."

Allen was soon back with a wide smile on his face. "It's on. Dad likes the route. It is eleven years since he climbed this hill, so he says it will be like new."

"Great", cheered Little Eric, "roll on Sunday."

 

The Walk

Although we were not in for an early start we got up quite early and packed our picnic which was safely stowed in Allen's rucksack.

Hearing Dad slam the boot shut for the last time, we quickly settled on the front seat ready for the off. On what was the longest day we were to enjoy dry weather with some sunny intervals but windy.

With Shaun, Dad had planned the route of the drive to the start. Nearing Beacon Fell, we came to a t-junction, where Shaun said, "it is right on the route we have planned, but the direction sign points left."

"We'll go left, as directed ", replied Dad.

We soon found the reason for this. The fell is encircled by a narrow single track road, and as a consequence a one-way system operates. After driving almost all the circle we finally arrived at the Visitor Centre where at 11:00 the number of cars could be counted on the fingers of one hand. A fee was payable to park, at a very modest £1.

"Very reasonable", remarked Tetley, "compared to the Lake District."

This picture was actually taken at the end of the walk, by which time the car park was full, such is the popularity of Beacon Fell.

"Ooh another completely new area to me", said Southey, "I am excited to get off walking."

Pointing to a signpost at the left side of the car park, Shaun said, "that is our outwards route."

This was a lovely path through the trees that descended to a stile into a field.

Beyond Dad walked some way down the field, before bearing left to find a track leading to a gate. "It's tied up", pointed out Little Eric.

"Well it's definitely the route", replied Shaun.

So, Dad promptly climbed over. After the next gate we entered the yard of Crombleholme Farm, passing the lovely stone built farmhouse.

Out of the yard to the road, Shaun advised, "we go right to soon reach a bend where it is left."

"There's the signpost", called out Grizzly, after a minute or so.

Climbing the stile by the gate the path crossed a stream. "We take the path swinging right, then go left down the field ", said Shaun.

A gentle descent brought us to stile on the right just before the field end. Beyond the path ran by the fence to the left, but in fact the way across was to keep more right to pass through a gate. Continuing over the next field led to a bridge and gate, some inquisitive cows following us.

By the track side just beyond the gate these wild flowers were colourful.

The path to the road at Whitechapel was rather overgrown with nettles crowding in, as were some of the other paths too. "It's as well you are not wearing shorts today Dad", said Tetley.

"Quite", agreed Dad.

"We go straight across", advised Shaun.

"Right", replied Dad, "but I want to make the short diversion to see St James' Church"

"Can we go inside?", asked Grizzly.

"Yes sure, if it's open", replied Dad. Sadly as is the case with a number of churches we visit, it was securely locked.

The area was known as 'Threlfall' in the Domesday Book. A tiny 27×13-foot private chapel was built for the Threlfall family in Elizabethan times, and was rebuilt as St James' Church about 1738. The churchyard contains a sundial dated 1745 which is a Grade II Listed Building.

Resuming the walk, a stile led into the grounds of the Cross Keys Inn. It was undergoing extensive refurbishments, after some five years of closure.

"We won't call in for a pint there then", laughed Little Eric.

Once in a field, Shaun said, "it is right by the fence."

This brought us to a stile then across to a hedge corner with a prominent tree ahead.

Not perhaps the most shapely of trees that Dad has photographed, but we include it, because it was the guide point for us to now bear half left to a stile. Then right to stepped gap stile by a gate and another onto a road.

"We go left, then right to Lower Trotter Hill", instructed Shaun.

"Here's the turning", called out Southey shortly.

This was a wide concrete track that crossed a cattle grid then left and round to the right to pass a house.

At a choice of gates Shaun said, "we take the left hand one."

This led to a stile, after which we followed right the edge of the large field, and then eventually round left and on a stony track to a road.

Allen had been looking at the map and preempted Shaun saying, "it's right as far as that bend, where we leave the road and keep ahead in the same direction.

Dad paused here, to ring Uncle Brian to check he was OK. The rough muddy track descended through the woodland and emerged into an open glade surrounded by the trees at Brock Bottom.

"I'm hungry", complained Allen.

"Your so like Dad ", laughed Tetley. "But I agree, it's time we stopped for lunch."

"That fallen tree looks a good place to sit", suggested Grizzly.

By the look of some items of litter it seems that other people had had the same idea. We and Dad were careful as always not to leave any litter behind. It was very peaceful with just the sound of the birds as we munched away at the sandwiches and cake.

"Will you take our picture, before we set off again?", asked Southey.

We quickly settled in Dad's rucksack, and he strode off, the path soon entering woodland and eventually to a footbridge over the River Brock, that flowed gently between its tree clad banks.

A section of the path had at some time collapsed into the river and this boardwalk had been built as a replacement.

Soon we joined a well walked path and turned right. Along here we passed a number of people as it is a popular walk from the car park at Brock Mill Bridge where we were going.

Arriving Shaun was quick to say, "we should cross the bridge and then go immediately left through a gateway and climb the tarmac track, and soon go right at footpath sign. "The rhododendrons make a colourful sight", remarked Little Eric.

Into a field we were directed right by the wood to a stile on the right and very shortly a footbridge and further stile, where once again Dad was glad not to be in shorts.

Crossing the field and the intervening fence we soon reached the beautiful house called Lower Lickhurst. "Wow", said Southey. "What a place to live."

Following the boundary fence right, brought us to a kissing gate on to the drive and so to the road.

"I suppose it is along the path just a few paces left?", said Little Eric.

"Yes pal", agreed Shaun. "This is the drive of Middle Lickhurst."

Straight ahead a waymarked stile took us into a field and over the next to follow the fence on the right to a further stile and footbridge. In this next field we headed by an electric pole and so to a footbridge onto a road.

"We go right", said Shaun, "and then soon take the stile on the left."

Here we passed two small fishing lakes that are used by the Fellview Carp and Catfish Syndicate. Striding the pasture to eventually reach an isolated thorn tree, it was on through a gateway and then to a stile and footbridge. Now keeping ahead by an old boundary that is now nothing more than a muddy depression, we drifted left to power lines, following these to a waymarked post.

"Finally, we are heading to Beacon Fell", cheered Allen. "And so far Dad has not been able to take any sheep pictures. I think my luck may hold on this walk."

The waymark pointing right was our route the path climbing to cross the road encircling Beacon Fell and take the track rising through the forest. At a junction it was left to soon take the path rising right to the trig point.

Busy here as this is a very popular gentle climb, were were content to sit at the foot of it for our picture.

Tetley said, "the last time we were here Dad, in 2004, Shaun and I had your sister Elaine for company."

"That's right lad. Sadly it is nearly nine years now since she died. I still miss her so much."

Ready again for the off, Shaun issued his final instruction for today. Pointing he said, "we walk down by that fence to join a surfaced track into the woods, then keep on ahead at any junction to descend to the Visitor Centre."

Into the open by this stands this sculpture. The plaque informed us that it is called Orme Sight and is by Thomas Dagnall. It commemorates the 25th anniversary of Beacon Fell Country Park, being unveiled on 30th September 1995.

"Well that has been a super walk", said Grizzly, "and one of the catch-ups is out of the way."

"Yes, thanks Dad as always", said Southey. "I am forever thankful that you adopted me, and that I can come on the adventures."

"Time for tea, Dad?", said Tetley.

"Absolutely. There are few cafes in the Forest of Bowland so I am not going to miss the chance here."

He enjoyed a pot of tea with a piece of lovely fruit cake and chocolate caramel shortbread. Well deserved too!

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