Date - 5th January 2016 Distance - 8.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Barley Bridge, Staveley (SD 4696 9881)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



New Year had arrived, and we hoped that it would be a good one for Dad and Uncle Brian too of course. We were all content with steaming mugs in paw, and a choice of chocolate caramel shortbread to apricot and cherry slice to eat.

"2015 started off with no specific plan, but then Dad took us up Fair Snape Fell, and suddenly we had a completely new challenge" remarked Tetley.

"It was a wonderful 6 months or so, exploring the Forest of Bowland and a great feeling when we reached the summit of Pendle Hill to complete it", said Shaun.

"I was over the moon", exclaimed Southey. "I only joined the group in September 2013, so never expected to be able to say I had a completed challenge to my name."

"Yes pal it is a great feeling", replied Little Eric. "I think back to how I felt, reaching my last Wainwright Outlier and Howgill summit. The Bowland Fells, rather concentrated our minds in 2015, so the Lake District took a back seat, so I hope that Dad will take us there this year and perhaps I will get books 2 and 6 finished. But, I do not want Dad to be under any pressure and I am still of the mind that he does not have to redo all my outstanding Birketts and Wainwrights."

"Aye pal", said Grizzly, "we will just have to wait and see, and be patient until the weather gets better."

Allen looked up from the iPad saying, "we have a day down to walk with Uncle Eric on Tuesday, and the weather forecast is good."

Yippee", cried Little Eric, "that will get our 2016 account off to an early start."

"Now I recall that when we last walked with Uncle Eric he mentioned a walk published in the Westmorland Gazette from Staveley, parts of which are over new ground", said Shaun. "So maybe that is what Dad and he will agree to do."

"Well for once that saves us the trouble of coming up with a suggestion", replied Tetley, sighing contentedly as he helped himself to another slice of cake.


The Walk

Tuesday arrived and we got up early, all lending a paw to pack the picnic and stow it in Allen's rucksack.

Dad drove to Kendal and Uncle Eric's, where we decamped for the few miles drive to Staveley, parking by the River Kent just beyond Barley Bridge.

The day was to be dry apart from some drizzle towards the end, with some sun and hardly any wind.

From the parking area, we walked toward Staveley crossing Barley Bridge, where the river was flowing strongly over the weir.

Shaun had read the walk while Dad and Uncle Eric were getting ready and had memorised the route, and instructed, "we go left then soon left again along the access to Scroggs Farm".

Looking left, Allen commented, "that is Hugill Fell one of the Wainwright Outliers. The Wainwright summit is a tall cairn, that is not actually at the highest point, as in his time there was no public access to it. That has all changed now following the CRoW Act."

Beyond the farm a rough track led and down to a road junction, the narrow road right leading to Low Elfhowe. "Do we go that way?", asked Southey.

"No lad", replied Uncle Eric. "It is left and across Scroggs Bridge."

We were all well aware of the terrible rains and storms during December and of the devastation that has been caused. Here we were to see some first hand, as the river had swept away the upstream parapet of the bridge.

A signpost stands at the road junction.

"We go along Browfoot Lane", said Uncle Eric.

"We have walked some of that before", said Grizzly.

"And driven to its end, to park just on the track, when we last climbed Sour Hows and Sallows", went on Allen.

Meanwhile Dad was looking about, and spotting the wall post box dating from the reign of King George V, could not resist snapping a picture.

Browfoot Lane is a delightful route with open views across the valley, like this to Pool Scar its upper slopes brown at present, but by summer will be green again when this years growth of bracken is at its height.

Reaching Browfoot Farm, the lane swings left. "That's the Kentmere Fells", called out Allen.

Grizzly adding, "from the left, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike & Shipman Knotts with on the extreme right Green Quarter Fell.

Soon a footpath went off left. "We have been along that too", said Little Eric.

"It is not our route today", replied Uncle Eric, "we just keep along the road to the end."

Eventually the junction was reached the track left and right being unsurfaced. "Where did you park?", asked Uncle Eric.

"On the verge just to the right", replied Dad.

Here the route was left and Dad and Uncle Eric strode along.

Banked up above was a field with Herdwick sheep, one standing proud near the fence. "Definitely worth a picture", called out Allen.

Now readers of other stories will recall that Allen tries to get sheep picture free stories, but Herdwicks are our and Allen's very favourite sheep.

Ahead and left is High Knott crowned by the Williamson Monument, and in the foreground more Herdwick sheep, these being born in 2015.

A discussion now ensued about access to the monument that is one of the Wainwright Outliers.

Dad said, "the book suggests going through the gate a little way back and walking up to the wall corner to climb an awkward stile."

"I seem to recall that", replied Uncle Eric, "although it is a long time since I climbed it."

"Last time we went up, we found the stile is now blocked up", went on Tetley. "So we walked on by the wall to a gate into the next field, and then turned up left to another gate to gain the summit.

"That was for my sake", said Little Eric. "The very last time we were along here, Dad resolved to take Southey to the summit. So knowing the stile was no longer there, we walked to The Heights, and then up the field, which was in fact the way we made the descent when I bagged it."

"And we all know how that ended", said Grizzly. "The farmer was in the barn and called out, 'you can't go that way'. As the map clearly shows the fell is not access land and he explained that some walkers left the gates open, effectively spoiling it for the responsible walkers."

"Dad said he fully understood", said Tetley, finally ending the discussion.

Here is The Heights.

Beyond the track led to a junction, where we kept left on the tarmac road that descended to pass Low House.

"Look at the owl sculpture", called out Grizzly, "it's brill."

Finally the road brought us to the main A591, which we crossed carefully and then walked to Ings, taking the narrow road through the village and passing the Watermill Inn. This was closed due to flooding, and people were working hard to repair the damage.

"The media has reported extensively on the floods, but seeing this, highlights the fact that many many peoples lives have been ruined or affected. The focus of the news has moved on but for so many people it will be months before they get back to normal", said Southey.

"Yes pal it is terrible", agreed Shaun.

At the end of the houses, we turned left along the narrow gated road. This was a delightful walk, with hills on either side, leading past High Fairbank Farm.

Suddenly Southey pointed, "that sheep is just waiting to be photographed."

"Hmph", grunted Allen.

Soon a junction was reached. "We go left", instructed Shaun.

"That small tarn makes a pretty picture", said Tetley. "Does it have a name?"

"No pal", replied Shaun, looking at the map.

After a while a grassy track joined on the right. This was the Dales Way, which now continued along the road.

Shortly after passing the house of Fell Plain we came to another junction. "Left here", called out Shaun.

Still on the Dales Way, the road climbed steadily, eventually reaching a brow. Looking left Tetley called out, "what a superb view of the Langdale Pikes."

"Yes", agreed Dad, getting the camera out of the bag.

Easier now as the road descended. Just before New Hall the Dales Way left the road. We kept to this, crossing pastures via stiles, and then down to a gate into a track by houses and so out on to the Crook Road. Going left, the road crossed the Staveley Bypass, where just on the far side was a seat.

"Good place to have lunch", said Uncle Eric.

"Yes please", agreed Allen, "I was really getting hungry."

We sat munching our sandwiches and cake, with mugs of warming tea. "Just what we needed", said Little Eric, who then asked, "before we set off again, will you take our picture?".

"Sure lads", replied Dad.

Ready again, we strolled on into Staveley, passing the station and to the main road via the bridge over the River Gowan.

"Just look at the damage the river has wrought to the bank", said Uncle Eric. "It has been carved away by the floods causing the fence and road sign to drop some feet!"

Crossing the road it was then just a short walk to Barley Bridge.

"How about going to Wilfs for tea and cake", suggested Dad.

"Oh yes", agreed Uncle Eric, "let's hope we can park."

As it turned out there were plenty of spaces and they enjoyed a warming pot of tea and cake.

"As we drove back to Uncle Eric's, Tetley said, "thanks for suggesting this walk, Uncle Eric, we have all enjoyed it."

"You are welcome lads."


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