Grizzly's 13th birthday walk (1st July 2017) & belatedly Tetley's 19th birthday walk (27th June 2017)


Date - (1) 12th October 2016. (2) 1st July 2017. (3) 28th May 2020. (4) 15th January 2021


Distance - (1) 11.25 miles. (2) 10.25 miles.
(3) 10.5 miles. (4) 10.25 miles.


Ascent - 860ft

Map - OL41
Start point - Car park near Skerton Bridge, Lancaster (SD 48118 62447)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen had the iPad in paw, and said rather mournfully, "there had been a plan to walk with Uncle Bob on Friday, but that has had to be cancelled as he has a big job on work wise, and additional Dad now has an appointment to see Dennis his osteopath."

"I know", agreed Southey looking up from his Cumbria magazine. "I was so looking forward to walking with Uncle Bob again. Maybe there will be a chance to walk another day this week?"

"Wednesday is free, but it will depend how Dad is feeling", replied Allen.

His face visibly brightened just then as he saw Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arrive with the flasks and cakes. "Ooh great, tea", cheered Southey.

He and Allen went and got the mugs and plates, and soon Southey was lending a paw to help Shaun fill the mugs and pass them round.

"What do we have for cake?", asked Allen.

There is the chocolate covered flapjack that Grizzly has made, and I have done the peach and apricot slice", replied Little Eric.

Helping himself Allen soon called out, "the flapjack is scrumptious, pal,"

"And the peach and apricot slice", added Shaun.

Southey was just about to take another bite of cake, when we stopped, saying, "where's Tetley?"

"Oh I forgot to say", said Shaun. "I saw him with Dad, their heads buried in a map, so perhaps there is a walk being devised."

"Let's hope so", replied Allen enthusiastically.

Minutes later Tetley trotted in map in paw.

"Here's your tea", said Southey passing him a steaming mug.

"Thanks pal", he replied, taking the mug and then helping himself to cake.

We sat patiently while he ate his cake, then Tetley said, "with us not being able to walk with Uncle Bob, Dad is still determined to get out for a walk, but he does not want to drive too far. So we have come up with an idea starting from Skerton Bridge in Lancaster. The route will take us on paths we have not walked over the M6, and down to the road to Caton. Then across the river and through Halton and Nether Kellet, and back to the start. Most of it will be new ground too, which is surprising being so close to home."

"Sounds great", said Grizzly, as we looked at the map and the route that had been highlighted.

"Roll on tomorrow", cheered Little Eric.

"Here's to the best Dad in the world", added Grizzly.

1st July 2017
We decided to repeat this walk to celebrate Grizzly's 13th birthday. And although a few days late, also Tetley's 19th birthday that had fallen just a few days earlier on 27th June.

You might wonder why the distance is 1 mile shorter. Well this can be explained as follows.

First by the M6 Dad did not walk the little way down the side to get a picture of the gantry, then later between Halton and Nether Kellet he did not have to walk back to find his pen that he has dropped. Finally coming down Green Lane to Halton Road, this time we took the stile left to drop down to the canal bridge. A few extra pictures have been added too.

28th May 2020
So a further repeat during the COVID-19 crisis. The day was glorious with cloudless skies and very warm for the time of year. The start point today was the Cable Street car park, due to the normal one being taken over as a base for the installation of flood defences by the river. Walked up to St Leonard's Gate then along residential streets to join the canal and walk to Ridge Lane bridge to join the route. On the return after crossing the Lune Aqueduct, due to the flood defence works, it was necessary to walk up to and along Caton Road towards Lancaster and to Cable Street.

15th January 2021
Being in lockdown again, we decided to repeat this walk. A cold day after a heavy overnight frost, but no wind. Parked at St Leonard's Gate. Then onto Bulk Road and joined the route through Ridge Estate. The fields were frozen for which Dad was thankful, as otherwise they would have been very soft and muddy. The cycleway on the south side of the river is still closed for the flood barrier works, so we kept to the path on the north side to then cross Skerton Bridge and return to the car. Dad did not take the camera, but we were glad he had put it in the car, to afterwards get the picture of the Lune Aqueduct, included at the end of our tale.


The Walk

Wednesday dawned and we were to have a day that was dry with little wind and quite sunny and mild for the time of year.

The start being close, Dad had said that we would be setting off about 10:00, but nevertheless we were up early, all lending a paw to get the picnic ready and safely stowed in Allen's rucksack.

After a while Dad called out, "I'm ready."

"OK", said Tetley, as we dashed out to settle in the car.

We drove to Lancaster, crossing the river at Skerton Bridge, and about 100 yards on the right was the rough car park that we had used before on walks in the past.

Dad was soon ready and we got ourselves settled in his rucksack, and this shouldered off we went.

"We cross the main road and then go right along Bulk Road before turning left up Ridge Lane", instructed Shaun.

Ridge Lane climbs steadily initially crossing the Lancaster Canal, to then become Keswick Road. "Nice cloud reflections", commented Grizzly.

As we walked on, Allen said, "it seems all the roads in this estate are named after places in the Lake District, pointing to Kentmere Road, and then Patterdale Road."

Passing the primary school Shaun pointed saying, "at that roundabout ahead we turn right."

This was Crag Lane and took us past the Central Lancashire High School. Now there were just houses to the left the right side being fields.

"We leave this soon, to go along that concrete track, called Ridge Lane", was Shaun's next instruction.

This led past the access road to Ridge Farm, and past a locked gate by some buildings. Here the concrete ended and the track was more rough, as we approached the bridge spanning the M6.

"Look", called out Tetley, "that's the new super gantry that has been installed as part of the reconfigured junction 34."

Dad headed down the side of the motorway climbing a gate. "This is not the way", called out Shaun.

"I know", replied Dad, "but I will be able to get a better photograph down here."

This is part of the works to construct a link between Heysham and the M6. This road was first proposed in 1948. Works are almost complete and it will open on 31st October. The works have necessitated building a new crossing of the River Lune to the west adjacent to the existing M6 bridge. Dad took this shot a little later after we had crossed the motorway.

On the verge of the M6, two men from the contractors Costain were inspecting an installation. Dad engaged one in conversation, saying , "you have done a great job, and the imminent opening will be welcomed. It will improve our journeys to the M6 greatly, either going north or south."

"Thank you", he replied, "it is good to know how appreciated our work is." He then explained, "the opening is later than originally planned, but that is due to the storms and last December that left the ground so waterlogged. It was impossible to progress the construction until it had thoroughly dried out."

"I fully understand", agreed Dad.

So leaving them to their job, it was back to and across the motorway bridge, to walk the hedge lined track called Grimeshaw Lane.

Along the way Southey called out, "that tree is displaying its autumn colours and will make a nice picture."

This ended at the A683 opposite the junction with Denny Beck Lane.

"That's our route down the lane", instructed Shaun.

The narrow lane drops down towards the river, with Denny Beck running alongside. On the July day, the birthday boys were looking for a place to have their picture taken. Suddenly Grizzly called out, "how about there amongst those campanulas."

"Perfect", agreed Tetley.

Past the houses the lane then comes to the riverside, crossing the Lune Cycleway.

Looking right, Southey said, "what's that building?"

Tetley was quick to answer. "Once this was a railway line that ran from Lancaster Green Ayre Station, up the Lune Valley via Caton, Claughton and Hornby, to join the line from Carnforth at Wennington. The Carnforth line still exists, but this line closed to passengers in 1966. This building here was Halton Station. It is not the original station building as it was destroyed by fire on 3rd April 1907. This building was the replacement, and it is the only station on the line that still survives."

"Thanks pal", said Southey. "You really are a mine of information."

Returning to the road our way was across the bridge dating from 1913 that spans the River Lune.

As can be seen it is narrow with only a single lane for cars, and a pedestrian footpath. "I bet you are not very happy taking your big car across here?", said Allen.

"No lad, I rarely use it,"

There are lovely views of the river, this being that looking east, upstream.

On the far side we continued to the junction with Low Road. "We go ahead up Quarry Road and then bear right to High Road", advised Shaun.

Then we strolled along this through the village of Halton, passing Millers Farm that dates from about 1680. "It must amongst the oldest buildings in Halton?", mused Little Eric.

Well looking it up, we found this was the case and also that it is Grade II listed.

Then on the opposite side this imposing building that had once been the Police Station.

Shortly Allen called out, "just look at that beautiful window box. So colourful. Must be worth a picture Dad."

So we strolled on, after a while Little Eric saying, "look a seat. Will you take our picture?"

"Of course."

"Towards the end of the village we take the road left, Scargill Lane, that goes to Nether Kellet", instructed Shaun.

Shortly Allen called out, "this must be it. The sign reads Nether Kellet 2."

"We go as far as the end of the houses on the left and then leave the road to take a footpath right", said Shaun.

This was via the wooden step stile buried in a gap in the tall hedge.

A clear path led through the centre of the field to metal ladderstile and then on to the next ladderstile and across the field.

Dad was taking notes of the walk, and rummaging in his pocket said, "damn, I've dropped my pen."

"Well it can't be further than the last stile, as you were writing notes just by it", said Allen.

We backtracked, keeping our eyes peeled, Southey calling out, "here it is."

Writing the next section of notes, Dad then zipped it in his jumper! "You won't lose it now", laughed Tetley.

We climbed the next stile and then crossed a final field to a stile by a gate and onto Scargill Road again. Onwards we passed Stub Hall Farm and Scargill Farm, then stretching on towards Moor End...

... and coming to its junction with Long Dales Lane, where all roads lead to Nether Kellet.

"Where now?", asked Southey who was somewhat confused.

"We go left along Shaw Lane", replied Shaun.

This was a narrow single track road between tall hedges. "Another one not to bring your big car along", laughed Allen.

"Especially if Uncle Brian is in the car", replied Dad.

Entering the village Grizzly, espied this flagged area with a seat.

"Just the place for lunch?", he said.

"Oh please", agreed Allen. And rubbing his tummy, "I'm hungry."

"You're always hungry", laughed Tetley.

"Yes just perfect", agreed Dad, so we gathered round to have our delicious sandwiches, cake and warming mugs of tea.

All satisfied and refreshed we packed up and settled again in Dad's rucksack, ready to set off on the next leg.

"We take this footpath here to the left signed Kellet Lane 1.75m", said Shaun.

Initially it was along the drive to the farm, but shortly we struck right over grass to a stone gap stile and then shortly another, into a large pasture. The path was a little way from the hedge on right to a kissing gate.

"Now we keep by the hedge to the right", said Shaun.

This led to a small wood gate in the wall, and then more or less straight on to a gate or stile on far side. Over the stile we followed the overgrown hedged path to the motorway bridge and the stile on the far side. On the July day, here there was a rather disconcerting incident. Crossing the field towards the motorway bridge, we seemed to be in the hunting area of a hawk, that circled and swooped down over us making a number of passes.

As we got to the far side of the motorway, Southey said, "phew, that was a bit scary."

"We go left alongside the motorway", advised Shaun

Across the field this brought us to a double stile in the hedge line.

"It's on ahead but drifting a little right to a stile into those trees", said Shaun.

"Thanks lad", replied Dad. "Your guidance has been impeccable as always."

Beyond the stile the path led between mature trees... gate on to the surfaced track leading to Cote Farm, with its substantial manor house and other buildings. It is an equestrian centre. Following the tarmac access, finally Kellet Lane was reached.

"We take the stile opposite", said Shaun.

"We have walked this part before", said Little Eric. "Part of the walk from Hasty Brow Road, along the canal and river."

"That's right pal", agreed Grizzly.

Over the stile it was across the field to the awkward hurdles and stile, and then up over hill and down to Ancliffe Hall. Here Allen's luck of having a sheep picture free story deserted him.

"Darn", he said. "But they are not bad looking sheep."

Using the access road brought us to Ancliffe Lane. "Last time we crossed this, but today we go left along the lane to to the crossroads at Bottomdale Lane, where we got straight across along Green Lane", advised Shaun.

It is surfaced for a short distance to the entrance to Beaumont Grange, then becoming just a roughly surfaced track. For a year or more the through route had been closed to facilitate the construction of a bridge to carry it over the new link road, called the Bay Gateway, that we had referred to earlier. This view is looking west with the Beaumont Occupation Bridge, and beyond the new bridge carrying the A6 over the link road.

Eventually the lane comes beside the Lancaster Canal and reaches a road, where it was left a short distance to descend to the canal towpath, and towards the Lune Aqueduct. On the July day we shortened this section, by just before the lane swung sharp right, taking the stile left over the fence to drop steeply down the field to a stile onto the road beside the canal bridge.

Crossing this Dad paused to take this shot of the River Lune, looking west towards Lancaster, the castle and tower of the Priory Church being seen on the skyline.

Broad steps took us down to the riverside path, and a fine view of the magnificent structure of the Lune Aqueduct...

...attached to which is this plaque.

Putting his back to this Dad then strolled the path/cycleway along the line of the old railway to the car.

"What a lovely walk", said Little Eric. "Amazing that we have done so much new route too."

"Yes", agreed Allen. "Thanks Dad on behalf of us all, as always."

"You're welcome lads."

After the walk in January 2021, we include this additional picture of the aqueduct nearly perfectly reflected in the River Lune.


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