LUNE MILLENNIUM PATH, CONDOR GREEN & LANCASTER CANAL

 


Summary

Date - 7th May 2017 Distance - 10.5 miles
Ascent -
500ft
Map - 296 Start point - St Georges Quay, Lancaster (SD 45938 61774)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

Tea and cakes had arrived, so all was well with the world.

While Tetley gave a helping paw to Shaun to pour the tea, Grizzly said, "for cake Little Eric has made chocolate coconut and cherry slice, and I have done the peach and apricot slice."

"Ooh I'm spoilt for choice", replied Southey.

"Well there's enough for us all to have both", said Little Eric, holding out the tins.

After sampling each, Allen said, "delicious. Thanks as always pals for making the cakes."

"Quite", agreed Shaun.

So content, our thoughts turned to walking. "It was only yesterday that we repeated that nice walk in Yorkshire with Uncle Eric. Tomorrow, Sunday looks to be a glorious sunny day, so perhaps we could persuade Dad to take us out again."

"Hmm", mused Grizzly. "I guess if we could come up with an idea for somewhere local, we might stand a better chance."

"I'll get the map", said Shaun, heading off.

This was soon spread out, Allen saying, "we have done most on the north side of the river."

"Yes agreed Tetley. Then pointing, "how about this path from Lancaster to Condor Green. I can't recall we have ever walked that.

"It's on the route of the long closed railway line to Glasson Dock, so will be easy walking", commented Little Eric.

"OK, that's the out so now we need to sort the return", said Southey.

Shaun was quick to sort this, saying, "we can cross the fields here and then pick up the Lancaster Canal."

"Spot on pal", agreed Allen. "I reckon too, that we have not walked that section of the canal, and it will be very pretty now with the trees fully out and the wild flowers."

"So we have a plan", agreed Tetley and giving Allen the map, he went on, "now you can see if Dad agrees."

"Why is it always me?", responded Allen.

"Because your persuasive charm never seems to fail", replied Little Eric.

"OK, but can you refill my mug for when I get back."

"Sure pal", laughed Shaun, "we all know what a tea belly you are."

"And another piece of cherry slice", he called out as he trotted out of the door.

"Bless him, he's just like Dad", laughed Tetley.

Shortly Allen returned. "Thanks Shaun" he said as the steaming mug was passed to him. "The walk is on. Dad said with other commitments there is not so much time for walks this year, so grabbing every opportunity is important."

"Great", cheered Southey, raising his mug in salute.

 

The Walk

As predicted we were to enjoy a day with cloudless skies and with a lighter wind than of late, Dad was happy to be walking in shorts and t-shirt.

Dad's gear loaded and us settled in the car, we headed to Lancaster. "It seems strange coming along here, as we now always use the new Bay Gateway to avoid Lancaster", commented Dad.

"How do we get to the start?", asked Southey.

"We will have to go round the one-way system then just before the bus station turn left along St Georges Quay" replied Dad.

The first section passed buildings that had once been warehouses, from the days when Lancaster was a port, but now converted to dwellings. Past Carlisle Bridge that carries the main railway line over the river, the road led on and on seemingly never ending. "My", said Dad. "How this area has changed, with all this new housing having been built."

Finally the road ended and continued as a tarmac track, and Dad turned round and parked at the road side.

So we sat patiently while Dad got ready. This was delayed a little by him having a conversation with a gentleman passing on his mobility scooter.

He told Dad, "I regularly ride on the roads and paths around here. Gets me into the fresh air and far better than sitting in all the time." Dad having told him where we were going, he said, "enjoy your walk and nice to have talked to you."

Then even when ready Dad stopped to talk to a cyclist who was riding down to Condor Green. He said, "I'm from Rochdale and staying over here for the weekend. This is a nice route and there is the cafe at the far end, where I can make a stop."

We were to see him later on this return trip.

Dad is very sociable which is nice, but we were glad to finally be setting off. There was a sign post, Southey asking, " which is our route?"

Shaun replied, "the direct route is the Bay Cycle Way, which we will in fact use for the most part, but initially it is that narrow the footpath, towards the river."

Beyond the fenced industrial sites, it meandered on to come by the river and turn south. Here the jet skiers were out as well as water skiers, the people in the boat giving us a wave.

"That's the Golden Ball pub", said Southey. "The one locally known as Snatchems, because of possibly being a place where the press gangs came to get sailors."

The path continued by the river swinging left along an embankment to join the main route towards Condor Green.

Arrow straight and level, Tetley said, "no doubting this was once a railway line."

The line to Glasson Dock was opened in 1883, serving the community and the port. It closed to passengers in 1930, but continued to be used for freight traffic until 1964.

For this section we were away from the river, but nevertheless there was much of interest.

Along this first section we passed Aldcliffe Marsh to the right. "Don't you think that pool will make a nice picture?", suggested Allen.

There were more pools beyond. "Look", called out Grizzly, "there are lapwings swooping about. Uncle Brian would have loved to have seen them."

This picture below shows a swan and heron the latter perhaps looking for his dinner...

...and as we walked on, spotted moorhens, white egret and shelducks.

Further on looking left, Little Eric said, "there's another solar farm, like the one we saw near Heysham Moss."

"It's huge", went on Allen. "What with the wind turbines and the nuclear power station, there is lots of renewable energy being produced around here."

The hedgerows were in full bloom and we were to see lots of wild flowers today, and thanks to Dad we can include this close up of English bluebells.

Dad stepped on out, until Shaun called out, "look a seat!"

"Photo time" cried Tetley, getting his pal's drift.

Settled again, Dad had hardly walked any distance when he had the camera out again. "What pretty flowers", said Southey.

About halfway to Condor Green the route doglegged slightly left, to then continue as a surfaced stony track, some of which was through woodland.

Shortly a house was passed on the left that has this superb view over the River Lune. The tall pylons carry electricity from the nuclear power station to the national grid.

Immediately beyond for a stretch of a few hundred yards the woods were a mass of bluebells. "What a truly magnificent sight", cried Little Eric.

"Wonderful, amazing", called out Southey.

No photograph you say? Well, there was not a camera angle that would do it justice.

We were passed in both directions by many cyclists, prompting a gentleman with his wife, walking in the opposite direction to comment, "you and I are a dying breed."

Dad replied, "I would rather be walking as I can better enjoy the views, wildlife and flowers."

"Quite", agreed his wife.

An overbridge appeared ahead, Tetley saying, "this must have been the only one on the railway.

Reaching it, Grizzly pointed, "there's a relic of the railway. The remains of a bracket that would have held the telegraph wire.

As a project the children of Thurnham Glasson Church of England Primary School had painted these murals on either side of the bridge walls. "How lovely", said Tetley.

"Really adds interest to the walk, and something the cyclists will mostly miss as they flash past", remarked Shaun.

Returning to the many cyclists who had passed, one lady had called out to Dad, "I like your ted bears."

So, it was now not long before we arrived at the car park and picnic area.

"Tables", called out Allen. "Perfect spot of lunch and with a view over the river."

"OK" agreed Dad.

As we sat, Dad told us a story about the so called 'pork pie incident'. "Long ago in 1992 Uncle Brian and I had a picnic here. For some reason we did not like the pork pies, so threw them over the bank onto the shore. Only after we had done this did we realise that people may have been walking below, and might have been hit by these food missiles!"

"Oh, so that's what you got up to", laughed Grizzly.

Dad took the opportunity to ring Uncle Brian to check he was OK, and also recall this memory with him.

Before jumping back into the rucksack, Shaun asked, "will you take our picture?"

"Sure lad"

Striding off, in a few yards we passed the Cafe di Lune that was unsurprisingly busy. Here we could see that the railway line had swung right towards Glasson Dock crossing the River Condor by this viaduct. Its use today is the continuation of the cycleway and footpath to Glasson Dock.

"Our route is along the road", advised Shaun.

Soon this brought us to the main A588 by The Stork a pub and restaurant at Condor Green.

"It's left just a few yards on the main road, then right along the lane, and then left on a footpath", instructed Shaun.

Shortly Allen called out, "there's the signpost."

Climbing the gap/wood step stile Dad kept by the fence on the right passing by Webster's Farm and through a gateway.

Up to now Allen's desire for a sheep picture free story had held good, but here his luck ran out, as this lamb posed for Dad. "Darn", he exclaimed.

"We keep on to Crow Wood, ahead." said Shaun.

Reaching this, it was plain that we did not enter the wood, rather climbed the step stile right and immediately crossed the footbridge over a small stream to then continue on beside the wood.

"Look", called out Southey with wonder in his voice. "The wood is just a mass of bluebells and wild garlic."

"Beautiful", breathed Allen.

Onwards climbing two more stiles, brought us into the yard of Parkside Farm, where we met a gentleman walking in the opposite direction. Dad stopped to chat for a few minutes about how lovely the countryside is around here and what a grand day it was for walking.

A wide track led from the farm. "We dogleg right via a gate to get to the opposite side of the fence to stay on the route", said Shaun.

Beyond, after a little way, the hedges came to a point, progress being via this kissing gate.

"Now it's half right across the pasture", advised Shaun.

This brought us to a kissing gate into Forerigg Wood and through this and out by a stile on the far side.

Dad then set off across the field, but was pulled up short by Shaun saying, "that's not the way. The path is right beside the wood and through that gateway."

"You're right lad" agreed Dad.

"Whatever would we do without you, Shaun", said Little Eric.

Reaching the end of the wood, we could clearly see the route was then half left to a stile leading onto the canal towpath, turning left to walk the miles to Aldcliffe.

Open but more often wooded on either side...

the hawthorn in bloom...

Reaching a moored barge Dad talked to the gentleman owner. He had a bull terrier that was very soft and friendly. He told us he had been a taxi driver in Lancaster for 25 years before retiring. We did not envy him having to have coped with all the traffic congestion all those years. This was not only topic of conversation that ranged over a number of subjects.

Striding on we passed under the tall and impressive bridge 91.

The banks we lined in places by more bluebells and as seen here wild garlic...

...and forget-me-nots

"Oh how I just love this time of year", enthused Tetley.

Finally Shaun called out, "time to leave the canal. We take that soil path forking left."

This brought is to the road at Aldcliffe that passes beside the the canal.

"Now the route is along that wide track immediately to the left", advised Shaun.

This soon swung right to then continue as it became a very narrow path. A lady and gentleman had just come along so it seemed our timing was just right.

Again Dad stopped to chat to them for a few minutes. They live nearby.

"What a social walk this has been", remarked Tetley. "And to think you said you were once shy."

"I don't believe it!", laughed Allen,

While nice to chat, it did seem to be our undoing, as now we met a number of people coming along the path, requiring Dad to give way quite a few times. Still, we were not in a hurry, afforded him the opportunity to take this picture of Lancaster Castle and Priory Church.

"Dad commented to a gentleman, "it's busy along here."

"Yes", he agreed, "on a nice day."

Reaching the t-junction it was left to Willow Lane, taking the path left through the woods, and then rejoin the road near a roundabout.

"We go on, then there will be a path going left", advised Shaun.

"There's the signpost", called out Southey.

This led on and on to eventually came to the Bay Cycleway, where going right soon brought us to the car.

"What a lovely walk", enthused Grizzly.

"Quite pal", agreed Southey, "made all the more delightful seeing all the spring flowers and wildlife."

Being no cafes nearby, Dad just drove us home, to have a nice mug of tea and doughnut. Well, he truly deserved it!

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