Date - 7th August 2018 Distance - 8 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7 Start point - Colton Church (SD 3181 8607)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk


It was Monday, and we were having a quiet day, Uncle Brian and Dad being at Elaine's Tearooms as usual.

"I suppose some of our pals have gone along as usual?" said Tetley.

"Yes", replied Allen. A whole contingent. Connie, Oto, Jacques, Rex and Starbuck."

"I bet if Aunt Pat and Uncle Leo are there, they will get fussed", said Southey.

"Oh that's a certainty", replied Allen.

Southey was looking at the iPad and said, "tomorrow and Wednesday are down for a possible walk with Uncle Eric."

"What's the best day for the weather?", asked Tetley.

A few taps later, Southey replied, "Tuesday."

Before any more discussion could take place, Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arrived.

"Ooh tea!", cheered Allen.

"I know", said Tetley letting out a bellow of laughter, "you're gasping for a cuppa."

"And cake too", added Southey.

"You have me taped", said Allen. "Cake stuffer and tea belly, just like Dad."

The mugs were soon filled and the cakes passed around.

"This chocolate coated flapjack is scrumptious, Little Eric", said Southey helping himself to another piece.

"So is the chocolate caramel shortbread", added Allen.

"So I see", said Shaun, "that is your third piece."

Our thoughts turned back to walking. "I am sure it will be on for tomorrow", agreed Shaun. "So that it will be more of a surprise shall we leave the choice to Dad and Uncle Eric."

"Yes", laughed Allen. "More time for cake!"

Dad spoke to Uncle Eric that night, and it was agreed to do a walk Uncle Eric had in the Rusland Valley. Here is the account of our adventure.



The Walk

The day was to be mostly cloudy, but very still, perfect walking conditions.

The walk started in Bouth.

"How do we get there?", asked Southey.

"We take the A590 Barrow road, and soon after Haverthwaite, there is a clearly signed turn-off.

The instructions as we were to find out suggested parking at the White Hart, but as were not going to eat there it would have to be roadside parking in the village.

Dad initially parked at the pub then walked to the road, to see Uncle Eric driving back into the village.

"I've tried around along here but there is no where to park", he said.

A discussion took place and it was decided to instead start the walk from Colton Church, as the route passed very close, and we knew, from having parked there before that there was a large car park.

"OK, I'll follow you", said Dad.

The road from Bouth to Oxen Park is single track and fenced or walled. We all had our paws crossed that there would be nothing coming in the opposite direction. Thankfully this worked!

"Definitely not a road to travel often", said Allen, with relief in his voice.

"Quite", agreed Dad.

Soon they were ready and we settled in the rucksack eager to be off.

Set off through the gate in the corner to the left of the church and followed the track left that initially climbed and then wound its way down to a gate at a wall corner. The colourful signs indicated we were following the Greenwood Trails. These are part of a project called Rusland Horizons. The website contains details of a number of trails to encourage people to get out and enjoy the area. "We are a good advert for that", said Grizzly.

Now in Moss Wood the path meandered through the beautiful woodland.

Coppicing had taken place here, this being one of the areas. There was an information board that was interesting to read and add to our knowledge. "Every day's a school day", commented Southey.

Coppicing is an age old tradition, where in a specific area some trees are felled and some left. This creates an open area that allows the stumps to regrow.

At a lane Shaun said, "it's left here, and then we go through the next gate on the right."

The path by a wall eventually funneled to a gate between walls, and then clear waymarks guided us through an area of rocky outcrops.

"I'm not bothered about the sheep in this picture as the focus is on the rocks", said Allen.

However as we walked there were more sheep, who were happy to pose for Dad.

"You spoke too soon", laughed Southey, who was always winding his pal up about sheep pictures.

"Humph", growled Allen.

Descended to a lane. "This is the access to the Low Hay Bridge study centre, which we walk to", said Shaun. .

Being such a still day it was so quiet and peaceful on this walk and when we stood still the silence was absolutely deafening. "How wonderful to be away from all the hustle and bustle", commented Little Eric.

This lane was no exception and it was a joy to walk along and enjoy the features of the landscape.

"I think that stand of trees will make a nice picture", suggested Tetley.

"That's a pretty pool", pointed out Grizzly. An Internet search later was to reveal it is called Black Beck Tarn.

Then further on pointing to the left, "there's a tarn," said Allen. "Does it have a name?"

"Not according to the OS map", replied Shaun. The same Internet search however revealed this was in fact called White Moss Tarn.

Onwards and shortly the study centre was reached.

Beyond the study centre we crossed a footbridge then followed the endless duck boarding through Hulleter Moss. The first being long established...

...and then stretches that were pristine and new. "A lot of work has gone into creating all this", said Southey.

Through here we met the very few other walkers we saw today. They were a local couple from Bouth who had been mushrooming. Dad and Uncle Eric chatted to them for a little while about the lovely countryside in the Rusland Valley and how good retirement is. Oh yes we thought, without Dad being retired we would never have done so many walks and achieved the mountain challenges.

By the side of the path was a raised viewing seat accessed by a short ladder. "I'm going to try that", said Uncle Eric.

So onwards with path on more duck boarding through the south end of Rusland Moss the last bit being along its edge. Crossed the foliage clad Rusland Pool Bridge, which is of uncertain date but probably built in the 18th century,... join a track and arrive at Rusland Hall.

Following the road for a short way we came to a t-junction at Rusland Cross. "The instructions tell us to go right", advised Shaun.

The road dropped down and swung left and Shaun told us, "it's along this signed track towards" -

The track turned right and we continued on through Resp Haw Wood. At a gate a path went off left towards High Dam. Not our route.

Looking at the signpost, Little Eric laughed, "we appear to have gone backwards as the distance to Great Ellerside has increased by a quarter mile to 1.75miles"

Strolled on, following some white topped posts through Skinner Pastures.

At a wall we kept to the left, then went right through it to reach a gate with a squirrel carving that was dedicated in 2010 to Tony Bushby.

"Take a picture please Dad", called out Grizzly.

On the plaque on the left post are lines from the poem Leisure by W H Davies, here in full below -

What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows

No time to see, when woods we pass
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass

No time to see, in broad day light,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night

No time to turn at beauty's glance
And watch her feet, and how they dance

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began

A poor life this if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.

We took time to read the lines, and after a moment Tetley said, "this is very relevant to how life is today, with people endlessly rushing about and seemingly glued to the screens are their phones."

"You're right lad", replied Dad. "I think people would be happier if they did indeed take the time to stand and stare."

Descending we reached a junction. "There's a white post on the path right", called out Southey.

"Yes pal", replied Shaun, "but we go left following yellow topped posts."

One came into view fairly soon confirming we were on the right track.

Uncle Eric wanted stop for a few minutes, so Tetley asked, "we have to appear in the story, so if we sit on that wall will you take our picture."

"Sure lads."

Exiting the wood, took the road left passing some of the Rusland Beeches. "Wow", breathed Southey, "what magnificent trees."

At a fork, Shaun said, "we go right. Then soon it is right again into Border Moss Wood."

A clear path all the way brought us out by Rusland Pool, going left along the bank through tall grasses and thistles to Crooks Bridge and this signpost.

"Over the bridge towards Crooks Farm?", said Little Eric.

"Yes pal", replied Shaun.

Used the duck boarding to cross the field leading to a path climbing diagonally right.

"Time for lunch", suggested Uncle Eric. "we can sit atop the wall dangling our legs."

"Ooh yes", cheered Southey, rubbing his tummy, "I am quite hungry, and I know you will be Allen."

"You know me too well, and I and ready for a mug or two of tea as well."

There was cheese and onion sandwiches and tuna sandwiches, and of course cake. Chocolate coated flapjack and chocolate caramel shortbread. Mmm delicious.

Again it was just so quiet and peaceful. Just total silence. Bliss.

Eventually it was time to get going again. Rejoined the path to a wall corner by an electricity pole and here turned left through a gate and across grass to join the access to Crook Farm, an impressive house.

So now through woodland we followed the road for about a mile passing Black Beck Farm. Here they make wood animal statues using a chain saw.

There was a price list, the bears costing £160 and £220.

"They are impressive", commented Tetley.

"Don't even think about it", warned Grizzly. "Uncle Brian would not be pleased."

"Yes you are right", agreed Dad. "But it do like this carved squirrel."

"Not for sale", called out Southey.

"OK", called out Shaun. "Shortly we will come to a lane. There we go right and then right and right again, down into Bouth."

Here saw the lady who we had met earlier at Holleter Moss. Uncle Eric and Dad had another chat.

Strolled through the village and turning right, Tetley called out, "those flowers are beautiful.

Along the road came to Old Hall Farm. The owner is into vintage vehicles and we could see some of these including steam traction engines, and this old crane.

"It's right on this wide track", pointed Shaun.

This took us into Height Spring Wood and when the track split, Shaun was quick to say, "keep on uphill."

A gate led out of the wood and the track meandered on to quite soon join our outwards route.

"Just look at those splendid views of our beloved Lakeland Fells", called out Allen.

"Please explain for me", said Southey.

"OK pal. First the prominent fell is Red Screes with Caudale Moor under cloud and the Kentmere Fells to the right."

Then pointing more to the left, Allen said, "in the centre is Coniston Old Man, and to the left the ridge culminates at its highest point of Dow Crag."

Turning left we soon reached our start point at Colton Church that is dedicated to the Holy Trinity The church, built in roughcast stone with ashlar dressings and a slate roof, dates from 1578, the year in which it was consecrated. The tower was built in the early part of the 17th century. It became a parish church in 1676, and in 1721 a north transept was added and in 1762 a vestry was built. It was restored by Lancaster architects Paley, Austin and Paley in 1890. (source Wikipedia)

"What is that small stepped structure in front?", asked Southey.

"A stand for people to dismount from their horses", replied Uncle Eric.

We showed this picture to Uncle Brian, hoping to catch him out, but he guessed straight away. Well of course he is very clever.

"That was a truly lovely walk", said Tetley. "Thank you for suggesting it Uncle Eric."

"You are welcome lads. Just glad you enjoyed it."

We would recommend the walk to anyone. The Rusland Valley is a beautiful place.

Time to to head home, so goodbyes were said until the next time. The narrow road from Colton to Bouth was gated either side of a farm. Fortunately at the first we met a car, so Dad only had to open it. We were surprised how busy the road was from Bouth to the A590 coming in the opposite direction. This became clear when we reached the main road. It was blocked westbound towards Barrow.

"Thank goodness it's clear our way", said Little Eric with relief in his voice.

We all slept very well that night after such a great day.


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