Date - 20th October 2019 Distance - 5.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - RSPB car park at Crag Foot (SD 4757 7371)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Little Eric and Southey looked mournfully out of the window, watching the rain lashing down.

"The weather has been atrocious, preventing any prospect of walk", said Southey.

Looking up from the magazine he was reading, Tetley said, "that really is symptomatic of the the mood at present, since the sudden death of our dear dear Uncle Brian. We know that he had been suffering a lot this year with the ulcer on his foot that meant seemingly endless visits to hospital and nurses."

"That was terrible", agreed Allen. "He is not suffering anymore and at peace, but that does not make it any easier to come to terms with for us all, and especially for Dad."

"I feel so so sorry for Dad", said Southey. "Only now do I fully realise how long and enduring their friendship was, the loss must be unbearable."

"We will miss him so much", said Shaun. "But, as Dad has said we must hold on to all the wonderful memories. We were all truly fortunate to have him as our uncle."

"Dad has felt so tired lately too", remarked Allen. "So it would not have been fair to ask him to take us on a walk, even though we can't wait to be out in the countryside again."

Just then, Dad walked into the room.

"Hi lads, I heard what you just said Allen. I seem to have got through the tiredness, and looking at the forecast, the weather is to settle down at the weekend, so I am determined to have a walk on Sunday."

"That's great", cheered Southey, his face brightening.

We are going to do one of the walks from the Silverdale and Arnside book. Number 3, starting from Crag Foot and taking in Leighton Hall and Leighton Moss. I know we have done most of it before, but the first part will definitely be new."

"Don't mind, just glad to be out", cheered Shaun. "And, I know Uncle Brian would approve."

"Roll on Sunday", cried Little Eric.



The Walk

It was not far to drive to the start, and so there was no need for an early start. The day was sunny spells and occasional showers and with a cold wind. For once Dad was in long trousers! His usual dress is shorts and T-shirt, hence why Uncle Brian would often refer to Dad as 'nature boy'.

As Dad backed out of the drive, Southey asked, "how do we get to the start."

"We drive to Carnforth, then in the town take the left fork near Tesco down past the station and on to Warton. Here we go left towards Silverdale. Once past Warton Crag, the road bends left and just before the bridge over Quicksands Pool, go left down a track to the Crag Foot RSBP car park."

"Thanks Tetley."

The muddy track was pot holed and these were full of water, so by the time we parked, Dad's car that had been cleaned after its service last Wednesday, was well and truly mucked up!

"Oh dear", said Little Eric

"Quite" agreed Dad. "A visit to the car wash is in order."

Soon ready, we got settled in the rucksack, and this shouldered by Dad, he marched off to return along he track.

Reaching the road, Shaun announced, "we go right to the corner.

Keeping on the right side, Dad used the narrow and overgrown pavement. Towards the end Tetley laughed, "it's hardly wide enough for us, never mind humans."

What is that chimney?", asked Little Eric.

Grizzly had the guidebook in paw and replied, "it is what remains of a pumping station for a land drainage scheme that started about 1830. It also operated a saw mill."

At the corner Shaun said, "we go left here towards Moss House Farm.

Passing a cottage, this young pheasant was running about. We were to see lots of young and mature pheasants on the walk today.

"Do we walk through the farm?", asked Southey.

"No pal, we take the lane right, just before", replied Shaun.

Here in the field were two calfs. We watched them as Dad took pictures. "The one on the right has not moved", remarked Allen, after we had stood for fully two or three minutes.

"I am beginning to think it is a statue", said Dad.

"Can't be" replied Tetley, and this was confirmed seconds later when it moved its head.

Dad had taken just a few steps when Shaun called out, "we go through the stile here into Stoney Wood."

The muddy leaf strewn path meandered its way through the pretty woodland.... its far end at a gate.

A shower was passing over now, so we sheltered until the worst passed over. We dived for cover in the rucksack as Dad set off across the clearing, heading diagonally right to a gate at the top, by which time the rain had passed over and we popped out again.

Following the wide stony track beyond the gate we arrived at a facing gate with the sign 'Private'.

Looking about Southey said, "I guess it's through that left hand gate with the waymark."

"Spot on pal", replied Shaun.

Keeping along by the wood it was then through another gate, where Shaun said, "we take the narrow trod going diagonally right."

The route had been clearly waymarked too, the next being on a post sitting atop a low rocky outcrop.

"Looks like a good place to have our picture taken", said Grizzly.

"But the rocks are wet after the rain", complained Southey.

"No problem", replied Dad. "You can sit on the map cover."

"That tree has a nice shape. I think a picture is in order", said Tetley.

The narrow trod led on, then became rather indistinct, so Shaun helpfully said, "just keep ahead through the clump of trees and we will come to a gap stile.

Beyond followed the clear track by the wall on and on to come to the Coach Road.

"It's over that field on the opposite side", advised Shaun.

The path climbed towards a brow, and there were sheep grazing.

"Oh nooo.." cried Allen, seeing one standing and posing as Dad got the camera out.

"Ha", laughed Southey, "there goes your sheep picture free story."

Beyond the brow as the path dropped down, we soon passed a limekiln.

"To the coach road had all been new territory, but we have passed by here before", said Tetley.

The path kept descending, through a gap in a line of trees with the gated gap stile entrance to Hyning Scout Wood on the right. To the left ahead was a tall stone wall. "Our route is left along beside that", advised Shaun.

This brought us to a wooden kissing gate and then in a few yards another gate onto the Coach Road once again. "Right here, and then at the sharp corner through the gap stile left", said Shaun,

Here we climbed straight up on a narrow path to exit the wood at the top into open grassland.

"What's that reinforced mound", pointed Little Eric

Grizzly replied, "The guide book says that it is known locally as the 'Summer House'.

The remains of a building can be seen in the picture. This was indeed a summer house built in Victorian times.

A wide path led across the field to a stile and through a line of trees there were seats to enjoy the wonderful panoramic view of Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland Fells, with Leighton Hall and park nestled below. The hall is the lived in house of the famous furniture making Gillow dynasty.

"Wow", breathed Southey, "what a view."

Black Combe is the dominant distant hill. In front lining Morecambe Bay are the towns of Kents Bank and Grange over Sands, and the extensive brown area of reeds forms the Leighton Moss RSPB Bird Reserve.

We sat here in quiet contemplation thinking about or dear Uncle Brian. He was in our hearts and knowing this he would be seeing the view too.

The route now was straight down the hill to join the tarmac access to Leighton Hall and follow this right over the cattle grid. Dad stood aside to let two people in a distinctive red land rover pass by. The lane led past Leighton Hall Home Farm and in half a mile come to the farm called Grisedale. Through a gate we shortly came of a well buttressed barn.

Now headed on the track towards the causeway at Leighton Moss Bird Reserve. Here once again met the men in the same red land rover.

They stopped and one said to Dad, "the causeway is flooded you know."

"How deep?"

"It will come over the top of your boots".

To which Dad replied, "it won't be the first time I have had wet feet."

We exchanged knowing looks and our thoughts went to the day Dad had to wade the River Calder. It took days for his boots to dry out.

Walking on soon the flooded causeway stretched before us.

Dad started across and at first it was not over the boots, but we knew it would get deeper.

"We have been across here before", said Tetley. "We don't want you to get wet feet Dad, so let's turn back and find and alternative route."

Shaun and Dad were consulting the map, when a couple emerged from the causeway. The gentleman said, "the water came up to my ankles." The lady went on, "my feet are well and truly soaked."

"If we return to the barn and go right, the map shows a track that leads all the way to Moss House Farm", said Shaun.

"I agree" replied Dad, "let's give it a go."

After about 100 yards we came to a gate, where the sign clearly stated that it was private and there was no right of way.

"Oh heck", said Southey.

Now Dad is not usually one to trespass, but faced with the prospect of no other alternative, he said, "we'll give it a go.

There was no one about and the chances of meeting someone was slim, but nevertheless he said, "the real problem will be when we get to the farm, and if we are seen we will have no excuse whatsoever."

Shaun and Little Eric were looking intently at the map and after a while Little Eric said, "we may have a solution to avoiding the farm."

Shaun went on, "this is Grisedale Wood on the left and the map shows a track climbing through it that seems to lead to the clearing where we had our picture taken."

"Sounds like a plan", replied Dad.

At the end of the wood a gate gave access and we took the muddy track that climbed steadily coming to a fork.

"Where now?", asked Allen.

"Go right", replied Little Eric.

So Dad marched on and eventually the end of the wood was in sight the track coming by a fence.

"Look called out Tetley, pointing over the fence, "there's the rocky outcrop with the waymarked post."

"Great", said Allen, "all we need now is a gate in this fence."

After a further 100 yards Allen's wish was granted.

So now it was just a matter of retracing our outwards route. Dad paused by the rocky outcrop and then suddenly got his camera and and took a picture of this rock.

"What did you do that for?", asked Grizzly, quizzically.

"Well I think it looks like a large toad", replied Dad.

We will leave it to our readers to form their own opinion!

It was not too long before we were at the main road and walking back towards the track to the car park. Suddenly one train sped along the tracks too quick for Dad to get a picture, but to our surprise there was immediately another going in the opposite direction for Dad to snap. It is one of the new trains for Northern Rail that are much needed for the beleaguered commuters.

As we scrambled out of the rucksack, Allen pointed to a sign on a gate. It referred to the distance to two hides. He said, "one has my name,"

The other is justifiably named after Eric Morecambe as he was a keen birdwatcher.

"Thanks Dad on behalf of us all for a lovely walk", said Tetley.

"You're welcome lads. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has done me good to get some exercise and fresh air.

"Refreshments I guess now", laughed Allen.

Sure thing lad. I am going to the Brief Encounter cafe at Carnforth Station. Here he had a pot of tea and lovely piece of toffee cake. Well, he deserved it.


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