Date - 19th November 2019 Distance - 7.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - 296 Start point - Overton car park (SD 433 579)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



It was Monday and Dad was at Elaine's as usual.

"I guess a few of our pals have gone along", commented Southey.

"Yep", replied Allen. "Mei Li, Lenny, Connie and Stevie G."

"Pat and Leo, will be there so they are bound to be fussed", said Grizzly.

Here they are. Mei Li (Red Panda) on left with Stevie G named after Steven Gerrard who played for Liverpool, and Lenny Lemur with Connie who was Uncle Eric's mums teddy.

All was well as tea and cakes had arrived. "The peach cherry and apricot slice is absolutely delicious, Little Eric", enthused Shaun.

"As are the cherry and ginger scones, Grizzly", added Tetley.

There was a general air of excitement amongst us all, that was put into words by Little Eric. "I am so looking forwards to walking with Uncle Eric tomorrow. It will be almost a year to the day since we last had a walk with his company."

"That was 21st November 2018, and soon after that Uncle Brian was in hospital due to the foot ulcer", replied Tetley.

"Oh I so miss him", sniffed Allen.

"I know pal", said Southey giving him a hug. "We all do, none more so than Dad."

"Come on pal", said Shaun, "here's another mug of tea. Uncle Brian had a very hard year, and yes we miss him terribly, but he is at peace and not suffering any more."

The walk had been published in the Westmorland Gazette. Uncle Eric had attempted it but had been unable to find his way at Trailholme. Devised off the map we had done most of this part in 2018 but in the opposite direction, so we knew the route. As for the first section round Basil Point, this was completely new to us. Dad however had done this in June 1988 before any of us had been adopted.

Here is our story.


The Walk

It is only 10 minutes drive to the start at the rough car park in the village of Overton, opposite the derelict Globe Hotel.

We called out a cheery "hello Uncle Eric, so nice to see you."

"Lovely to see you too", he replied.

It was a cold day after a sharp overnight frost, but there was no wind.

From the car park our route was initially along the start of the road to Sunderland that floods at high tide so cutting off the community twice a day. One of the local non human residents was out and about.

"Very soon we leave the road at a signpost along the shore and then climb a ladderstile onto the point", instructed Shaun.

"Wow, that's a mega one", exclaimed Grizzly.

"It's a good job we are in the rucksack, as our little legs would not cope with the steps", said Little Eric.

Then straight ahead we could see the trig point marking the highest point at 31m, 102ft. A short gentle climb soon brought us to it.

"Come on pals, let's sit on the top for our picture", called out Allen.

Then Dad took Uncle Eric's picture.

By the fence seen to the right there was a sign post. "We go left", said Shaun. This led to a gate.

"It is called Sol's Gate", said Southey. "I wonder why?"

"An Internet search job for you when we get home", replied Tetley.

This is what he found out. To make access to and around the point safer and easier, Dave Edmondson and his Green Team with the help of Steve Williams from Lancashire County Council replaced the stiles with kissing gates and he gave them all names. The story of Sol's Gate goes back further however. Sol was a big Golden Retriever. When David the local farmer repaired the fencing next to what was then a stile, Sol because of his size, age and arthritis found the new entry very difficult. David kindly gave his permission for a “gate” for Sol and any other dog that might need it. Just for fun this very basic 'gate' was called 'Sol's Gate'. The name was retained when Dave Edmondson installed the kissing gate.

Now readers we have to tell you that Dad went 'clicky clicky' at each of the gates we passed through, so we apologise if you get bored with seemingly endless gate pictures.

Through Sol's Gate the path descended to a track that was crossed to go immediately right to round a corner and pass through Kittly Gate. Note the amused expression on Uncle Eric's face as Dad lines up the shot.

The path brought us to a road. "It's right past the houses and then across the pasture", said Shaun

At the far side is Fisherman's Gate...

...leading to a fenced path and out to the shore at Fiskes Point, via Glasson View...

...where Uncle Eric looks across to the port of Glasson Dock.

"We have done a few walks from there in the past", commented Allen.

The shore path led right around the edge of Basil Point passing Ferry Cottage, a large modern house.

"I wonder if there was once a ferry between here and Glasson?", mused Grizzly.

After some further research, we discovered an old map dating from 1840s that clearly shows a ferry to Glasson from Ferry Cottage. So, we speculate that perhaps the the current Ferry Cottage has replaced an older building associated with the ferry. Maybe where the ferryman lived?

Rounding the point the stony path took us through Basil Gate, the only one of metal construction.

"It looks to be very muddy ahead", called out Grizzly.

"It can be avoided through that gate on the right on to an embankment", pointed Tetley. This was Lune Gate.

The path soon led to Sunderland View...

...where Uncle Eric paused to look across to the community of Sunderland, which we would visit later.

At the end of the embankment is the gate named Basil Bank.

"Through that is a path up to the trig point", said Shaun. "Not our route. We cross the the footbridge left, down to the shore again."

"That's a fine view of the Nuclear Power Stations at Heysham", said Southey. "Makes a change from gate pictures."

"I get the hint", replied Dad.

The path became a track, passing the ladderstile climbed earlier, and on to the road.

To the left was a gate on to an embankment. "That's our route", said Shaun.

This is called Trailholme Embankment. Dave Edmondson and his Green Team had been busy here too, providing picnic tables. This runs parallel to the road and eventually we dropped down on to it. It leads ultimately to Trailholme Farm with access to Trumley Farm and Marsh Lea. This was where Uncle Eric had got stumped last time.

As the road became a concrete track, Shaun said, "half way along we go over the stile in the hedge onto that parallel track."

"Coming the other way we actually ignored that and kept on the track to that gate", said Tetley, pointing right.

"That's because it seemed to be logical", replied Dad.

"Yes, but the sign on the gate indicates no entry", pointed out Grizzly.

"Yes, but it is not visible when coming the other way", replied Dad. "And using it was simpler."

So over the stile on the correct route, it was then left passing the buildings of Trailholme, and approaching a gate.

"Not through the gate", called out Shaun, "but over the ladderstile in the fence to the right."

Then climbed onto the embankment, turning right and on to round the corner. "Over that stile down to the left", said Allen.

Here the waymark pointed right along a bank to another stile down into a field.

"Another complicated route when it would have been easier to walk the track between the gate and field", commented Dad.

"Obviously how the farmer wants the public to pass through", replied Uncle Eric. He was remarking because the farmer, who was muck spreading in the adjacent field, had gesticulated when we saw us, and then stopped to tell us the route, which was plain anyway from the waymarks.

"It's across the field to that ladderstile", pointed Shaun.

"Nothing wrong with your eyesight", laughed Little Eric.

The waymark pointed left, meaning we should keep to the field edge.

Sheep were grazing here, and Southey snickered as he saw Dad getting the camera out. He is always winding Allen up about sheep pictures.

"Nooooo" cried Allen. "I was doing so well to get, for once, a sheep picture free story." Then resignedly he said, "oh well, never mind, maybe next time."

"Aye, and those sheep have been tupped too", commented Grizzly.

At the field corner it was across the footbridge. The twice more, field and footbridge, field and footbridge.

Another was then crossed half way along the boundary ahead, into a large field. "We go diagonally left and up that embankment", pointed Shaun. "There's then a ladderstile crossing the boundary."

"Those boats will make a nice picture", said Tetley.

Now at Sunderland we strolled along First Terrace, to then turn right down The Lane, passing the Mission Church. The surface ended we continued on the narrow soil path leading to the shore on the west side.

"Whoa", exclaimed Tetley. "This is very different to when we came in 2018."

The plan was to visit Sambo's Grave again, and in the past it was accessed along the shore and over a stile. Now walls and a surfaced path have been built. A bird hide and this beehive shaped building that is a Camera Obscura.

"What is a Camera Obscura?", asked Grizzly.

None of us knew so thankfully Dad was able to explain. "Inside there is a seat either side of the camera that can be seen in the wall. The camera projects the view, out across the shore onto a whitewashed wall."

We sort of saw what Dad meant, but the image was rather faint, perhaps due to the dullness of the day.

At the end of the new path a gate gives access to Sambo's Grave.

"How lovely!", exclaimed Allen.

"It is quite moving to see all the wonderful tributes that have been left", pointed Southey.

"Please tell us the story again, Dad", implored Grizzly.

"Well lads, Sambo was almost certainly a crew member and the servant of the ships captain on a West Indian Trading ship. He came to Sunderland Point around 1736 and died in Upsteps Cottage. That much is certain. Whether he died of a broken heart because he thought his master had left him and gone to Lancaster, or he died of sickness or some other cause, is lost in time. He presumably had not been baptised so could not be buried in consecrated ground, so some of his shipmates buried him here."

"What a wonderful story", breathed Tetley. "So poignant and what a peaceful resting place."

It was along the shore now, rough and boggy in places. Uncle Eric said, "a fellow transport enthusiast friend of mine has mentioned that there is an old tram body in a field along here."

We kept out eyes peeled, Southey soon calling out, "there it is."

Whilst in a very poor condition, it clearly was a tram body, and the top lights of what were opening windows can be seen. Some of the electrical wiring too was still in place. The front where the driver would have sat or stood is nearest the camera.

"I wish I could find out where it operated", commented Uncle Eric.

The rough shore eventually became a meandering surfaced track leading to the houses, caravan site and parking at Potts Corner.

"This is where we started our walk from in 2018", said Little Eric.

"Yes lad", replied Dad. "Until then I never knew this area existed, and I have lived here for nearly 40 years."

Walked the road to C&R Autos, going right down the access. "Look", called out Grizzly, "there is that interesting sign you photographed last time."

As Dad went for the camera, Tetley said laughing, "that wasn't a request to take it again."

"Clicky clicky", laughed Allen.

Well, as he took the picture, we might as well include it.

"It's through that kissing gate on the left", called out Shaun.

Strolled along the boundary of the site, and through a gateway, where Shaun issued more instructions. "It's half left to that stile then straight up the next field towards the electricity pylons to the left of those barns of Trumley Farm."

Over the brow, climbed the stile in the fence then down to a gate at Trumley Farm. "We go right through the yard then out to the road walked before", advised Shaun.

On the way passed Trailholme Wood, where Dave Edmondson and his Green Team had been busy again, to make this and asset for the community. New fencing has been erected, the site has been cleared and levelled and Peter Huddleston has provided two seats. In commemoration of the 100 years since the end of the First World War, a sculpture as been placed in the wood.

As we neared the car park, these geese provided a bit of a noisy welcome.

"That was a lovely interesting walk", said Little Eric.

"I have enjoyed it", said Allen, speaking for us all.

"So have I", replied Uncle Eric, "and I am glad to completed it all, after my first abortive attempt.

There were no cafes around, so Dad said, "come back to our house for tea and biscuits, if you like."

"OK", agreed Uncle Eric.

This meant they could discuss things like putting dates on one side for our next adventures. "Great, let's hope we get decent weather", cheered Southey.


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