Date - 24th November 2019 Distance - 4.25 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL2
Start point - Car park, Cowan Bridge (SD 6360 7649)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



"It was so good to walk with Uncle Eric yesterday", said Southey.

"Aye pal", replied Tetley. "Dad really enjoyed it too, and he went truly 'clicky clicky' photographing all those named gates on Basil Point. Despite the number, I reckon all will be used in conjunction with other pictures to illustrate the name."

"It was sad as well, not having Uncle Brian to go home to", sniffed Allen. "Like Dad, I miss him so much."

"I know pal", replied Southey putting his paw round his pal.

Just then Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arrived with the tea and cakes. "This will cheer you up Allen", said Shaun.

"Oh yes, tea will be a good remedy."

"What's the cake?", asked Tetley.

Grizzly replied, "Little Eric has made chocolate coated flapjack. There is mincemeat slice from me."

We all tucked in. "Love the flapjack", enthused Allen.

"The mincemeat slice is scrumptious", said Southey, taking another piece.

"So I see", laughed Grizzly. "That's your third."

"Told you I'm not the only cake stuffer", joked Allen.

Little Eric had the iPad in paw. "Dad has a busy time next week, but I wonder if we might get out for a short walk at the weekend. Sunday looks to be the best day. Cloudy but dry and milder as no wind."

"Let's come up with a suggestion, then see what Dad thinks", said Grizzly.

"Well not too many miles and not too far to the start then", replied Shaun.

So putting our thinking caps on there was quiet for a while. "How about from Cowan Bridge", mused Tetley. "We know there is a car park."

Opening the OS maps app we studied the area. "Look", said Shaun. "There's a path that goes west then south, and then we can go west again to the road near Burrow."

"Yep", agreed Allen, "OK so far."

"Then if we go right along the road to Overtown, there are a number of footpaths to Cowan Bridge."

"Sounds like a plan", said Southey. "Now if we bribe you with another mug of tea, Allen, will you go and ask Dad. You always seemed to be able to persuade him."

"Add in a piece of each of the cakes and you have a deal", Allen replied.

So off he went. On return the cake and steaming mug was waiting. "Thanks. Dad said providing he feels OK, it's on. And of course that the weather is dry."

"Great" cheered Little Eric. "Roll on Sunday."


The Walk

Being a short walk, Dad did not need to set off too early, so we had a bit of a lie in. The day was dry throughout and with no wind was milder than the last few days.

As we drove up the Lune Valley, Tetley commented, "it is a dull day so the views will be poor. So this low level walk is perfect for today."

Joining the A65 Dad turned left at the crossroads. "Off that lane straight across is Thornbrook Caravan Park, where Uncle Bob and Aunt Ann, come with their caravan", commented Grizzly.

"Ah dear Uncle Bob", said Allen. "How fortuitous it was that we should meet him on Fellbarrow, otherwise we would not have had all those wonderful walks with him in the Lakes and Yorkshire."

"We would probably never have explored the Yorkshire Dales and climbed to all those summits", agreed Shaun.

Tetley, who has a terrific memory for dates etc., replied "we met Uncle Bob on 4th September 2005. We had gone two weeks before to climb Fellbarrow, but had to abandon due to the incessant rain."

"Saved by the weather to make sure we met up", replied Shaun.

Here we on Fellbarrow summit on that September day in 2005.

Soon now we arrived at Cowan Bridge, Dad taking the Leck road right and immediately left into the car park.

"There's a request to pay a pound to park", pointed Little Eric.

"OK lad", as Dad went an put a coin in the honesty box.

We quickly settled in the rucksack as Dad got his boots on, then with this shouldered he strode back to the main road.

"It's left, then we should cross the road", instructed Shaun.

Looking back, Southey said, "there's a convenient tearoom, by the car park"

"More than our life's worth to go there, with Elaine's being only a few miles down the road", said Allen.

"Absolutely", agreed Dad. "Where else would I go."

Pressing on, Shaun advised, "we take that signed path right and across the field."

A flock of sheep were grazing. "Oh heck, there goes my hope of a sheep picture free story", said Allen resignedly. "Go on Dad do your worst."

Dad hauled the camera out, saying, "I promise not to take any more sheep pictures today."

"There's the tup in the centre", pointed Grizzly. "Looking for his next conquest."

Striding off, Shaun said, "we are looking for a stile in the facing wall."

Eagle eyed, Grizzly pointed "there."

It was a substantial stone step stile, and we thought about a similar stile on the Grayrigg walk last year in similarly damp conditions, particularly as it had rained overnight. It was Southey who voiced our concerns. "Dad, please be very careful, we don't want you to fall."

"I will", as Dad had similar thoughts.

His boots were wet from crossing the field, and skated a bit on the greasy stones and we were all very relieved when we were safely over and Dad snapped this shot.

"Straight on to the next stile", called out Shaun.

"There it is", pointed Southey. "Gap stile just to the left of that big tree."

Beyond headed to a gate in the wall, not before Dad stopped to take this group of trees.

Now on an enclosed track we turned left. "Oh heck this is not going to be easy", said Little Eric, seeing how overgrown it is.

There was a trod path and the first obstacle was this fallen tree branch Dad had to duck under.

Of more trouble were the brambles that constantly caught on his clothes. Then came this section where the holly hedge nearly blocked the way completely.

Soon the end was in sight and we all breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, glad that's done", said Allen, echoing our thoughts.

"Quite", agreed Dad.

A gate took us into a field by Harren Well barn. "We drift a bit right to the next stile", instructed Shaun.

After climbing over, Tetley said, "the through stone was once a gatepost, as there is a latch slot."

Now by the fence to the right, shortly another stepped gap stile was climbed.

"We could sit there for our picture", mused Grizzly.

"Great idea pal", agreed Allen. "Then it's done and dusted."

The way was clear ahead. To and through a gateway, where it was very muddy. Now gently down to pass through a gap in the boundary, and then on towards the next with buildings of Collingholme visible ahead.

Shaun said, "there is a path junction here. We take the second gate on the right."

In the adjacent field were some frisky heifers, who came through the open gate.

"Oh dear", said Little Eric. "There's a bull too."

"It's OK lad, they're just being inquisitive. We have been past a few bulls over the years and they have never bothered us", replied Dad reassuringly.

Beyond the gate, Shaun pointed, "over that wooden step stile and on diagonally right.

Met a couple at the next stile, and Dad warned them about the heifers. The lady was not very happy. We stood as the crossed the field and saw that they got past safely as we had done.

Next was this gate with a built in wood stile.

"I'm getting a sense of deja vu", said Tetley.

"Me too", replied Dad. "We have been here before."

A path can be seen leading to the gate by the tree, but first the stream had to be crossed. Peering closely Allen pointed, "there are some stepping stones."

They were barely visible but Dad got across OK.

Then he took this picture. And readers you may well wonder why? Well this was once part of the Roman Road between Ribchester and Carlisle. There was no one in sight, Tetley laughingly saying, "we must have just missed the passing cohort."

By the gate is this large holly bush. "With berries just in time for Christmas", commented Little Eric.

The path led across the boggy field skirting left of Cowdber Farm, then through three gates in quick succession and on to the surfaced farm access.

"I remember that house", pointed Tetley.

"Me too", said Allen.

The access passed to the right of Cowdber Hill and then Keasber Hill crowned with trees.

To the right were these hatch covers. "Must be for one of the aqueducts", commented Grizzly.

Although we looked at the labels we could not pin down which. We had indeed done this section before from the path junction to the road, and when we checked that walk were able to confirm it is the Haweswater Aqueduct. In fact on that day in October 2014, we had sat here for our lunch.

Shortly we met a gentleman. He told us that he was on a mission to thin out the number of grey squirrels. This is an ongoing project that has about another 18 months to go. There are native red squirrels just two miles away near Whittington, and it is hoped after that time that they will move into this area.

We wished him well in his endeavours.

At the road Shaun said, "Turn right."

This wound its way between the substantial stone walls and passing the entrance to Parkside Farm.

"That tree still has its autumn colours", commented Southey.

Eventually this road leads to the A65 at Cowan Bridge, but first passes through the hamlet of Overtown.

At a right bend Shaun said, "we go straight ahead. Then there are a number of alternative paths. I suggest we turn left and pass the houses towards the Leck Beck, where there is a footbridge."

Looking to the far side Dad said, "the narrow road will make a better surface for walking."

He paused to take the beck...

...from the footbridge.

Turning right Dad strolled on towards a right hand bend, where Grizzly pointed "Belted Galloways."

At this corner Shaun pointed, "we take that narrow muddy path and keep by the beck."

Towards its end the beck was noisy rushing over the weir.

Finally after a kissing gate we popped out onto the road at Cowan Bridge.

Looking left, Grizzly said, "that is the former Clergy Daughter's School."

Of significance is the plaque on the side - Maria, Elizabeth, Mary and Emily Brontë lived here as pupils of the Clergy Daughter's schools 1824-25.

Walked over the old bridge, now just for pedestrians.

Looking left Tetley pointed, "there's a viaduct."

As we took a closer look it became apparent that there were five arches of that are of 30 foot span. One is over Leck Beck and another the access to Fairthwaite Park House. Dad said, "if I climb this stile and walk down by these new houses, perhaps I can get a fairly decent picture."

"Best time of year for the picture, with the leaves being off the trees", commented Allen.

This is on the Ingleton branch railway, that ran from Clapham Junction to Lowgill. The line was closed to passengers on 30th January 1954 and to goods in 1956. It briefly reopened during the hard winter of 1963. The track was finally lifted in April 1967. We thank Uncle Eric this information and that of the size of the viaduct.

So headed back to the car passing this sign.

"Actually I think I have been here once before with Uncle Eric", said Dad. "I recall it was nice too."

"But", said Tetley. "more than our life's worth not to pass it up and go to Elaine's as Feizor."

"And", went on Southey, "Dad always takes us in."

The tearooms were packed out, and we were lucky to get a table. Fortunately a couple were just leaving and offered their table.

Dad had the braised beef with chips and vegetables, then apple crumble and custard. Molly, Sharon's eldest daughter was on with her friend Megan and doing a sterling job running the front of house. Uncle Jonathan came and sat chatting to Dad for quite a while

On the way home, Allen said, "that was a grand day, thank you on behalf of us all.

"You're welcome lads."


shopify analytics