Date - 21st January 2020 Distance - 6.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - 296
Start point - Glasson Dock car park (SD 4462 5608)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen, and Southey were huddled over the laptop.

"What are you on with", said Tetley as he strolled in.

"Looking at the pictures Dad took on our walk up Loughrigg on Saturday", replied Southey. "It was a super day and the views were magnificent to the fells and mountains."

"Stunning", agreed Tetley. "Especially with the snow."

"It also proved to Dad that he can still get up on the fells, so is a good omen for Little Eric to tick of some of his outstanding Wainwrights, once the weather improves", went on Allen.

"So depressing", agreed Tetley. "Have hardly seen the sun seemingly for months. Perhaps we will get a good spell once spring comes along."

Just then Shaun with Little Eric riding on his back and Grizzly, arrived with the tea and cakes.

"Great", cheered Allen. "At least this will cheer us up."

Soon we had steaming mugs in paw and we were helping ourselves to the cakes.

Little Eric said, "I have done the peach and apricot slice, and Grizzly has made chocolate coated flapjack."

"Mmm, the flapjack is delicious", enthused Tetley.

"As is the peach slice", went on Southey.

Allen said nothing, as he was concentrating on stuffing his face. Then taking another piece, Shaun said, "that's your third."

"Well I have to live up to my reputation as 'Cake Stuffer'", he replied.

"That you certainly do", laughed Tetley.

Little Eric now had the iPad in paw. "I see that there is a date down on Tuesday to walk with Uncle Eric.". Then after a few more taps he went on, "it looks to to be basically dry, but very grey and dull, which seems to be the norm these days."

"Well at least we should get out", replied Grizzly. "I suppose we will have to see what Uncle Eric fancies doing when he and Dad chat on Monday night."

Dad had some suggestions, but Uncle Eric had decided in his own mind that we would do the walk from Glasson Dock, which Dad had suggested before.

We were completely happy with this and it would be good to get our first walk of the year with Uncle Eric under our paws.


The Walk

The day dawned and as expected it was to be very dull with occasional drizzle and times. The wind was light so not cold for the time of year.

It is not very far to Glasson Dock, but Dad had under estimated the time it took getting through Lancaster due to the traffic. In particular the number of traffic lights on the short stretch past the Town Hall that is the real cause of the congestion. Thank goodness for The Bay Gateway link to the M6 that means we do not have to go via Lancaster very often. Thinking we would be late, Uncle Eric too had been held up at Galgate, so in fact we pulled into the car park at the same time.

"Hi Uncle Eric. Happy New Year", we called out.

"Happy New Year to you lads", he replied. "Good to see you."

As they got ready, we looked out across the marina at the yachts and boats.

"Nice reflections", commented Grizzly.

"I'm ready", called out Dad.

"OK", replied Tetley. "Come on pals let's get settled in the rucksack"

"We go right by the marina and join the towpath of the Glasson Branch of the Lancaster Canal", instructed Shaun.

We passed under a few bridges, including this that carries the A588 road over the canal.

We had seen a heron flying by, then Little Eric pointed, "there are two swans."

Dad apologises that this is perhaps a tad out of focus, caused we think by the reeds in the foreground.

Keeping on, a building came into view. "The Mill", said Allen, reading the sign.

"Is it really a mill?", asked Southey.

"No lad", replied Dad. "It is a hotel and restaurant. It was formerly called Thurnham Mill and I think since originally opening it has been extended. I went there a long time ago with Uncle Brian for lunch." Dad checked when he got home and told us the visit was in September 1992. "My I did not think it was so long ago."

Shaun commented, "The Glasson Branch is the only navigable section of the Lancaster Canal to have locks." Here is the one by The Mill.

"You say navigable?", queried Southey. "What exactly do you mean."

"Well lad currently the Lancaster Canal ends at Tewitfield, there being cut off by the M6 motorway."

"Oh yes", interjected Southey. "It originally went all the way to Kendal. I recall now on the walk from Levens Bridge that we walked along some of the drained section and saw that bridge that looks odd marooned in a field."

"Well pal, you have not walked like us, the section just north of Tewitfield, where there are a a number of locks that have been disused for many many years" replied Shaun. "There are plans to reopen the northern reaches, but in this age of austerity it seems a very distant prospect."

Striding on, Shaun then said, "we leave the canal at Bailey Bridge."

Here the steps up from the canal are fenced off, so we walked the 60 yards to a gate into the field, and then back to cross the bridge.

Southey now said, "the route is half left across the field to a wooden step stile."

This gave access to a wide green path that looked to be and was very boggy. "Clearly the route", said Dad, "but I suggest we walk across the field to the right instead."

"I agree", replied Uncle Eric.

This brought us to a stile on the the drive at Thurnham Hall. "I visited this house a long time ago with Uncle Brian", said Dad. "They had a robot that gave the history of the hall. Rather bizarre."

Since then it was obvious that a lot had changed. The grounds have been extensively developed with many apartments and a leisure centre. and in fact it is now a luxury hotel and resort. There were no waymark directions so we just walked round through the apartments, passing this duck pond...

...and then by the chapel and so come to the front of Thurnham Hall.

The hall has a long history dating back many centuries, and for four it was own by the Dalton family. Dad recalled being told that one of the descendents John Dalton was quite full of himself and that parts of Lancaster bear his name. Dalton Square and Great John Street. He married Mary Gage, hence Mary Street and Gage Street. There is an extensive history on the Thurnham Hall website.

"OK, where now?", asked Allen.

"Out onto the drive and right to the road", replied Shaun. "Then go right on the road to Aspley Farm."

It was a busy road so Dad and Uncle Eric were careful.

As we neared Aspley Farm, Shaun said, "we take the signed path left, by that thatched cottage."

A wide muddy lane led to a gate. Dad struggled to get the fastening open and when he did it dropped down, something that is quite common. The problem was that it was so heavy that even with Dad and Uncle Eric's combined strength they could not lift it up to properly refasten it. Uncle Eric said, "Let's get some stones under it." These were sufficient to stop it coming open.

More muddy path and gates followed to finally enter open fields, going right by a dyke to a gateway. Here Shaun said, "I think we should go half right by a fence."

Dad was not convinced and instead we kept ahead as he could see a waymark at a footbridge. This is just one a number that we crossed today.

This took us into a field that is used by the Lancaster and Morecambe model airplane club. Members were there and we saw one being flown. "Impressive", commented Tetley.

At road, Shaun said, "I was correct with my instruction before as we have come out away from the double corner. It does not matter as we now just go a short way left to then take the path right."

"Yes lad you were right", admitted Dad. "What would I do without your expertise."

This narrow path was clearly signposted.

Stiles were climbed then we crossed a footbridge, after which we drifted a little left to stile on opposite side. Then on by the fence on left to a gate. Really we should have gone through this, but Dad looking at the map said, "it looks like we should go right by the hedge for a little way, the left along by the boundary."

Now whether this was actually correct is open to conjecture as it brought us to gates we could not get through at Kendal Hall farm as they were bolted. Beyond was the track clearly shown as a path on the map. There was a debate about going back, but in the end Dad resolved the matter by using a water tank to climb the fence. Uncle Eric followed. Turned right then right again through the next gate, and along the access to then follow the waymarked track left past a bungalow. The route led us via gates and a stile and on to a footbridge, where now the fence was to our right.

"The onward route has the fence to the left, so we need to cross by that waymarked stile", said Southey pointing right.

More fields and footbridges followed, across some extremely muddy pastures, finally to a stile by a gate at Crook Cottage and another stile on to the tarmac road, by the house.

"We go right along the coastal path towards Crook Farm", called out Shaun.

"Tarmac under your feet", called out Grizzly. "Bliss."

Some years ago we had walked this path outwards from Glasson Dock, and thought that it was surfaced all the way. How wrong we were, as turning right at Crook Farm we joined a muddy track, then it was out into boggy fields once again. We had seen warning signs about Janson Pool, and indeed the water was a bit deep here, but Dad got through. Uncle Eric walked along the lowest rung of the gate as Dad held it open. So now continued to and along Marsh Lane, to pass the caravan park, and finally to the road.

"Look a seat", called out Little Eric. "Take our picture Dad, please."

At the junction we were not paying attention. We should have gone left, but instead kept ahead passing the school. This meant we had to circumnavigate the marina to Brows Bridge and then descend to the canal towpath for the last bit to the cars.

"That was a nice walk, despite the conditions underfoot", said Uncle Eric.

"Yes a good day", agreed Tetley. "Thanks for your company."

"And thanks for yours", he replied.

The cafe in Glasson Dock was closed, Dad and Uncle Eric drove to Condor Green. Here they went to Cafe d'Lune, while we had our picnic in the car. They each had a bacon sausage and egg bap with tea for Dad and hot chocolate for Uncle Eric. This place like Elaine's is open every day except Christmas and Boxing Day. Judging by the cars they had had a pretty good day too.

So with arrangements for future walks pencilled in it was farewell today and we headed home getting there about 16:00.


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