Date - 26th March 2020 Distance - 6.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL41 Start point - Bull Beck car park (SD 5421 6496)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



All was well as we had steaming mugs in paw and cakes on our plates.

Grizzly, I just love the raspberry slice. It is absolutely scrumptious", enthused Shaun.

"The chocolate topped flapjack is quite delicious, Little Eric", said Southey.

"So I see", he replied. "That's your third piece.

"Just keeping up with Allen."

"You have become as much a cake stuffer as me", said Allen laughing. "We must both take after Dad."

"Quite right", said Dad as he walked in. "Can't imagine a world without cake and chocolate."

"Have some cake", offered Little Eric. Then laughing, "it will stop Allen and Southey scoffing the lot!"

He helped himself to a piece of each, and having tried them, he said, "they are lovely." Then he went on, "the rest of you are very lucky to have Grizzly and Little Eric make you such delicious cakes. Now, to the reason I have come to see you. The country is locked down due to the Coronavirus, but it is allowable to take exercise each day. And also it is considered alright to drive a short distance to start a walk. So on Thursday I have decided that we will do the walk from Bull Beck, but with a variation for the for the first part. Instead of taking the path by the river I plan to walk along the road to Claughton, after which we will follow the usual route up to the wind farm and then down to Brookhouse."

"That will be super Dad", said Tetley. "We were hoping that we could still go walking especially as the weather finally seems to have settled down. There are walks we can repeat from home too, which will avoid driving all together."

"We may be able to devise some variations too", added Shaun. "We will have to be as creative as possible."

"I am just glad we can get out", said Southey. "You really are the very best Dad in all the world. Have another piece of cake. After all you have to catch up with Allen and I."


The Walk

We awoke to cloudless skies, mild temperatures and little wind.

"Shorts and t-shirt today then Dad", said Tetley.

"Aye lad, can't remember when I was last able to do that."

As Dad slammed to hatch shut, we hurried out and settled on the front seat. The journey was just a few miles, along the Bay Gateway then under the M6 and on to the A683 to drive to Caton then shortly arrive at the large car park by Bull Beck, which as can be seen was nearly deserted.

As Dad got his boots on, we quickly settled in the rucksack. Shouldering this Dad then strode across the car park and across the road, going right along the pavement.

Soon a level and wide green track could be seen over the wall. "That's part of the trackbed of the long closed railway line from Lancaster Green Ayre station to Wennington. There it would have joined the still open line from Carnforth to Skipton", said Allen.

Further on we reached Lanefoot Crossing, where now stands a house across the line of the railway. "The owner must be a railway enthusiast", called out Grizzly, pointing to the signal box.

"I've seen this so many times on the numerous drives to Elaine's, but have not been able to view close-up", said Dad.

Peering through the windows, Shaun said, "there is a lever frame, which I guess operates the signal."

"I'm sure", replied Dad, "As I have noted it in different positions."

Striding on we soon came to the outskirts of...

The name is pronounced as in 'laugh'.

Shortly we crossed Rye Close Bridge, beneath which flows Mears Beck.

On the opposite side of the road stands the house called Rye Close.

"What a lovely house and immaculate lawns too", commented Tetley.

"Just what Uncle Brian used to say when we passed by", replied Dad.

A little further we passed more buildings on the same side that are the headquarters of South Lakes Windows. "What is that metal tower?", asked Southey.

Grizzly was quick to reply. "Just a little further is Claughton Manor Brickworks. The shale to make the bricks is brought down in buckets from the quarry, by means of an aerial ropeway. There is just one now, but there used to be two, and this is the one remaining relic of that."

Here is the brickworks, with the bridge over which runs the ropeway.

"There are no buckets", commented Southey.

"That's because the works are closed due to the Coronavirus restrictions."

Dad crossed the road so that we could look closely at the red Transport Trust heritage plaque attached to an example tower and bucket.

This told us that the Claughton Aerial Ropeway was erected in 1924 to transport shale from quarries on Claughton Moor, and is the last gravity powered ropeway in the UK.

As we approached the centre of the village Dad said, "I want to go and investigate that church up to the right."

"I was hoping we would have a closer look", went on Grizzly.

Trying the door Grizzly said, "it's locked and honestly it does not seem the church is used."

He was right, as further investigation revealed that it is a redundant Anglican parish church. The original church was built on the site in 1070, and the recorded list of its rectors goes back to 1230. The present church was built on the same site in 1815. It is constructed in sandstone rubble with a slate roof, and incorporates older fabric dating from about 1300 and from 1602. The plan consists of a nave and chancel in one cell, a north aisle, a north vestry, and a north porch. The east window dates probably from about 1300 and has three lights with intersecting tracery and a pointed head. On the west gable is a double bellcote. One bell is said to be inscribed with the date 1296, making it the oldest bell in England. The other bell is dated 1727. (source Wikipedia).

Returning to the road Dad strode on and soon we crossed Claughton Beck, by Claughton Bridge an inscribed stone telling us it had been widened in 1935.

Immediately beyond stands The Fenwick. This like all pubs bars and restaurants is currently closed due to Coronavirus.

Opposite we took the surfaced track right that after some bends became straight and stretched away into the distance as it climbed steadily all the way towards Claughton Hall.

"The gorse makes a colourful picture", called out Little Eric.

A gap in the trees to the left, gave us this fine view down to the Lune valley, if a little hazy in the sunny weather.

"That's Hornby on the right above the trees", pointed Allen. "I can just make out Hornby Castle poking above the trees on the far right."

"What I notice", said Dad, "is that there are no vapour trails, due to most of the planes not flying, as a result of the virus. This is how my Victorian ancestors must have seen the sky."

Pointing Shaun said, "there's the unmistakable shape of Ingleborough through the haze. I'll bet that is getting a rest from walkers during the lockdown"

All the time to the left was a deep steep side ravine through which flows Claughton Beck. Beyond the entrance to Claughton Hall the track, ever steep, became rough and stony as it doglegged right and then left with Kirby Gill Wood to the right. After passing two entrances to the woodland the steep ravine became close to the track again.

Southey pointed, "what are those steps for? Is there a footpath?"

"Not according to the map", replied Shaun. "They just lead down into the ravine, but for what exact purpose is a mystery."

Then rounding a corner we came to the aerial ropeway, where to the left it descended into the quarry.

Pointing, Tetley said, "there are a new set of wheels over which runs the cables, presumably waiting to be installed.

Onwards the track climbed and then led past Moorcock Hall and on to then pass through a gate, with the Caton Moor Wind Farm to our left.

"I'm going to try and get a picture with one of the blades in line with the tower, like I have done before", said Dad.

His effort was pretty successful, don't you think?

We went to view the information board. "Look", said Grizzly. "Each of the eight turbines has a name given by pupils at different schools."

"Then to two Dad has just photographed are Willow with Barn Owl behind", said Tetley.

The wind farm opened on 23rd June 2007, and Triodos Energy who built it held a competition with Caton Community Primary School and Forton Primary School to name the turbines after trees and animals.

1 Silver Birch Class 1 Forton Primary School
2 Rowan Class 2 Forton Primary School
3 Willow Class 3 Forton Primary School
4 Spindle Class 4 Forton Primary School
5 Barn Owl James Stanley, Caton Community Primary School
6 Woodpecker Luke Sutton, Caton Community Primary School
7 Whinchat Jay Conley, Caton Community Primary School
8 Fox Megan Dews, Caton Community Primary School

"What an excellent idea", said Southey.

There are a few picnic tables here. "Good place to sit for our picture?", suggested Little Eric.

We then sat with Dad, looking down to the valley and enjoying the peace and tranquility. We thought too about our dear Uncle Brian and how much he loved the countryside. A bird flew over calling out its plaintiff cry.

"It's a curlew" said Allen. "I can tell from its long curved beak."

"Uncle Brian loved to see and hear them", commented Shaun.

Settled again in the rucksack, Dad then strode out on the long long descent of Quarry Road.

Along this we passed these daffodils. "Puts me in mind of Wordsworth", commented Grizzly.

Then further on Tetley pointed, "look lambs. Take a picture Dad."

At the t-junction, Shaun said , "we go left to Brookhouse."

"There's a wall post box", pointed Little Eric. "Can we have a picture for the story, please Dad."

In the village Shaun said, "we go right past the church."

This is St Paul's. The earliest record of a church or chapel on the site is before 1230. The tower dates probably from the 16th century, with the rest of the church rebuilt in 1865–67 to a design by the Lancaster architect E G Paley. Paley worshipped in the church, as he had a country house nearby, and when his son Harry died (who succeeded his father in the architectural practice), he was buried in the churchyard. The church is constructed in sandstone rubble, with a slate roof. Its plan consists of a four-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a south porch, a north transept containing the organ chamber, a chancel at a lower level, and a west tower that is Perpendicular in style  and has three stages, diagonal buttresses, and an embattled parapet.

Immediately after we crossed Kirkbeck Bridge, we turned left to then take the narrow path between the houses...

...and so out into the fields and follow the path, passing the redundant stile, and on down to the road and left to the car park.

"Thanks Dad", said Southey. "It has been a lovely walk and on such a lovely day too."

"You're welcome lads. Now home to have a nice mug of tea."

"Ooh yes", cheered Allen. "And cake."

"You truly do take after me", laughed Dad.


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