MORECAMBE, LANCASTER CANAL & BARE

 


Summary

Date - 15th April 2020, 24th April 2020,
4th June 2020, 25th October 2020,
22nd January 2021, 11th May 2021, 27th July 2021, 21st August 2022
Distance - 7.25 miles (8.5 miles - October 2020)
Ascent -
200ft
Map - 296
Start point - Hayfell Ave, Morecambe (SD 4406 6328)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

All was well as the cakes and tea had arrived.

"I'll get the plates and mugs", volunteered Southey.

"And I'll help fill the mugs, Shaun", said Allen.

"Thanks pal."

"We are having a big cake day", said Little Eric. "Grizzly has made a Victoria sandwich, and I have made a chocolate cake."

"How lucky we are", said Tetley. "You two are so kind to us."

We tucked in and there were murmurs of appreciation all round.

Allen and Southey had both sampled the chocolate cake. "It's absolutely scrumptious", exclaimed Allen, taking another slice.

"Absolutely", agreed Southey also helping himself.

"I love the Victoria sponge". said Shaun. "You two are quite the experts."

"Well we have had plenty of practice", said Grizzly. "Especially with cake stuffers Allen and Southey to keep up with", he laughed

"So how about walking", mused Little Eric.

"Well", said Shaun. "I have been thinking about that and trying to find another route. I have an idea. It will not be totally new but more of a variation on the one we have done along the promenade and then by the canal. When we joined the canal by the first bridge, we saw some people walking down a track towards the railway line."

"Oh yes, I remember", said Tetley. "There seemed to be a path towards the coast and also over the bridge the opposite way."

"That's right, pal", agreed Shaun. "Over the bridge the path leads into Hest Bank. However it is the other route that we can use. It leads down to and under the railway then eventually into Bare. There we can follow through the streets to Bare Lane, and on home."

"It's going to be a long walk if we do the full length of the promenade", mused Grizzly.

"I have considered that and suggest go along Westgate then down the Broadway to join the promenade. That will reduce the amount of repeat", replied Shaun.

"Sounds good", said Allen. "I suppose you want me to see what Dad thinks?"

"Yes please pal. We'll refill your mug, as we know what a tea belly you are."

So off Allen trotted. There was a little delay before he returned.

"Dad was on the phone, hence the delay. The walk is on for Wednesday."

"Great", cheered Little Eric.


25th October 2020
With the weather being a bit uncertain, it was decided to repeat this walk, and too would save Dad a drive. We had noted that our total for the year was almost 400 miles, and if we did a distance of 8.25 miles this would be achieved. So once at Westgate again instead of just walking home, we walked part way on the cycleway towards Lancaster, then exited onto White Lund Industrial Estate. Not the most interesting walking, but a circle of the roads was enough to make up the required mileage.

22nd January 2021
We have to stay local as there is another lockdown due to Covid. This week had been awful, with rain for most of Tuesday and Wednesday and frequent heavy showers on Thursday. So it was just wonderful to be out on a clear sunny day, which lifted our spirits. Deciding to take the camera a few pictures were taken, and we have included a few to augment the take of our adventure.

11th May 2021
Just a present Dad's is suffering a bit with his back and so sensibly he needs to do level walks for now. As rain was forecast for the afternoon, we decided to do this local walk from home. It was nice to see the bluebells and other spring flowers in the hedgerows, adding colour to our walk and seeing the trees in leaf now. Dad stopped at Troutbeck Chippy for a chat, and so we were introduced.

27th July 2021
Due to the very hot weather, which does not suit our Dad, we had not been walking for over two weeks. It was still warm today, but the outlook is for rain. Today was to be largely dry so we suggested to Dad repeating this walk. It was a nice outing, and Dad was able to take his time making stops for rests on the promenade, by the canal and in the park at Torrisholme. The vegetation is at its height now and on the path from the canal we were amazed how high the hedges had grown, obscuring the fields either side.

21st August 2022
The last two weeks had been very busy for Dad with lots of social meetings with friends etc. So no time for walks, but we of course understood. So we were very pleased and a little surprised when Dad said we were to walk. Not wanting to have to drive we suggested one of our 'from home' trails. This was most enjoyable. The views across The Bay were quite good and we could see and name the Lakeland Fells in view and think about the adventures we had had climbing them in the past. Dad stopped at Jo & Lees cafe for a mug of tea and cake. We had our own that had been packed in Allen's rucksack. In Bare, Dad had to be careful on the narrow path between the fences of the nettles, as of course he was in shorts. We sat a little while in the park at Torrisholme, where the flowers were colourful. Thanks Dad for a lovely time.


 

The Walk

Another gloriously sunny day and warm for the time of year.

From home we headed to the cycleway at the end of Altham Road. "That cherry tree looks beautiful", commented Allen.

At the cycleway we turned right towards Duckpond Corner.

Suddenly Grizzly pointed and laughed, "look at that horse. It's wearing a zebra coat.

"Is it a 'hobra', then", laughed Little Eric.

"Or perhaps a 'zorse'", suggested Southey, chuckling.

No horses in evidence in January 2021. Just these Oystercatchers looking for food in the waterlogged field.

Shortly we came to this seat with the dedication, 'Peters Path'. "Good place to have our picture taken?", suggested Tetley.

At Duckpond Corner we joined the main route between Lancaster and Morecambe, going right, and then leaving to join the main road, Westgate.

We used the bridge to cross the cycleway the first time. Subsequently we just took the path left immediately before the bridge into the Branksome Estate and passed by the Trout Beck Chippy. "That's where I go lads", said Dad. "The best fish and chips around, as far as I am concerned."

We strolled onto Westgate and continued to the roundabouts where Dad carefully crossed the busy roads, to then walk along Broadway. It is aptly named, being a wide road with wide grass verges and pavement, and lined with mature trees.

Shortly Tetley pointed, "look there are teddies looking out of the window of that house."

We all gave them a wave including Dad.

Then further this group were sitting in the garden, and advising us what to do during COVID-19 crisis. The bigger bear looks as though he is recuperating with the others looking after it. On the occasion of our repeat walk some of them where then sitting a paddling pool. On the further repeat on 4th June, there were two dressed standing bears who were flying kites. We just love the imagination.

Over the railway bridge and on we then shortly reached the promenade, Dad crossing carefully to the seaward side. At the corner of Broadway there used to stand the Broadway Hotel, but this closed and was demolished, being replaced by this impressive block of luxury apartments.

Looking out across the bay, Grizzly commented, "not a very clear view today. The fells are totally obscured and even Grange is rather hazy.

It was a bit clearer in January. Allen said, "we can just see little glimpses of the fells, and there is some snow. Hardly surprising after the weather this week."

"Love the clouds towering up behind", commented Little Eric.

So on familiar territory Dad strolled along. There were plenty of walkers and cyclists, but people were observing the social distancing rules.

At the end we passed this sculpture 'The Most Beautiful Of Absolute Disasters', popularly known as 'Venus and Cupid', by Shane A Johnstone. It depicts a seated woman, facing out to sea, holding the hands of a child who is suspended in the air extending horizontally from her arms, as if being swung round. It is covered in multi coloured mosaic. It was erected in 2005 on this site known as Scalestone Point, site of a former gun emplacement, between the coast road and the sea, and commemorates the 24 cockle-pickers who died in the bay in 2004.

This too is where, just for a little while, we left our home town.

In a few hundred yards the road swung away right uphill, but we kept by the shore to pass the buildings that were once the VVV Health Club to pick up a path. In June the cafe here was open again doing just take-away. So Dad stopped to have a bacon bun and cup of tea. He got talking to a gentleman who was out on his bike, but as well he and his wife are keen walkers, so with the common interest the conversation did not flag. Then we were noticed by two lady cyclists here. Dad had to explain and we were introduced. One lady took our picture. We are never camera shy!

"Aw those spring flowers are pretty", pointed Tetley.

At the fork it was right to cross the railway bridge and on to the road, where we crossed a little left to take this rising path between houses to a road indicated by the fallen signpost. As we did this in January, Tetley commented, "I am pleased to see that the footpath sign has been refixed in the ground."

This was crossed to follow the clear ongoing footpath opposite to a t-junction, and just a few yards left descend right the steps to the canal towpath. "I wonder where the path to the right goes?", said Southey.

In January, Shaun encouraged Dad, "let's go follow the path right and see where it takes us."

"Ok lad."

Running parallel with the canal it climbed initially, to then drop down and veer left to the towpath. "In the future it will save you having to negotiate those steep steps", stated Tetley.

At the towpath Allen exclaimed, "what a lovely scene. And just so peaceful. Only the sound of the birds singing."

We sat a while on a seat just enjoying the peace and tranquility. A few people passed by walkers and cyclists taking their exercise.

Taken in January, we further include this of perfect reflections.

A few yards on is a seat that depicts a horse towing a barge, harking back to the time when the canals were used extensively for the carriage of goods, before the advent of the railways. The seat bears this dedication -

JUST CRUISING
DEREK LILEY
DIED 4TH JULY 2001
AGED 70 YEARS
LOVING HUSBAND FATHER
AND GRANDFATHER

We sat here a few minutes in January. Then, as Dad got up to walk on, Grizzly said, "can we have our picture taken sitting here?"

"Of course."

So, now we walked to Rakes Head bridge.

"The exit is on the far side", instructed Shaun.

A gateway led us to the track. "It's left", said Shaun.

This brought beside the main West Coast railway line, where our path went left to run parallel, before passing underneath via this tunnel.

Progress here was a little more challenging in January, after the days of rain.

Then soon we crossed the Morecambe-Carnforth side of the triangular junction by a foot crossing. Not before we had as instructed by the sign, stopped, looked and listened for any approaching trains.

Immediately over the path went left by the fence.

"It's very narrow", commented Southey. "It's going to be hard to social distance."

We hoped that no one would be coming the opposite direction, but this was not the case. Dad managed to squeeze into the hedge to let a couple pass.

"Thank you", they said.

After crossing a footbridge, the path turned right to another footbridge, and coming to houses.

"I guess we go left", said Dad.

There was a path on ahead. "It is not clear exactly which way said Shaun as the map is a bit confusing."

We followed our way through the residential streets eventually reaching Bare Lane. This route was again used on the second time we did the walk, but then at one corner Tetley pointed right. "look there is a footpath sign."

"That means the correct route is ahead after crossing the second footbridge", said Shaun.

"Well" said Dad. "We may well do this walk yet again if the lockdown continues for a while. If so we can walk the full footpath."

This we indeed did in June. Keeping ahead the soil track meandered on and on, eventually coming to a junction. Here the sign pointed left to Bare Lane. This very shortly led to a residential street that then led to Bare Lane.

In October at this point, Southey pointed right, "there's a footpath sign reading Bare Lane."

"OK", agreed Dad, "let's see where it goes."

It was fenced all the way and narrow between houses and fields on one side for part of the way. Exiting on to a street, Shaun said, "we cross and keep on the narrow path."

This then soon led out onto Bare Lane, where it was left and over the level crossing at Bare Lane station.

Then on to reach the small park by the roundabout at Torrisholme, where we sat for quite a while once again.

"The trees are coming into leaf nicely now", commented Grizzly. "Maybe a shot for our story, Dad?"

Then on home via Westgate, where the trees were full of blossom.

And by way of a complete contrast, are the same trees full autumn colours.

"Thank you Dad, as always", said Southey.

"Most enjoyable", agreed Tetley, "and a nice variation on the path from the canal that was completely new."

"You are welcome lads. It is hard a present so getting out is good for me", said Dad. "I feel so isolated and alone with this lockdown"

"It is so hard for you without Uncle Brian", said Allen. "we all miss him so much."

"Yes lad, but he would have been so much at risk from the virus, so perhaps it was meant to be. But this situation will not last forever, and the time will come when I can go to Elaine's again and do the things I had been planning before the crisis."

"In the meantime, know that all of us in the Hug love you very much", said Shaun.

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