Grizzly's 16th birthday walk
celebrating Tetley's 22nd birthday from 27th June


Date - 1st July 2020 Distance - 6.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Nature Reserve car park (SD 4913 7237)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Warton Crag 535 163 SD 4918 7278



It was Monday and usually Dad would be at Elaine's at Feizor for a take away. However due to the inclement weather he had stayed at home.

We were content and warm enjoying tea and cakes as usual.

"The Chorley cakes are scrumptious, Grizzly", said Allen, helping himself to another.

"Good job a made some extra as that is your third", he laughed.

"Love the blueberry slice, Little Eric", Southey went on.

"Your on your third piece too", responded Little Eric. "You are a cake stuffer just like Allen."

"I know, but a world without cake is just impossible to imagine", replied Southey.

"It's been over a week since we last walked", commented Grizzly.

"Put it down to the crazy weather", said Tetley. "Last week there were those intolerably hot days on Wednesday and Thursday, then by the weekend it was blowing a gale and pouring down with rain. And, the temperatures had dropped such that Dad needed to put the heating on."

Shaun had the iPad in paw. "And it doesn't look to be much better until Thursday."

"Aww", said Grizzly. "I had hoped that we might get a walk on Wednesday as that is my 16th birthday. I really cannot believe it. How the years have flown by. But I could not be happier living here, and I have enjoyed so many wonderful adventures with you and Dad."

"As have we all", said Tetley. "I was 22 on 27th June, so if we walk on Wednesday it would also be a celebration of my birthday."

Well, we all know how mercurial the British weather is. Wednesday arrived and Dad actually lazed in bed reading until well after 09:00. Then he checked the weather saying, "the forecast is for a dry day with sunny periods, and in fact Thursday is not so good now. So if I get a move on we can have a walk today on your birthday Grizzly."

"Oh Dad, that would be just wonderful. And we can celebrate Tetley's from last Saturday."

"While you are getting ready and having breakfast, we'll try and come up with and idea", said Shaun.

We got into a huddle to discuss this.

"How about we look at the Lancashire walks book again", suggested Allen. "We could try and find one not too far from home."

"Good idea", agreed Little Eric, as Southey got the book from the shelf.

"There's a map showing the locations, so that will give us a guide of which to consider", pointed Tetley.

After looking at and dismissing two, Shaun said, "how about this to Warton Crag."

"It must be 10 years at least since we climbed that", remarked Tetley. "Sounds like a good suggestion."

"And", added Southey, "it will be another summit, although modest, I will bag."

Dad came into the room. "Have you come to any conclusion. lads."

"Yes" replied Allen. "How about this to Warton Crag."

"I like that", replied Dad. Then quickly scanning the instructions, "Some parts for sure we have done before, but there are new areas too. I have loaded my gear, so all I need is for you to settle in the car and we can be off."

"Right", cheered Shaun, as we all dashed out of the door.


The Walk

As Dad drove off, Southey said, "where is, and how do we, get to the start."

Shaun replied. "We go to Carnforth and then branch left to the village of Warton. Just after the church, it is left along Crag Road. We ignore the first car park and continue on for a mile or so, to what was once Scout Crag quarry. It is long disused and in now the car park for Warton Crag Nature Reserve."

We looked about while Dad got his boots on, and then settled in the rucksack.

Dad ready, Shaun said, "we take the track to the right of the car park entrance."

"Then, very soon we will join a wider track by a large stone seat", Shaun went on.

"Impressive", commented Little Eric about the seat.

"And a good place to have our picture taken", insisted Allen. "I think we should appear a few times in today's story as it is Grizzly's birthday."

"As if you need an excuse", laughed Dad, lining up the camera.

Off again we soon came to a kissing gate and information board. "Hmm", said Shaun. "The author is a bit vague here. What is plain is we need to gain height, so whilst this might not be what he intended, I suggest we take the narrow path climbing steeply, that passed a few yards back."

As we were to find out there are numerous paths, few if any that are marked on the map, so it was a case of using our instincts.

After a bit this came to a t-junction. "Eventually we have to come above the car park", commented Grizzly.

So Dad turned left. The path did indeed reach the car park, but ended at a fence corner over which there was no route. "We are not high enough up either", said Allen.

"OK", said Dad, "it was obviously right."

However for the moment our progress halted as Southey called out, "super views pals."

"That's Warton village with the road leading back to Carnforth, and the distant hill is Clougha Pike, that we have climbed", said Grizzly.

Then looking to the right, Little Eric said, "there's Morecambe and part of Morecambe Bay. The square buildings are the nuclear power stations."

"Let's wave to our pals at home", called out Southey.

"Just like we used to do to Uncle Brian", sniffed Allen, his eyes filling up.

"I know pal", said Tetley, putting a paw on his shoulder. "We all miss him so much."

Dad followed the path that undulated, but gained height overall, to after a little scramble, join a track level with the top of quarry, where we went left...

...to soon come above the car park. Dad's car is the red one, to the left end of the group of four in the right hand area.

Shaun consulted the instructions. "We go through the gate, then look for a path going right that is the route towards the summit."

In what seem only a few yards Little Eric called out, "there's the path."

As Dad made to turn, Tetley pointed, "let's first go for a closer look at those large boulders. The one to the left seems to almost be teetering on the edge of the quarry face."

However the boulder was not as close as it looked, as Dad was able to walk round on the left. Laughing Allen said, "we could have sneaked through the tunnel."

Backtracking, Dad strode along the path Little Eric had indicated.

"Oh look", pointed Southey. "What a pretty flower. I wonder what it is called?"

Silence was all he got, until Grizzly said, "I another mystery for our hug flora experts Bracken and Moss to solve for us."

"We seem to be calling upon their expertise a lot lately", replied Southey. "I hope they can help."

"I am pretty sure we will be able to identify the flower", said Bracken later, peering closely at the picture.

A discussion ensued, and after a few minutes we heard Moss say, "I agree, pal." Then came and told us, "it is Purple Thyme."

"You never let us down. Thank you pals", responded Southey.

So, back to the adventure. Looking ahead, Shaun pointed. "We cross that stile then there is a short scramble up the rock shelf, the path going to the right."

Onwards the path led us through some trees to soon emerge on the summit of Warton Crag with its trig point and beacon.

"Come on pals, picture time", called out Grizzly.

"And calm enough for us to sit on top of the trig point for once", stated Southey.

So which way now?", asked Little Eric, once we were safely tucked back in the rucksack. "The path goes both ways."

"Right from the path we used to the summit", replied Shaun. "We should look for a signpost in the woods, according to the instructions."

Level at first the path began to descend.

"A wild rose", pointed Allen. "Let's have a picture Dad."

We showed this picture to Bracken and Moss. There was more discussion, then Bracken said, "it is called Dunwich Rose."

So on and on descending into the woods, and reaching a t-junction with another narrow path. "Hmm", mused Southey, "no signpost"

"We really want to be heading left", said Tetley.

"I agree", replied Shaun, "but I do not think this is the correct path. I suggest we go on right for now."

He was correct as within 50 yards we reached a wide track. "This is more like it", called out Allen. "But, still no signpost."

"I reckon it was here, but has obviously disappeared since the instructions were written", commented Little Eric.

So we followed the track left through more delightful woodland with just the bird song for company, to a gate that took us onto a wide walled track that is called the Occupation Road. "Turn left", advised Shaun.

This delightful track led on and on eventually coming to Crag Road. At one point, Tetley had pointed to this sign on a gate.

"Ha ha", he said. "Over the years we have walked through fields with bulls and cattle. The bulls have never presented a problem, just giving us a baleful stare. It is the cows with young that have been at times aggressive and heifers too that are inquisitive."

Laughing Dad said, "I remember a sign on a gate on the way to Stool End Farm in Great Langdale. It read, 'if you think you can cross the field in 60 seconds don't, the bull can do it in 45'."

At Crag Road we turned right Dad striding out, until Southey pointed, "Those cows are taking their ease, like those we saw on the walk from Parbold."

At the road end we joined the main road from Warton to Silverdale, and looking right Allen pointed, "there's the old chimney."

Grizzly said, "it was once part of a pumping station which drained the flat land around Leighton Moss. It was built in 1847. Apparently the engine house was a distance from the chimney, being connected by an extended flue."

"We go down the access to Moss House Farm", instructed Shaun.

Clear signs pointed us right then at the end of the field, left into the woods, climbing gently to a gate into a huge pasture.

"We have been this way before", said Tetley, "but in the opposite direction."

A clear track led through the pasture passing a gentleman who was repairing the dry stone wall. Dad had a brief chat with him about the skill needed to do this and know exactly which stone to place next etc.

At the gate into a wide track we were just in time to open this for a landrover coming the other way, the driver thanking Dad. He was we were to find out a little later the gamekeeper. The track led to gates, the one straight ahead being private, our route being left over the stile by another gate.

We stopped here for a quick snack, by which time a lady had come along with her dog. She was the mother from Moss House Farm. Dad had quite a long chat with her about the farm, telling us that they are tenants as it is part of Leighton Hall Estate. She volunteers as a guide for visitors to Leighton Hall. They also, of course discussed the current situation with Covid-19. Setting off, she went through the gate marked private as of course this was her land.

Our route followed round by the wall and on through an open gate to then follow the faint path bearing right.

There were sheep grazing, Dad could not resist snapping these pictures of lambs.

"Darn", huffed Allen. "I have been doing well lately avoiding sheep pictures."

Here Dad's sense of direction deserted his somewhat, as he kept going right, and in effect was circling back the way we had come.

"Oh dear", said Dad. "I seem to have got off track."

"Really we should have kept ahead but a bit left", said Shaun.

This was confirmed by the lady we had been talking to earlier, who was coming along on the opposite side of the wall. Back tracking and then heading right to the corner we passed a solitary waymarked post to a gated step stile. Then on a good track to Peter Lane.

"We cross, then through the stile and up the field", pointed Shaun

"OK lad."

However we were stopped by Allen pointing right. "Look that boulder is Shap Granite. You can see the pinkish tinge." [unfortunately this does not show too well in the picture].

So, over the stile and up the field to the gate in the wall.

"A somewhat unusual gate arrangement", commented Grizzly.

"Quite", replied Tetley. "I would have thought the large gate would have been sufficient."

As we passed through Dad, as an experiment, tried to pull the large gate closed, without success. "It's chained to that vertical metal post", pointed Southey.

Beyond the clear path led on and down past the limekiln, and through a gap with a wall to the right.

Shaun said. "we have been this way a few times in the past and always have followed the path on to drifting left. Today however we walk through Hyning Scout Wood that is owned by the Woodland Trust."

Straight away Little Eric called out, "there's the gate in the wall into the wood."

Through this, Shaun called out, "We immediately take the left fork."

The path descended gently through the idyllic woodland. "It is just glorious walking through here", breathed Allen. "As you keep saying Southey, "isn't nature wonderful."

At a junction with a wider track, Shaun instructed, "turn right."

Fairly soon this brought us to a gate left on to Hyning Road. Dad was stopped by a lady. "She asked, "are you local."

"No", Dad replied.

"It is just that I am looking for an apiary." It was obvious from the clothes she was wearing that she was a beekeeper.

Shaun said, "looking at the map and reading the instructions, we are correct to turn right now and walk down the road. However the path leads on through the woods."

As we continued we could see the path to our right and indeed it was to lead to another gate onto the road. "Well if we come here again we can stay in the wood", commented Grizzly.

"It is alright on the road as it is quiet, and we are still under the trees", replied Allen.

The road descended passing the entrance to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Hyning, and into the village of...

"There's a post box", pointed Little Eric. "You know I have a fascination for them, and they make a bright picture for the story."

As Dad walked down past the houses, Shaun said, "we will turn right into Crag Road."

"OK lad, but first let's have a look at the church."

"Oh yes please", replied Grizzly.

We entered the impeccable graveyard, where two workmen were engaged on cleaning some of the gravestones. Dad pointed, "let's walk up and sit on that top seat."

While we sat, Grizzly told us about the church. "It is dedicated to St. Oswald the King and is probably built on the site of a church in existence prior to the 12th century. It was largely rebuilt in the 15th century, retaining part of the wall of the south aisle. The north aisle was either added or rebuilt in the 16th century. Renovations were carried out in 1848–49, and more extensively in 1892. This consisted of renewing windows in the clerestory, the north aisle and elsewhere, and reconstructing the roof. Its plan consists of a west tower 62ft (19m) high, a nave with north and south aisles and a clerestory, and a chancel. The church has historical connections with the Washington family, ancestors of George Washington, first president of the United States. Since 1977, a Flag of Washington D.C. has been in the church; it was given by American soldiers and normally hangs in the church, except on the Fourth of July, when it is flown from a flagpole outside."

Before we set off on the final leg, Tetley asked, "will you take our picture."

"Sure lads."

Again we made sure that our 'Birthday Boy' pal Grizzly sat prominently in front.

Heading to the church gate we saw this notice board that speaks for itself.

Heading for Crag Road, we passed one of the pubs in the village that unsurprisingly bears the name George Washington, in view of the association Grizzly had eluded to earlier.

"I bet they can't wait for Independence Day, to reopen after the lockdown", stated Little Eric.

After about 50 yards, Shaun called out, "it's right into that car park, by the Old School Brewery."

"Another business that is looking forward to Independence Day", said Southey.

Out of the back a rocky path climbed steadily reaching a gate. "OK through that then left in the same direction", said Shaun. This led us past these low limestone outcrops...

...to follow our outwards path and drop down to the track going right to come to the stone seat once again, and into the car park, Dad taking a path right to come in at the back, where the verge was full of wildflowers.

"Thank you Dad for a super walk", said Southey.

"It has been a great celebration of my birthday", went on Grizzly.

"And belatedly mine too", said Tetley. "Thank you."

So happy as always it was home and a party to celebrate Grizzly's birthday. There was lots and lots of cake, much to Allen and Southey's delight.


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