Date - 6th August 2020 Distance - 4 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Eaves Wood car park (SD 4711 7953)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Tetley and Southey were sitting quietly reading their magazines.

Southey looked up to see Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric coming into the room. "Ooh tea and cakes", he cheered, as he put the magazine down and set out the mugs and plates.

Tetley volunteered to help Shaun pour the tea. "Thanks pal", said Shaun.

The steaming mugs were passed around as Grizzly announced, "I have made Chorley cakes as they seem to be a favourite."

"Ooh yes", enthused Shaun.

Little Eric then said, "there is chocolate caramel shortbread from me."

"Oh pals", said Southey. "You really do spoil us. And, from us all, I reiterate that we never take it for granted."

"I know, but Grizzly and I love baking. We find it therapeutic", replied Little Eric.

So we all dug in. Tetley was just about to take a bit of his second Chorley cake, when he stopped and exclaimed, "where's Allen! The arch cake stuffer and tea belly. Definitely not like him to miss out."

"Not sure", replied Grizzly, "I did see him talking with Dad, but about what I do not know."

"Well there's one thing of sure, he can smell tea a mile off", laughed Shaun. "I'll fill his mug as he is bound to appear soon."

And he was right, as just a few seconds later Allen came bounding into the room, shouting, "great great, I have news that you will all be pleased about."

"OK pal", said Tetley, "but just calm yourself and have your tea and some cake. We can be patient."

"Thanks", he said to Grizzly who offered the cake tins. Allen took one of each. Then, having taken a bite from each he said "they are truly scrumptious."

He had drained his mug straight way, so Shaun refilled it. "Thanks pal." Then Allen went on. "The news I have is that we are walking on Thursday and for the first time since before the lockdown, Uncle Eric will be with us."

"Oh that is wonderful", cheered Little Eric. "Covid-19 has been so so disruptive. It is good to be getting back to some semblance of normality, although there is still a long way to go."

Ever practical, Tetley said, "Has a route been decided? It will need to be fairly short, as Uncle Eric will have only been able to do very short walks close to home."

"Quite", agreed Allen. "What they have decided is to do a walk from Dad's Arnside and Silverdale book. Number 6 to be precise around Middlebarrow, taking in Arnside Tower and The Pepperpot. The start will be from Eaves Wood. We are meeting quite early as this car park is very popular and will soon fill up."

"Super", cheered Little Eric. "Here's to Thursday."


The Walk

The plan was to meet with Uncle Eric at Eaves Wood car park at 09:30. Dad set off in good time and in the event we were there by 09:15. There were just two other vehicles parked.

At the junction just a short way from the car park, Little Eric had called out, "there's a wall post box. It will make a nice bright picture to start our story."

After Dad got his boots on and with Uncle Eric yet to arrive, he walked back with the camera.

Cars began arriving one being Uncle Eric, who parked next to Dad. "Hi Uncle Eric", we called out. "So good to see you."

Our pals Barnaby and Lee had come along too as they always go to see him. "Hello lads", said Uncle Eric, "good to see you all."

More cars arrived as we were getting ready, and when we got back after the walk, it was completely full and there was a long line parked on the road.

Everyone ready, Shaun instructed, "our route is through the gate at the end of the car park, then shortly take a path right into a side valley. A white arrow points the way."

"That's new", stated Tetley. "We have always just continued to the junction at the end of the main path and turned right. Today we are going the opposite direction."

We strode along, and quite soon Grizzly called out, "is this the right turn?"

"Yes", agreed Dad.

"But there's no white arrow", said Little Eric,

"Not too surprising, bearing in mind the book was published over 30 years ago", replied Shaun.

Off the main route we had this path to ourselves and was just the first of many through delightful woodland today.

After a while Shaun called out, "we want that path right."

This took us out into what was once the car park of the long closed Waterslack Garden Centre. "The instructions say to walk through the garden centre, but clearly that signpost points straight ahead", said Shaun.

"Maybe it is now private where the garden centre was", said Allen. "I suggest we follow the direction of the signpost."

To and extent he was to rue this, as Southey pointed, "look there are sheep in the field to the right of the path."

"Oh darn", huffed Allen, seeing Dad getting the camera out, and lining up a couple of shots. "There goes my sheep picture free story."

"We have to cross the railway", said Shaun.

So, at the path end we crossed the house access and continued ahead. We stopped, looked, and listened, before crossing the railway line and so onto a narrow lane.

"Turn left", called out Shaun.

The lane took us past the houses of Waterslack. Pointing Little Eric said, "Waterslack Cottage is pretty."

A farmer was cutting the hedges, and blocking the lane. Seeing us he backed up to let us pass, where the lane swung left. At its end is another crossing of railway and the entrance to the defunct Middlebarrow Quarry.

Over the crossing, Shaun advised, "our way is right."

Seeing a section of low wall, Southey asked, "will you take our picture here for the story, Dad?"

"Sure lads, get settled so I can line up the shot."

Now for some distance we followed the delightful path through Middlebarrow Wood. Dad was in shorts as usual and he was to rue this later, as this time of year, the insects are at their height and they seem to like Dad! Uncle Eric on the other hand had sensibly dressed to cover his legs and arms. Dad got well and truly bitten all over his legs, and suffered a day of the bites itching.

Later Tetley was to remark with a laugh, "I know what Uncle Brian would have said. They only go after bad meat!"

Reaching a fork, Shaun advised, "follow the path signed Arnside Tower."

Glancing right, Allen said, "just as well we are not going to Black Dyke. The path is flooded and impassable!"

Strolling on and after about 10 minutes or so, Southey said, "there seems to be a wetland area right. I can see ducks on the right and that small building on the far side looks like a hide."

"Yes" agreed Grizzly, "but nothing is shown on the map."

So, on and on through the extensive deciduous woodland...

...to eventually exit into field, where above left stands the ruins of Arnside Tower.

Unsurprisingly Grizzly had done some research. "So pals, Arnside Tower was built in the second half of the 15th century and is an almost unique example of Cumbrian pele tower. They were built throughout the border regions of northern England and southern Scotland because of the threat posed by Border Reivers. Constructed of limestone rubble, the tower was originally five storeys high, measuring 50 feet by 34 feet. The tower constructed with an adjacent wing of equal height built onto the side in a style common in Scotland, but rare in English tower houses. The tower suffered a serious fire in 1602 but after repairs remained in use; the historian Anthony Emery states that the tower was in use until the end of the 17th century, but the historian Roy Palmer states that William Coward and his sister Agnes Wheeler lived there at the end of the 18th century. One of the walls collapsed around 1900. As of 2014, English Heritage considered the condition of the castle to be very bad and urgent works are required. It is Grade II* listed building."

"Thank you pal", said Little Eric.

Shaun said, "we climb up to the tower by this wall on the left."

As we got there we could clearly see the dangerous and ruinous state, and the signs warning people to keep out!

Below is Arnside Tower Farm seen here with the scree slopes of Arnside Knott behind.

There were horses grazing. "Take a picture", said Allen. "Makes a change for sheep!"

Coming to the corner of the field Shaun pointed, "it's through that stile by the gate, then immediately left through the kissing gate."

A narrow rough path climbed to Middlebarrow Plain, where quite suddenly it emerged into the large Holgates Caravan Park. Crossing the tarmac drive a waymark directed us left behind the children's play area...

...to then climb the path through woods again. The path levelled and then came to a stile in wall.

"Decision time", said Dad to Uncle Eric. "We can just keep straight on that leads to Eaves Wood, or we can go left and visit the Pepperpot."

"Let's go to the Pepperpot", replied Uncle Eric.

None of us are familiar enough with this area and the map is less than useless as hardly any of the paths are shown.

Shaun tried his best saying, "for now follow the path by the wall."

This led on and on passing some side paths, almost to a cross wall. Had we gone right along that, it might have been OK?

"I think we should backtrack", said Dad, "and then take that side path."

"I have to agree", replied Shaun.

As we did, Allen spotted this fungi. "I wonder what it is called?"

"I have no idea", replied Tetley.

In fact none of us had. "Perhaps another question for our hug flora experts , Bracken and Moss", suggested Southey.

"Well they have not let us down so far", agreed Little Eric.

So, when we got home Grizzly asked Bracken.

"Hmm" said Bracken, "Moss is better identifying fungi. I'll go get him."

"Let's have a look", said Moss peering at the picture. "I am pretty sure it is one of the species of Chanterelle mushrooms."

"Brilliant pals" cried Grizzly. "What would we do without you!"

So, back to the walk. "Here's the path", said Shaun.

As we walked along, Southey said, "it must be right as we are climbing."

Soon we were in an open area, with a wide view towards Morecambe Bay, but still no sign of the Pepperpot.

"Can't be far now", said Tetley.

Dad walked on and in a few yards Allen called out, "here it is."

Grizzly told us, "it was built in 1887 at the instigation of the Hebden family, who then owned Castlebarrow, by a Mr Bowskill, to commemorate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee."

There a fine views from here, like this below of Warton village and part of Morecambe Bay. Those to the east and north are now sadly hidden by the height of the trees.

There were quite a few people here so we did not linger too long.

"Which the path down?", asked Little Eric.

"Not sure to be honest", replied Shaun, "and the instructions are hard to interpret."

"Best then to just retrace to the stile we crossed from Middlebarrow", suggested Tetley.

Arriving here, Shaun said, with total confidence, "turn left."

The good path led through the houses at Elmslack, then taking the path left off the road into Eaves Wood.

Quite soon, Southey asked, "Uncle Eric, do you mind if we stop to have our picture taken again."

"That's OK. I'll just walk slowly on."

Seeing the limestone rock was wet, Dad said, "sit on the map cover lads, to keep dry."

Then settled in the rucksack, Dad strode on though Eaves Wood...

...to catch Uncle Eric, who can be seen in the distance. Then together we walked to the junction, where it was right to the car park.

"That has been a grand day", said Tetley. "So nice to have your company too Uncle Eric.

"Yes lad, I have enjoyed it, and we have walked quite a bit of new paths too."

Dates were set, weather permitting, for another walk the week after next. We can't wait.


shopify analytics