Date - 8th August 2020 Distance - 7.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7 Start point - Marsh Road (SD 4868 8204)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Just the day after walking with Uncle Eric, Allen strolled in to find Southey and Tetley, huddled over the laptop.

"What are you looking at pals."

"The pictures Dad took yesterday on the Middlebarrow walk", replied Southey.

"They have come out well, as we expect from Dad these days. So there will be plenty for the story of our adventure", said Tetley.

Allen replied, "we are rather putting pressure on Dad at present, following the decision to re-edit the pictures where he did not use the Canon CR2 files, and then replace and rewrite the story. There are well over a hundred to do."

"I know", sighed Tetley. "It will be a long term project for us all, and we will have to be patient. I reckon it could take a couple of years to complete."

"It will be worth it, as those early stories will then be more enjoyable", said Allen.

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

"Great", cheered Allen, "I was....

..."gasping for a cuppa", finished Tetley, letting out a bellow of laughter.

Southey got the plates and mugs, then helped Shaun pour the tea.

"Thanks pal."

Little Eric said, "the delights this afternoon are from Grizzly, cherry and ginger scones with butter and raspberry jam. From me there is peach and apricot slice."

We dug in. Tetley said, "the peach slice is delicious, Little Eric. We have not had that for a little while."

"So are the scones", called out Allen.

"So I see", laughed Grizzly, "that's your second already."

Shaun finished his piece of peach slice, then said, "I bring news too of a walk. The weather is good for tomorrow, so Dad has decided to take us on another of the walks from the Arnside and Silverdale book. Number 14 to be precise. It starts from near Milnthorpe, and takes us through Dallam Park then on via the Fairy Steps, and eventually via Haverbrack to the start. Dad said that it is years since he walked through Dallam Park."

"Wow, that's great", cheered Tetley. "I don't think any of us have ever done that, and I feel sure that other parts of the walk will be new."

"Wonderful", called out Little Eric, as he helped himself to a scone.


The Walk

Clear blue skies greeted us as we made sure to be ready for the off. The day was to be sunny and warm, although it clouded over in the afternoon.

Allen said, "long trousers and long sleeve top on such a warm day, Dad?

"There is quite a lot of route through woods, and I don't want to get more insect bites."

"A case of once bitten twice shy", laughed Grizzly.

So around 09:45 we settled in the car and off we went. "Where exactly is the start?", asked Southey.

Dad told us, "At Milnthorpe we turn left towards Sandside. Then just before the bridge over the River Bela, take the narrow Marsh Road, right. There are places to park at pull ins or on the verge, just case of finding a suitable spot."

It was some way along Marsh Road before Dad found a pull in, and he turned round ready for driving back afterwards.

As he got ready, we looked about. "What is that hill over there?", pointed Southey.

"Whitbarrow Scar", replied Allen. "It is one of the Wainwright Outlying fells."

We had got snugged in the rucksack, and this on Dad's back, Shaun said, "we return to the main road, then cross Milnthorpe Bridge and go left into Dallam Tower estate.

There Dad stopped straight away to take this shot of the bridge that spans the River Bela.

Grizzly immediately added interest to our day by telling us, "it was built in 1813 to take the new Turnpike Road from Milnthorpe over the River Bela. It is constructed of squared coursed limestone with ashlar dressings. The bridge is Grade II listed."

So following the tarmac drive, Shaun said, "just before the house we should go left through a gate."

Dad actually walked on a few yards to get a picture of the house.

"Wow", breathed Southey, "what an impressive house. Have you got anything to tell us about it, Grizzly."

"Yes pals" he replied. "There was a pele tower built here about 1375, but demolished when the present house was built in 1720-23. A plan dated 1614 indicates that at that time there was a house with formal gardens. The house you see here is described as 'Early 18th century with 17th century core, and remodelled early 19th century' it has rainwater pipes dated 1722; its interiors include panelling by Gillow of Lancaster. Notable residents included Daniel Wilson (1680 – 1754) and his son Edward Wilson (c. 1719-1764), who were both Members of Parliament for Westmorland."

So through the gate we entered the deer park of 190 acres through which runs the River Bela, following the waymarked path...

... to another bridge from the road into the park.

Here the mallards gather swimming against the current. "They seem to be mostly females", commented Allen.

"We do not cross the bridge, rather go right, following the succession of waymarks", advised Shaun.

As we climbed there were more superb views of the house and across the park.

It was warm and the sheep were taking advantage of the shade.

"Hmph", growled Allen. "There goes my sheep picture free story once again!"

Then suddenly Tetley pointed, "look there's some of the large herd of deer. They are grazing their way across the slope."

The waymarks directed us to the left of the hill where the deer was grazing, to bring us to this cairn, with the view beyond showing the extent of the park. "Its huge", commented Little Eric.

On top is a route marker. Shaun said, "our route is left to Beetham."

Looking left, Southey said, "what is that building."

Grizzly replied, "it's the Grade II listed deer shelter."

Finally the path led to a kissing gate out of the park onto a wide grassy path.

Here the waymark posts were short. "More akin for us", remarked Allen.

"Yes", agreed Shaun, "I'm going to hop out to illustrate this."

This path led to a gate at the car park for Heron Corn Mill. "It's closed due to Covid", remarked Little Eric.

"Well" said Dad, "there is nothing to stop us walking down to view the building, and get a picture."

Grizzly said, " the present building dates from 1740 and contains a working mill powered by water from the River Bela. It is one of the few working mills left in Cumbria and is Grade II listed. Evidence shows that a mill existed on the site prior to 1096. In 1220 the Lord of the Manor gave the monks of St. Marie’s York the right to grind their grain at his mill."

So back at the car park, Little Eric said, "where now."

Shaun pointed opposite. "along that narrow path between wall/fence to the road at Beetham. There we turn left and at the houses, go right through a gap stile and over the field into the woods."

There the path went right and climbed past this ruined building.

"Here's a challenge for you to tell us about this, Grizzly", said Tetley, fully expecting him to be stumped.

"Yes I can enlighten you all. "It is called Fiery Cottage and apparently was lived in until the early 60s."

"You never let us down", laughed Southey.

Beyond at a junction we turned right as indicated by the waymark, along a wide track.

Dad commented, "there were few if any waymarks when I first did this walk over 30 years ago. Then the paths could be a bit confusing, but there is no excuse for getting lost now.

"I reckon this is part of the Dallam Tower Estate", said Shaun pointing to the cairn at the crossroads. "It's similar to the one in the deer park."

We peered at the metal sign on top.

"Straight on to the Fairy Steps", said Allen.

The path climbed to emerge on a limestone plateau, where a narrow steep cleft allows descent to the path below the cliff. These are the Fairy Steps. There were a few people here who were using the steps to get up and down.

"There used to be fine views of the Lakeland Fells, but over time the trees have grown and obscured them, in the same manner as the views north and east from the Pepperpot," commented Dad. "I have been down the steps a few times. However if you don't mind we'll give them a miss today."

"But we have to be at the bottom of the cliff", stated Little Eric.

"Yes lad, but if we follow this path left it will gently lead us down to the path below, and past the steps."

Then we arrived at this three-armed signpost.

"Now we are making for Haverbrack", said Shaun.

None of us took any notice of what Dad did now. He freely admits he had a senior moment, misreading the sign and taking the path to Hazelslack! In fact we should have followed the path signed Cockshot Lane.

So erroneously we walked through the delightful Underlaid Wood. A one point it narrowed through limestone cliffs.

"Sitting here will be a good place to have our picture taken. We have to appear at least once in every story", stated Southey.

Safely tucked up again, Dad descended the narrow path this picture taken at the bottom.

Finally we exited the woods and headed across the fields. "That ruined pele tower looks familiar", said Allen.

"Yes lad, it is the one at Hazelslack. We have come the wrong way". Dad then looked at the map, saying "we should have followed the path signed Cockshot Lane across Beetham Fell. I'm sorry lads. Must be my age."

"Don't worry Dad", said Grizzly,"I am sure we can soon get back on track."

Shaun quickly said, "we've been here a few times before. What we need to do is walk right at the lane, then over a stile right to another stile into the field and by the wood.

Here Shaun then said, "at the end we cross to the right side by the fence then go through the wood and out the far side. There it is half right to a stile into Longtail Wood the path then eventually taking us out onto Cockshot Lane."

There it was obviously right, part way along Tetley pointing, "that is where we should have come out."

"We need to look for a path left that he says is signed Haverbrack", called out Shaun.

Soon Grizzly said, "this must be it, although the sign now just reads footpath."

So again the route was clearly waymarked. At a junction the waymark pointed right, however Shaun said, "the author's instruction is to take the unsigned path left and then almost immediately right."

This brought us out onto gravel road above the huge working Haverbrack quarry.

"Phew, it's massive", said Southey. "The vehicles look so small."

Now, the route was supposed to be along the top of the quarry, but has been blocked due to woodland management.

"Oh heck", said Little Eric.

"No real problem", said Shaun. "We will just have to circumnavigate this tall deer fence to get to the other side."

This done we soon rejoined the waymarked route. So left, then left again at the next junction, the ongoing path climbing gently past the quarry and to a waymark pointing left through a gate into fields.

"Wow", said Southey, "what superb views."

"That's Milnthorpe to the right, with the Howgill Fells distantly behind", said Allen.

Then looking over the estuary, Tetley said, "from the left is the Fairfield Horseshoe, Red Screes, the depression that is Kirkstone Pass. Then to the right is Caudale Moor, and right of that the Kentmere Horseshoe, with High Street at the back."

"Fabulous!", exclaimed Little Eric.

Shaun said, "we need to keep near to the wall on the right as we make the steep descent to corner."

Through a gate we came onto a track. Shaun was quick to advise, "we cross and take that narrow path between walls."

This meandered down to stile onto a track access to field. "Cross and over that stile", pointed Shaun.

At the far side of the field another stile took us onto a path that brought us to access road to Shoreline Industrial Estate, where a few yards right we joined the main road from Milnthorpe

"Where now?", asked Southey.

"Cross and take the path through woods and along the old railway embankment.

Here we met an elderly gentleman with his beautiful border collie. Dad and he chatted for quite while about life, work, and the current situation. A delightful little interlude.

So onwards a waymark pointed us to drop down to the shore then round following the River Bela.

Grizzly said, "there was once a huge viaduct here that carried the railway over the River Bela. It was demolished in 1966, as part of the Beeching cuts to the railway network.

So again following the waymarks we arrived at Milnthorpe Bridge, where we again met the gentleman Dad had talked to earlier.

Then just a matter of crossing the bridge and left on Marsh Road to car.

"Super walk", said Little Eric.

"Another grand day out", agreed Tetley.

Allen said, "refreshment time Dad?"

"Yes lad, I'm going to the River Bela Cafe again."

Dad had been a couple of weeks ago on the first day they opened. He was pleased to hear that business had been good and indeed there were a few customers while Dad was there today. He had a nice tuna and cheese pannini, with pot of tea.

Meanwhile we had our picnic in the car. Lovely ham and chutney, and cheese and onion sandwiches. Then cakes. Chocolate coated flapjack and Chorley cakes. Of course mugs of tea too.

Super day!!


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