Date - 4th November 2020 Distance - 5.75 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Layby near Strickland Arms (SD 50155 86979)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Sizergh Fell 122 400 SD 4942 7816



All was well as the cakes and tea had arrived.

"Yippee", cheered Allen, "I'm gasping for a cuppa."

"What a surprise", replied Tetley, knowing what a tea belly and cake stuffer his pal is."

Southey meanwhile had got the plates and mugs, passing the former round.

"I'll lend a paw filling the mugs Shaun", said Tetley.

"Thanks pal."

"What are the cake delights?", asked Allen.

"Knowing you all like them, I have made Chorley cakes", replied Grizzly.

"And from me there is blueberry slice", went on Little Eric.

We all dug in and Southey said, "I love the blueberry slice. It is delicious."

"As are the Chorley cakes", said Shaun. "Absolutely scrumptious."

By now Allen was on his third piece of slice. "Living up to your reputation", laughed Little Eric.

On a more serious note, Southey said, "we have dates for a walk this week with Uncle Eric, and then there is another lockdown for four weeks. Will that mean we will not be able to walk with Uncle Eric during that."

"No pal", said Tetley. "I have read the rules, and it is allowed for Dad to meet up with one other person for exercise, and that will of course be Uncle Eric."

"Great", cheered Southey. "It is always good to have his company."

"So", mused Little Eric, "what about this week? The weather seems to have finally settled down after the biblical rains last week and over the weekend."

"Well", replied Shaun. "Tetley and I have been looking at the early walks Dad collected and there are some that he last did before any of us started to go walking."

Tetley went on. "some too Uncle Eric has not done, although there will be parts that he has done on his own in the past, but it means we can at least make suggestions."

"We have found one that goes through Brigsteer Woods and then up to Helsington church and then back via Sizergh Castle", stated Shaun.

"Sounds worth seeing what Dad thinks", replied Southey, looking straight at Allen.

"Ok", he said draining his mug, "I'll go ask."

"Thanks", said Shaun. "I'll make sure your mug is refilled."

"Thank you", called out Allen as he trotted out of the door.

There was a little delay before he returned, Allen explaining, "Dad had only just returned from Elaine's so I had to wait until he had got settled. He likes the idea, so it will be on, providing Uncle Eric agrees."



The Walk

We made sure to be ready and dashed out to the car, when Dad called out, "OK time to go."

How do we get to the start?", asked Southey, as Dad pulled out of the drive.

"Along the Bay Gateway, and then the M6 north to junction 35, then continue north on the A6", advised Shaun. "At Levens, instead of taking the A590 towards Barrow, we go right towards Kendal to take the second turning on the left signed Sizergh. This is part of the old road, and there is a large layby on the left."

Dad had parked, and just minutes later Uncle Eric arrived and we called out a cheery good morning, and our pals Barnaby and Lee, who always come to see Uncle Eric, went for a chat.

"Good to see you lads", replied Uncle Eric.

They were soon ready and Shaun pointed, "we take that signed path right."

Uncle Eric strode off, then paused, while Dad took the first picture of the day.

The path was rather overgrown and unsurprisingly muddy, after the recent rains. It climbed steadily passing through the buildings of Fell Side and onto the road.

"Turn right, then shortly go left on the track in front of a row of cottages", advised Southey.

This bent left behind the cottages to a kissing gate and into a field. "Thank goodness for the little bridges", called out Allen.

As can be seen the path climbed straight ahead and then continued at a cross road. "We should go right on the wider track keeping by the wood", advised Shaun.

This brought us to a gate through which the clear path continued half left below the highest ground.

"Although a bit hidden by the trees that is a fine view towards Sizergh Castle", called out Tetley.

Walking on Little Eric said, "we are now on Sizergh Fell, and according to the map the highest point at 122m (400 ft), is by the wall at the top of that slope to the right. Uncle Eric would you mind if we bagged the summit."

Seeing it was not much of a climb as we crossed the field he said, "OK then."

There is nothing to mark the supposed summit and we had to guess the position. "The ground had levelled here", said Grizzly. "Let's sit on this broken section of the wall."

Looking out over Levens Moss, Allen said, "I am not surprised to see the floods, after the rains. The land is barely above sea level."

Returning from the summit we passed through a gate at the end of the field and crossed the next, keeping to the right side and coming to a gate.

There are waymarks around here for a Sizergh Fell walk, which has been devised by the National Trust, who look after Sizergh Castle.

Due partly to these and for once Dad and our misreading of the map, we followed these waymarks taking us right, instead of as we should have going left. The route took us down to Lane End Farm and the road.

"Look at those two billy goats", pointed Little Eric. "One certainly fancies the vegetation on the far side of the fence."

Here, having assumed we were on the correct route, we took the road right, which was at one point flooded deeply.

Carefully making their way through, Dad managed to avoid getting wet feet, but not so Uncle Eric. Thankfully two cars waited for us to get past before coming through. Dad waved an acknowledgment.

Soon reaching a junction of paths left and right, the error was realised. We did then, and now, as Dad writes the story, apologise profusely to Uncle Eric.

Uncle Eric said, "if we take the path left to Cinderbarrow, we will get back onto the route."

The track leads to the farm, where this pony was standing quietly.

There are no waymarks here, and as we tried to enter the yard the farmer called out, "the path is through the wall just a little to the left."

Through this we joined the road and walked past the farm, then very soon Uncle Eric said, "we take that track right signed Public Byway."

This led round the back of the farm.

"Look at that stream. It's hurtling down", pointed Tetley. "All because of the rain."

Continuing ahead the track soon bent left. "Our route is through that gate into Brigsteer Park", pointed Shaun.

It was a delight to walk through here, at least as far as we were concerned. Tetley remarked, "we are glad to be in the rucksack", as he noted how extremely wet and muddy the path was.

A small beck crossed the path, it's width swollen by the rains. "Please be careful Dad and Uncle Eric, getting across", said Grizzly.

"We will", replied Dad, as he went first picking the best route, for Uncle Eric to then follow.

They both crossed without mishap, Dad then pausing to take a picture, looking back.

Finally exiting the wood into open pasture and seeing waymarks, Southey instructed, "we ignore them, and walk the grassy path alongside the wall."

Tetley called out, "there's a fantastic view of the Coniston Fells."

"You told me the names of the fells last time we had this view", said Southey. "Let's see if I have remembered. The highest is Coniston Old Man with the ridge to the left being Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag. Going right from the Old Man, is Brim Fell. Then falling to Levers Hause and rising to Swirl How with behind Great Carrs. Then finally right of this is Wetherlam. Between that and Great Carrs is the slightly pointed summit of Black Sails."

"Well done pal", cried Allen. "That is spot on."

"The view extends further to the right", pointed Little Eric. "Wetherlam to the left, then going right is the Crinkle Crags and then Bowfell and Esk Pike."

"Wonderful", breathed Grizzly. "So many memories of the days climbing them."

At a junction of the path, Shaun said, "take the left fork."

This led to a gate and the road by Park End Farm. "We cross this and follow that well signed footpath through the buildings", said Southey. "Then it is on through the gates, to climb half left to the top corner of the field."

Sheep were grazing and seeing Dad getting the camera out, Allen called out, "oh noooo... I so hoped we might get a sheep picture free story."

"Never mind pal", replied Little Eric consolingly.

Beyond the gate at the top a narrow track led right, becoming steep and stony as it climbed out onto the open hillside.

"We follow round left, and cross to Helsington Church", instructed Shaun.

This is a popular place The car park was full, and people sitting enjoying the superb view of the fells.

A couple chatted to Dad and Uncle Eric. They spotted us too. So, Dad explained, and they thought is was lovely that he took us on the walks. Dad mentioned our website. "We'll certainly have a look", the gentleman replied.

Dad and Uncle Eric had a little rest now, sitting in the churchyard of the Chapel of Ease of St John Helsington.

Grizzly did not let us down. "It was built in 1726 from and endowment by John Jackson of nearby Holeslack Farm. Its isolated position owes much to the proximity of the farm that is along that track", pointed Grizzly. "The church serves the village of Brigsteer at the bottom of the scar, but the parish is called Helsington after the name of one of the twenty four townships that constituted the greater parish of Kendal."

Uncle Eric said, "it is beautiful inside."

Sadly due to the Covid pandemic the church was closed to visitors.

Grizzly went on, "the principal feature is a mural at the east end painted in 1919 by Miss Saumarez. This is effectively a war memorial reflecting the post war desolation in borrowing from the view outside to depict a scene of mountains, the river and sea and kneeling angels in prayer."

Grizzly acknowledges the information came from the Crosthwaite and Lyth website as did the picture above. We hope that they do not mind us using this, as otherwise in normal times we would have gone inside for Dad to take a picture.

Ready to continue, Southey told us, "facing the church, we take the wide access track to the right that leads to Berry Holme."

As the wall came beside the track, Shaun said, "we go right across the field."

Dad made a slight detour however to take this shot of the farmhouse. "Why have you taken it?", asked Southey.

Little Eric was quick to answer his pal. "To illustrate the tall rounded chimneys that are a feature in this locality."

A ladderstile allowed progress at the far side, from where we descended to a gate in the wall on the right, to then turn left, passing a barn, and then following the path to the grounds of Sizergh Castle.

Here there were lots of people enjoying the last day of freedom before lockdown for the next four weeks.

The house was closed and unsure if payment was required to visit the gardens, Shaun said, "we are content to just continue with the walk."

"Ok lad", replied Dad, "but before we do, I'll take a picture of the impressive Estate Office, for the story."

Then as we turned, Allen pointed and with a laugh, "look at the wood sculpture of a snail. Must have a picture in the story."

Uncle Eric said, "we should walk through the car park to the far side and then through the gate and up field."

This brought us to our outwards route. Ahead was the path we had taken below Sizergh Fell. Through the gate, our way was left to descend the pasture, and cross the two small bridges to the track that led past the cottages to the road.

There Southey said, "the instructions now tell us to go left to the junction and then right. This varies the return and avoids further repeat."

Here Little Eric pointed, "look, there is Sizergh postbox."

"I know what you want, lad", replied Dad, hauling out the camera.

"If only Allen was as eager when it came to sheep pictures", said Grizzly, laughingly.

"Hmph", grunted Allen.

A few steps now brought us to the Strickland Arms.

Uncle Eric can be seen surveying the scene and noting the many cars parked on the road as well as in the car park. "Very busy", he remarked. "Not surprising as the place will be closed for four weeks from tomorrow and we will be urged once again to stay at home as much as possible with the lockdown."

"At least we can go out to exercise, and the rules allow us to meet up for walks, which is great", replied Dad.

So now it was just a short stroll to the cars, Tetley calling out, "those trees look lovely in the autumn colours. A nice picture to round off the tale."

"That was a lovely walk, and I have enjoyed it", said Uncle Eric. "Thank you for suggesting it."

"We are pleased", replied Allen. "And we are sorry that our directions took us off track and that as a result you got wet feet."

"Yes please accept out heartfelt apologies", went on Tetley.

"Don't worry lads."

So dates were fixed for future walks and Dad then drove us home.

Allen remarked, "today has got me in striking distance of 5000 miles. I should pass that on the next walk."

"Yes pal", agreed Grizzly. "You will join Shaun, Tetley and I, having achieved that."


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