Date - 10th November 2020, 8th July 2021, 4th April 2023, 30th September 2023 & 7th February 2024
Distance - 6 miles (6.25 - November 2020)
Ascent -
Map - OL7
Start point - Heron Corn Mill car park (SD 4956 7994)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Tetley trotted in to find Allen and Southey huddled over the laptop. "What are you on with, pals?"

"Looking at the pictures Dad took on the Simpson Ground walk, where I passed 5000 miles", replied Allen.

"There are plenty to properly illustrate our adventure, when Dad has time to type our story", went on Southey.

"It was a good walk even if we did get off track and that together with keeping to the forest road later, added quite a distance. Still as always Dad was up to the challenge."

"He has never ever let us down", stated Allen firmly.

"I quite agree", called out Shaun, as he arrived with the flasks, followed by Grizzly and Little Eric with the cake tins.

"Ooh great", cheered Allen. "Tea."

"I know", laughed Tetley, "you are gasping for a cuppa!"

Southey had got the plates and mugs, and said, "I'll lend a paw filling the mugs."

"Thanks", replied Shaun.

Grizzly announced, "Little Eric has made chocolate coconut and cherry slice, while I contribute, mincemeat slice."

"Yummy", cried Tetley. "We have not had those for a while."

So there was quiet for a while as we tucked into the cakes.

"Little Eric, the cherry slice is delicious", said Allen with a look of ecstasy on his face.

"I can see", he replied, "that's you third piece. And the same for you Southey. Both of you so take after Dad. Cake stuffers. It's a good job I made double."

Shaun added, "Grizzly the mincemeat slice is scrumptious too. Thanks pals for making them as always."

"You're welcome."

Looking at the diary, Little Eric said, "Tuesday and Wednesday are down to walk with Uncle Eric." He then got the iPad and navigated to the Met Office app. It will have to be Tuesday. Wednesday is forecast to be wet."

"So", mused Southey, "where to go."

Tetley piped up, "I have found another walk that Dad did in July 1989, long before any of us were adopted. It starts in Beetham and does a circle via Holme. We may have done parts of it before, but largely it will be new, and I think the same can be said for Uncle Eric too."

While Grizzly read the details we followed it on the map. "I think it will be a nice walk and I am sure Dad will agree and hopefully Uncle Eric, when they speak tonight."

Draining his mug, Allen said, "I'll take the details to Dad, and see if he agrees." As he dashed out of the door, he called out, "will you refill my mug, please."

"Ok pal", Shaun called back. "He truly is a tea belly", he then remarked.

Well, Dad was happy with the suggestion, as indeed was Uncle Eric, so here is the account of our adventure.

The Walk

The arrangement was to meet Uncle Eric around 09:30, so we set off a little before 09:00 to be there in good time.

Dad told us, "to avoid parking on the road, I have agreed to meet and start from the car park of Heron Corn Mill."

"I remember that", replied Southey. "we passed by there, after walking through Dallam Park."

Uncle Eric had arrived just a few minutes earlier, and we called out "good morning".

"Nice to see you lads."

Then our pals Barnaby and Lee went to have a chat.

As they were getting ready a gentleman arrived who is a volunteer at the Corn Mill, which is closed at present due to Covid.

He said, "we are doing a lot of maintenance including on the turbine. I am hoping a fellow volunteer arrives to, as I have to go inside the turbine and he has to be in contact with me by radio for safety reasons. We are also using a traditional method to dress (that is, re-cut to keep the cutting surfaces sharp) the millstones to hopefully improve the quality of the flour. This task will be quite a learning curve."

So, after this interesting chat, we set off, to walk back down the track, and into the village, passing the war memorial, where the remembrance day wreaths had been laid.

This had taken us past the back of the church. Uncle Eric led us to a gate into the churchyard, where Dad took this picture.

"This is St. Michael and All Angels Church", said Grizzly. "It is possible that the oldest existing part of the church, the lower part of the tower, dates from the Anglo-Saxon era. The south aisle was added in about 1200, and the chancel was extended during the 13th century. In the following century the Beetham chapel was added. The south aisle was widened in the 15th century, and in the 16th century the top stage of the tower was built. The building was restored in the 1870s The church is constructed mainly in limestone, with sandstone dressings, and roofed in lead. The tower is in two stages. The lower stage of the tower contains a west doorway dating from the 14th century, above which is a two-light window. The upper stage contains three-light bell openings and at the top is a battlemented parapet with crocketted pinnacles."

Grizzly then pointed to the porch. "This was added during the 1870s restoration. It has two- or three light windows."

Tetley said, "there are alcoves in the front buttresses with carved figures."

Peering closely Shaun said, "they are both angels. I wonder if the one to the right is supposed to be St Michael?"

"He is the archangel and is depicted with a shield and sword", replied Allen. "So, pal you are probably correct."

So already with interest on our walk, we returned to the road to pass the Wheatsheaf Hotel and then go left along The Mains, passing the Heron Theatre.

"That is where our dear Uncle Brian did his last acting performance", remarked Tetley. "Over the years he appeared in many musicals and plays."

"Around 60, including a number of leading roles", said Dad. "I was always so so proud of him. He had a real natural ability and great stage presence. Also timing, that made him so good in comedies. I miss him more every day."

"Me too", sniffed Allen.

This brought us to the A6. "Turn right and walk as far as Beetham Hall, where we cross to take the track opposite", instructed Southey.

Past the buildings we then went through a gate the hedge, to cross a field lined with crop stumps and reach a stone gap stile. Planted with maize this was taller than Dad as we crossed in July.

Looking back we could see the complex of Beetham Hall. "This was a farm, but is now the site of the crematorium", commented Grizzly. "It is housed in the buildings at the front to the right."

Beyond the gap stile, Shaun said, "we cross this field diagonally right." Then glancing ahead said, "basically towards that sheep."

"Oh heck" cried Allen. "I was hoping to get another sheep picture free story. Maybe they will run away, as we cross."

Sadly at least one just stood and watched us pass by, and Allen knew it was inevitable that Dad could not resist snapping a picture.

Reaching the gate, Dad studied the fastening, saying to Uncle Eric, "not an opener. We'll have to climb over."

This was nimbly done, to continue left past Pye's Bridge Farm and then cross Pye's Bridge over Holme Beck.

Southey then said, "now we take that signed path right towards Holme."

Through the gate we kept by the hedge. "Look at that pretty flower growing amongst the crop stalks", pointed Little Eric. "Does anyone know what it is?"

Dad piped up, "it looks a bit like the pansies I had in the garden, but I guess this one is a wild variety."

"We'll have to ask our hug flora and fauna experts Bracken and Moss", said Tetley. "They will know for sure."

And after studying the picture, they both were in agreement, Moss saying, "it is Heartsease, a wild pansy."

"Thank you", said Little Eric. "What would we do without your expert knowledge."

The area round the gate at the end of the field was deepish mud. "Oh dear", said Tetley.

Dad got the gate open, then carefully keeping to the edge by the fence, the obstacle was over come without mishap.

Striding on to and through the gate at the end of the next field, we passed left of this pool...

...and on to cross the railway line by the footbridge.

Dad and Uncle Eric paused for a minute or so at the top looking at the line, Uncle Eric commenting, "we can stand here and no train will come, but when we got to the bottom of the steps then one will come."

And sure enough this is what happened, as we heard the engine sound its horn to warn some people working by the track.

Dad bounded up the steps, and lining up the camera got this of the passing Avanti pendolino.

Coming down, Tetley laughed saying, "Dad, you ran up those steps like a teenager."

Now climbed the stile and walked the fenced path, to keep us on the straight and narrow!

Cows were grazing on the day in July.

The young one on the right coming over for a closer look.

Halfway there is a stiled gap, for animals to wander freely, and it was clear that they had as it was all churned up and muddy. "Not again", said Grizzly.

Having surveyed the lay of the land, Dad and Uncle Eric edged round right then left to avoid the worst, and then continue to a stile onto the road at the boundary of Holme village. "I wonder what is the significance of 2010?", was mused Southey.

Grizzly said, "I'll see if I can find out when we get back."

We saw him in deep concentration tapping away at the iPad. "Well pals I am sorry but I am unable to find anything about 2010. But, with regard to the swan, I deduce that there must be quite a number that inhabit the unused section of the Lancaster Canal that runs through the village. There is reference to contact a Sue Wragg to report any dead or injured swans."

Shaun issued the next instructions. "it's through that stile on the far side. Then keep by the hedge on the right and through three more stiles."

There were lots of very narrow gap stiles today like this below.

Right from the A6 ever present before us had been Farleton Fell. "From some angles it looks a continuous ridge, but from here you can clearly see the fault line that splits Farlton Fell from Holmepark Fell", commented Allen.

Ahead now were newish houses. Dad said, "they certainly would not have been here when the walk was originally published, so the instructions may not be totally accurate now."

The route was waymarked and after crossing a stream the fenced path angled left past the houses and to the road.

Reading the instructions then seeing that there was no track directly opposite, Shaun said, "we have come out further left than when the walk was published. We should walk right about 50 yards."

Here it was right along the track to Holme Park Farm, leaving it to descend the steps and join the towpath of the Lancaster Canal.

Bare of any flowers in November, the banks of meadowsweet were wonderful to see in July.

"Look", called out Grizzly. "A seat. Can we ask a favour Uncle Eric. Will you wait while Dad takes our picture."

"I think that will be OK", he replied.

Then, safely settled back in the rucksack, we proceed under Holme Park Bridge... then leave the canal at the next called Janson's Bridge, passing these White Ducks swimming line astern.

Down the steps the track led past the cricket ground to emerge on to the road by the school.

"It's left here, then right at the t-junction", advised Southey.

Here we passed close to Holy Trinity Church that dates from 1839.

Within yards, Southey said, "it's the left fork along Duke Street, then at the next fork go right."

This lane led under the railway once again. "The bridge is a little unusual accommodating the smaller tunnel for the beck", commented Tetley.

Strolling on, Shaun issued the next instruction. "We continue, and after crossing Holme Beck, go right through a gate."

There is a signpost, and Little Eric spotting it called out , "that's our route along the fenced path."

For the next half a mile we had Holme Beck for company to the right, and more stiles to allow progress. Emerging into an open field we reached a gate that was tied up. "Are we going to have to climb it?", said Uncle Eric.

"No", called out Shaun. "We need to backtrack about 20 yards. There is a gap stile into the trees, where we go left to a gap that leads into the next field."

Having kept a count, Grizzly said, "in all, five fields have been crossed."

"We will soon come to the point where Holme Beck turns away right", said Southey. "There we keep straight on to a gate."

Here more mud had to be negotiated to then cross the next boggy field toward a footbridge. The picture below clearly shows our route thereafter. Through the open gate and up by the hedge to emerge onto the A6 via a stile.

Uncle Eric crossed the footbridge first saying, "there are lots of gaps."

Allen said, "it reminds me of a film scenario, where the heros are trying to escape the evil baddies, and the bridge floor starts to collapse as they run across. Of course they always get over safely."

At the A6, Shaun advised, "cross and then walk up the drive opposite to Hale Head House, then turn right and just after the house follow the narrow path left."

This climbed and then swung right to emerge onto the road at Fell End Farm.

"Turn right", called out Southey, "then just before the bungalow take the wide track left."

This took us through the lovely woodland on Hale Fell. "Reminds me of the path through Brigsteer Park", commented Dad.

"Not really", replied Uncle Eric. "The path is far less muddy!"

Here is a contrasting summer picture along this delightful path.

Eventually we reached a t-junction, where there was no doubt our way was right, to very shortly reach this three-armed signpost. Again there was no doubt, but just on case, Shaun said, "we want the path to Beetham and Slack Head."

The path ran beside the wall on the right, to then soon emerge into fields, and on now with the wall to our left. "I wonder how many years it has taken for the moss to completely cover the stones", mused Allen.

After a while we dropped down away from the wall and climbed the stile into a walled path with Beetham Hall on our right.

Grizzly said, "this was originally a part pele tower part fortified manor. As you can see a considerable amount remains of the 14th century stonework of the manor, as well as part of the curtain wall that surrounded it. The main tower was probably three storeys tall, and topped with long gone battlements. The hall has been in ruins ever since it was taken from the Royalists by Thomas Fairfax in 1644."

"Thank you as always for enlightening us", said Allen.

At the far end of the path we emerged into a huge field. The path split here, our route being diagonally right.

Sheep and cows were grazing here on the July day, and this lamb posed for Dad. "Huh", said Allen, "I almost got away without any sheep pictures today."

This led to a short path to road at Beetham, at the start of which stands this magnificent tree.

At the road we followed the outward route to the mill car park.

Along here Tetley pointed, "look there are the old stocks."

"That was most enjoyable", said Uncle Eric. "The section to and from Holme I had never walked before, except for the bit along the canal. Thank you for suggesting it."

"You are welcome", replied Dad.

"We have all enjoyed it too", remarked Allen. "And it has been great to have your company Uncle Eric, as always."

"Thank you, lads."

So with dates fixed for future walks, we said our goodbyes and Dad drove this happy band of bears and sheep home!

8th July 2021
After our epic adventure doing the Fairfield Horseshoe last week, we decided that Dad deserved to have an easy walk so repeated this one. The added advantage was that afterwards Dad got to go to one of his favourite places, the River Bela Cafe, for a late lunch. We got to go in too. Today was dry with some sun and rather muggy. This meant conditions underfoot were dry in contrast to last November. We have added a few pictures from today, to enhance our account.
Afterwards, Dad then went to the River Bela Cafe in Milnthorpe to see Martyn and Sarah and have a late lunch.

"Can we come in too?", asked Grizzly.

"Of course", said Dad.

He was greeted warmly as always, as he is a very regular customer. The food is excellent, Dad having today a jacket potato with tuna mayo and side salad. The one of Martyn's delicious scones with butter and jam. Tea to drink, of course.

We can recommend this cafe without reservation, and Dad goes at least once every week.

4th April 2023
We awoke to cloudless blue skies, and a calm mild day, so Dad said, "we must take advantage of the good weather and walk."
"That's great", cheered Allen. "Where are we going".
"To repeat the walk from Beetham to Holme and back via Hale."
"You've got an ulterior motive", laughed Tetley. "Going for lunch at the River Bela Cafe afterwards. Good, as we get to go in too."
So Dad taking it gently, we thoroughly enjoyed the walk again. Being so clear the views were sharp, especially to Farleton Knott. We had the fields and paths to ourselves not meeting any other walker. Crossing one field we disturbed a hare, that bounded away before us. And as referred to above, We went to see Martyn and Sarah at the River Bela Cafe. Dad had Cumberland sausage with chips and egg. A big pot of tea. Then finished off with apple crumble and custard.

30th September 2023
Dad did not want top drive too far, so for two reasons we suggested repeating this walk. Tetley said, "this is a walk we always enjoy and you can then go to the River Bela Cafe for lunch, and we get to go in too."
"You always have my best interests at heart lads", Dad replied.
A dry and quite mild day but mostly cloudy and breezy. After the first field where the maize crop had been cut the next once again had crop still to be harvested and was taller than Dad. "As the saying goes we are in over our heads", laughed Allen. The added difficulty was the path was diagonal, and no gap for the footpath had been left. Along the narrow paths there were nettles. Dad was in shorts as usual, and despite best efforts could not avoid getting stung a few times. "I'll be fine tomorrow", said Dad in reply to Little Eric's concerns.
And yes after, we went as planned to see Martyn and Sarah at the River Bela Cafe. Dad had scampi with chips and beans. A big pot of tea. Then finished off with apple crumble and custard.

7th February 2024
Dad had a rather busy week with appointments, so we were very pleased when he said, "Wednesday is to be a nice dry calm day with some sun, and I am free, so we are walking."
"Great", cheered Shaun. "That will get me within one of 1,000 walks. A milestone."
"We with you being so busy otherwise, it a short drive to the start seems in order, so how about the walk from Beetham to Holme. We can then go to the River Bela Cafe afterwards", suggested Grizzly.
As we crossed the A6 to walk up the track, Allen said, "at least the maize will have been harvested so there will be no problem crossing the second field."
On the section to Holme we saw no one. Met a lady with her dog on the canal, and passed a few people walking in Holme. The fields were rather muddy, which was no surprise, as there has been so much rain this year. At Hale Fell End met a gentleman who was around Dad's age. They had a little chat before this was interrupted by his mobile. He said, "believe it or not I'm off to play rugby." Good for him!
Dad's timing was right for us to get to the River Bela Cafe for a good lunch. Cheery welcome from Martyn and Sarah. He had Cumberland sausage with chips egg and beans. Tea and then delicious rhubarb and ginger crumble and custard.
As we drove home, Little Eric said, "thank you Dad, for a lovely day."


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