ALONG the RIVER LUNE from DENNY BECK to CROOK o'LUNE

 


Summary

Date - 6th January 2021 Distance - 4 miles
Ascent -
300 ft
Map - 296 Start point - Former Halton railway station (SD 5036 6457)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

Southey was looking rather down in the paw, so Allen asked, "what is the matter pal?"

"We are in lockdown again, so am wondering if we will be able to go for walks."

Tetley was about to reply when Allen piped up, "here comes Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric with the tea and cakes. I am sure that will put a little smile on your face."

Tetley passed out the plates, while Allen lent a paw filling the mugs. "Thank you pal", said Shaun.

Little Eric said, "it's a chocolate day! Grizzly has made chocolate caramel shortbread, while I have done chocolate brownie."

"Just what we need in these strange times", cheered Tetley, as he helped himself to a piece of each.

Southey, a little brighter, dug in too. "Mmm", he said, "the brownie is absolutely delicious, Little Eric."

"So I can see", he replied. "Allen had already scoffed two pieces."

"Well this cold weather makes me more hungry", said Allen.

"Just to let you know the caramel shortbread is scrumptious too", said Shaun.

Bringing the subject back to walks, Southey again said, "what is the prospect for walks during the lockdown?"

Finally Tetley was able to respond. "The rules are much the same as during previous ones. Dad is allowed to exercise once a day, but there is no time limit. He is allowed to drive, but we have to stay local. We can walk from home, and I feel sure that we will be repeating some of the walks we did during the first lockdown last spring. We should be able to drive to Lancaster at least as well, and perhaps a little further."

During this a smile had come on to Southey's face. "Well I do not mind having to repeat walks, it is just great that we can still go out."

Grizzly meanwhile had picked up the iPad. "The weather for tomorrow is sunny, while Thursday is miserable."

"Well I am sure Dad will want to get out tomorrow", replied Shaun. "We need and suggestion."

"I know", said Little Eric. "We could do more of the riverside paths. Last Sunday we walked up to Halton. Perhaps long ago Dad may have done the next stretch from there to Crook o'Lune, but is probably new to us. Let's suggest that."

"Good idea", cheered Allen, draining his mug. "I'll go and see what he thinks."

As he trotted out of the door, Tetley called out, "we'll fill your mug and put some more cake on the plate."

"Thank you!!"

It was not many minutes before Allen returned. "Thanks", he said accepting the steaming mug of tea. "Dad says yes. He plans to start from Denny Beck where there is a car park."

"Great" cheered Southey, with a wide smile on his face. "I love Dad so so much."

 

The Walk

As it is pretty cold just now, Dad decided to let the streets get aired before setting off. He told us, "I plan to start walking about 11:00."

"Ok", replied Grizzly. "We'll be ready."

It is just a few miles to the start. Through Lancaster and on the road up the Lune valley, very soon taking the narrow road down by Denny Beck and parking beside the cycleway on the old railway line.

As we scrambled out, Little Eric said, "there's the old building that was once Halton Station."

"Correct pal", said Grizzly. "It was on the line from Lancaster Green Ayre to Wennington. Trains last called here in 1966, when the line was closed. It is now used by the Lancaster University Rowing Club."

"We sat on the platform for our picture last year", piped up Southey. "Let's do it again. Our first picture for 2021."

"We better get settled in the rucksack", said Tetley, "It's not a though a train will be coming ever again."

"Which way have you decided to do the walk?", asked Shaun.

"Anti clockwise", replied Dad.

"Ok, then we need to go round the back of the station building and join the path by the river."

Before striding off however, Dad paused to take this of the narrow bridge across the Lune that would we would use at the end of the walk.

Fairly soon the path petered out and a flight of steps led up to the cycleway on the old railway trackbed.

"Aww", said Little Eric disappointedly, "I had hoped there was a path all the way beside the river."

Well his pleas were answered, as after a few hundred yards a soil path forked left. This soon ran by the river again passing by a large weir.

"This is just one of a number of weirs that help to control the flow of the water between here and Lancaster", said Tetley.

"Lovely reflections on the mirror smooth upstream side", commented Grizzly.

The path now appeared to go right, but rounding the fence, Shaun said, "the path also keeps by the river. Let's follow it."

A kissing gate led into a field, here pictured beyond a nice tree.

"It's beautiful along here", enthused Southey. "I think those trees will make a nice shot."

Just a few minutes later, Allen pointed, "some lovely reflections. Get the camera out Dad."

Dad had hardly put it away, when it was Shaun who called out, "more nice trees."

We walked on, Dad taking care as there was ice about, as the last thing we wanted was for Dad to fall and hurt himself.

We were heading towards woods again, but there was one last stop, as Grizzly said, "more beautiful reflections."

Entering the woods, Little Eric said, "there's an icy stretch on the path. Be careful Dad."

"I know it is boggy to the right, but I am going to plough through, for safety's sake", replied Dad.

Once on the path again we soon came to West bridge that was one of two that carried the railway line across the river at Crook o'Lune.

"Again nice reflections", commented Allen.

Beside this a flight of steps climbed to the bridge. "Do we go that way?", asked Little Eric.

"No pal", replied Shaun. "We continue under the bridge and along by the river."

After a little way the path climbed steeply away from the river.

A tall wall was away to the right and we could hear traffic. "Ahh" said Dad. "I know where we are. On the far side is the road that passes the entrance to Scarthwaite Hotel."

The clear path led on, soon to come to another flight of steps that took us down to river level again. Then shortly we arrived at a footbridge, where Dad waited for a lady and gentleman to cross first from the far side.

Unsurprisingly Dad stopped and had a chat with them, mostly about the current situation with Covid. They mentioned there was a fine view of Ingleborough clothed in snow. "Hope we can get a picture Dad", said Southey.

There was a fine view of the river here and more perfect reflections.

Across the bridge we left the woods behind, and the view of the river opened up more.

"Wow, what a superb view of the road bridge with the East railway bridge beyond", cried Southey. "A must picture."

The path led to a gate onto Low Road. "Turn left", said Shaun. "Then I suggest we take the gate right and get onto the cycleway, and go left over the old railway bridge."

At the far side, Tetley pointed. "If we take that path on the right, I am sure we will get a clear view up the valley."

He was right, and here is the view to Ingleborough that the couple had told us about.

"We walked along that path by the river on the left side when we went to Aughton Woods, last May, to see the bluebells", said Grizzly. "Another lovely time out in the countryside. How lucky we are!"

Going left brought us to the car park, and Woodys the famous takeaway that was sadly closed. "Never mind Dad", said Allen, knowing he had hoped to stop for a snack here.

"I'm going to sit and have a drink of water, and a chocolate biscuit instead." However rummaging in the top pocket of the rucksack, he said, "huh, I ate the last one on the previous walk and forgot to resupply."

"Oh dear", said Little Eric, "and we have eaten all the cake."

"I bet it was Allen who had the last piece", replied Dad. "He is the arch cake stuffer like me."

"It was", admitted Allen.

Ready for the off again, Shaun instructed, "go right along the road, and then through the signed gate onto the track on the north bank."

To start this was very narrow, and at one point Dad had to climb up off the path to to allow a couple to pass socially distant. They stopped and Dad had a chat with them, about the walk, and also about the current situation with Covid.

Quite soon the path widened.

"That's a nice view along the river", said Southey. "The distant building is associated with the weir we passed on the outward leg."

Dad strode on and quite soon we crossed the footbridge. "That's Monkley Gill Beck", said Allen, peering at the map. "It starts in a field beside High Road out of Halton towards Kirkby Lonsdale. I presume it must run through a small valley of the same name. There is a Monkley Gill Wood and Monkley Gill Farm."

Here we exited the woods, the path being icy at times, so Dad took care. Then it entered more woodland, where beside the path stands this stone. Looking more closely, Tetley said, "there is nothing to indicate that it is of any particular significance."

"There are some rapids", said Little Eric, a few minutes later. "The river is low after the dry spell, but they must be quite a sight when it is in flood."

Soon now the track was surfaced and led past some industrial buildings to the houses on Mill Lane.

Here the underfoot conditions were most dangerous as the road and pavement was very icy. The road was followed as it bent right. "We go first left now", said Shaun. "At the end going left again we will immediately cross the bridge to the car park.

"What a lovely walk", said Little Eric.

"Quite" agreed Allen. "With options limited I would not mind at all repeating it during lockdown."

"Yes pal", said Shaun. "Perhaps we could do it in reverse to give a different perspective."

So a happy group, Dad drove us home. And, settled he made some some sandwiches to assuage his hunger, washed down with a pot of tea, of course.!!

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