ENVIRONS of BOLTON LE SANDS & CARNFORTH from NETHER KELLET

 


Summary

Date - 12th January 2021 & 11th February 2021 Distance - 5 miles
Ascent -
430 ft
Map - 296 Start point - Rough parking on Bolton Lane (SD 5003 6809)

 

Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk

 

Preface

Allen and Tetley were looking out, as the rain fell. "It was good to get out yesterday, even if it was a repeat", said Allen.

"Yes pal. Repeats are going to be the case until this lockdown is over."

"When that will be no one knows, but we can expect it to last into March."

Tetley replied, "I hope not for Dad's sake as he was hoping to celebrate his 70th birthday at Elaine's, but that will not be possible if the lockdown is still in effect. Also it could scupper his next holiday at Armathwaite Hall."

"We have got used to going there, and doing a walk", said Allen. Then his eyes teared up. "That is possible now since Uncle Brian's death. I miss him so much and would rather we stayed at home, and Dad had Uncle Brian to still go on holiday with."

"I know. There is still a long way to go for Dad and us to get over that. The grief is still very raw."

Allen wiped his eyes, then his face brightened as Shaun, Grizzly, Little Eric and Southey trotted in.

"We bring tea and cakes", announced Southey, as he went to get the plates and mugs.

Little Eric said, "Southey has been trying his paw at baking, under our supervision. He has helped me make the scones. I have done the sultana ones and Southey has made the plain. There is butter jam and cream too."

Grizzly added, "My contribution is blueberry slice."

A little nervously, Southey said, "I hope you like my scones. I just fancied having a go."

Shaun passed the steaming mugs round, then we dug in to the cakes.

Allen and Tetley went immediately for Southey's plain scones, spreading them liberally with butter jam and cream.

"Mmm", said Allen, "they are lovely pal. I mean that honestly too."

"I agree", added Tetley. "Delicious."

There was quiet for a while as we continued to tuck in. Shaun said, "the blueberry slice is scrumptious Grizzly, as are your sultana scones Little Eric."

Grizzly replied, "I can see that all our offerings have been well received, there are hardly any left. It was nice to have Southey's help."

"Yes" agreed Little Eric. "You are welcome to join Grizzly and I anytime."

"Thanks", said Southey. Then he said, "what are the prospects for walking this week?"

Allen finished the last of his fourth scone and picked up the iPad. "Hmm. It will have to be tomorrow, as it is just rain on Wednesday and Thursday."

"So we need an idea", stated Grizzly.

Shaun said, "I think I have one. And it will come as a surprise that quite a bit will be on new ground. My plan is to start from the rough parking by the M6 just before the bridge into Nether Kellet. From there we take the track going left that will join another and take us by the canal. We could join it there, but I note there is a path that leads to the canal nearer Carnforth that is new. Then walk the towpath to Kellet Road. Walk to and along Back Lane, to pick up paths across the fields, to come out onto the other track from the parking area."

Tetley had been following on the OS app. "Super idea pal. I am sure Dad will like it."

"Ok" said Allen, taking the iPad and getting the route in his mind. "I'll go and see, what Dad thinks. After can I have another of your scones, Southey? They really are delicious."

"Sure pal. I am just pleased they have gone down so well, at my first attempt. Although I have to thank Little Eric for advice."

"Five scones!", exclaimed Tetley. "Allen certainly is the arch cake stuffer. He must have hollow legs."

Allen was soon back. "Dad loves your idea Shaun. The walk is on for tomorrow. The plan is to start about 11:00 so we do not have to be up too early.

"Great" cheered Tetley.

 

The Walk

We awoke to frosty morning with blue skies and little or no wind. "Perfect day for a walk", cheered Allen.

Dad got his gear loaded, then we got settled in the car. There was a little delay waiting for the ice to clear off the windscreen. The journey was short.

"Oh heck", said Southey, "there are a few cars here. Will there be space?"

"Sure lad", replied Dad, as he pulled in past the last car."

We quickly got into the rucksack while Dad got his boots on. "OK", he said, "I'm ready."

Shaun pointed, "it's along the track left just a few yards from the car."

"That tree just by the track will be a nice picture against the blue sky", suggested Tetley.

"Aye lad. I like putting tree pictures in your stories, and I think they are particularly effective in the winter", replied Dad as he lined up the camera.

"Well in that case, how about taking the one at the next field boundary", pointed Little Eric.

At the top of the hill we passed a smallholding and stables. "Aww", said Allen. "Look at those little ponies. Pictures please Dad."

The track soon led to a gate and kissing gate into open pasture. "Keep close to the right boundary", advised Shaun.

After a little climb the ground dropped down, the path leading to a kissing gate in the right corner. Through this Shaun pointed, "we head left across the field."

This brought us to a kissing gate onto a track. "Go left", advised Southey.

Soon the track became surfaced passing by two houses and some garages.

Shortly reaching a crossroads, Shaun said, "go straight ahead on that muddy path between hedges."

Tetley said, "I have noted that there seem to be quite a number of small stables for horses in this area. The breeds are more of smaller horses and ponies."

Soon we entered woodland, where the path bent right, leading to a fork, where we took the left down steps to a narrow lane.

Left the lane immediately crossed the canal. "This is the first option for joining the towpath, then", said Southey.

However the access was closed off due to works. "So that is what all the equipment and materials is in aid of at the closed off layby on the A6", said Dad.

"Right on the lane then, I think, but it is just shown as a public footpath which is a bit confusing", said Shaun.

There were superb views today from here. First across Morecambe Bay, where the tide was in. "There's Grange over Sands, and to the right the Coniston Fells on the horizon", said Tetley.

"Beautiful", breathed Little Eric.

Then this to Warton Crag.

The lane ended as the drive to Linden Lea Christian Fellowship. Two ladies where sitting on a seat where the dedication invited people to sit and take in the view. They were having a little break on their walk. So, unsurprisingly Dad had a chat about the wonderful view and about how far people should travel to walk during the lockdown. There idea was similar to ours. And never shy, we also got introduced too!

Setting off again, Shaun, looked up from the map. "we are exactly on my planned route. We now take that soil path."

This led through woods, coming beside the canal.

"Wow", called out Tetley, "there's some superb reflections."

Then in open pasture, Grizzly pointed to what appeared to be an overgrown mound.

"Look carefully pals. You will see that there are three stone arched openings. Actually beehive in shape, they are all that remain of Carnforth Coke Ovens. These are one of a number that once existed by the canal. Coal was brought along the canal from Wigan and turned into coke for domestic use."

Soon the path led to a lane, where crossing the bridge we joined the towpath heading north into Carnforth.

Passing the Canal Turn public house, we reached Carnforth Marina...

...this being one of the barges moored there.

Beyond, the canal entered a wooded section. "There are some more nice reflections", called out Southey.

Rounding a bend, Shaun pointed, "that's Kellet Road bridge. We leave the canal here using that path alongside the left of the play area."

Grizzly said, "this is an interesting bridge. You can see the original narrow rounded arch when the canal was first built. Then the second wider arch, added sometime later to allow widening of the road. Note too the modern footbridge. The current structure was installed just under a year ago. It is constructed of aluminium, replacing a steel structure. Surveys showed that the steel bridge was deteriorating. So, installing a new one of aluminium there is expected to be less maintenance so minimizing the potential for future costs."

At the road we turned right over the canal and continued along Kellet Road.

"That's colourful", called out Allen.

By a shop, Little Eric called out, "A post box. Please take a picture Dad.

Soon the junction with Back Lane was reached. "See", said Dad. "I told you there would be a seat here for you to sit and have your picture taken."

"Ooh yes", cheered Southey as we scrambled out of the rucksack.

We sat here a few minutes, to have some cake, and while Dad had a drink and chocolate biscuit.

"There seems to be a constant stream of lorries coming by", commented Southey.

"They are coming and going from the quarry up the road", explained Tetley.

Ready for the off, Shaun said, "we go as far as the speed derestriction sign, then immediately go right through the kissing gate."

There he said, "now go straight across and over that old metal ladderstile."

Peering over Little Eric said, hmm that looks a bit boggy getting to firmer ground.

"There is some wood that I can stand on to help", responded Dad. This meant only one foot had to sink into the ground, but fortunately the water did not come over the top of his boot.

Studying the map, Shaun said, "it's diagonally right, passing under the power lines to a stile about halfway along the far hedge."

Even as we got close, Allen said, "I can't see it." Then suddenly he went on, "ahh there."

A ruined double stile got us through the hedge, at the expense of Dad getting a cuts on his had due to the very sharp thorns on the hawthorn branches. Wearing his gloves prevented this happening again in February.

"Now head to the top right corner", advised Shaun. There another double stile took us out onto a track.

His face buried in the map, Southey said, "now the path is across that field opposite."

A tall barbed wire topped fence barred our way. "Let's try going right on the track first", suggested Tetley.

After about 20 yards, Little Eric pointed, "there, through that kissing gate."

"The way is diagonally right" said Southey looking up from the map. This brought us to another kissing gate onto a wide grassy path.

"There have been a lot of kissing gates on this walk", commented Allen. "It's a good job you are not collecting photographs of those, Little Eric", he laughed.

When we repeated this walk, it was decided to count the kissing gates, stiles etc. Allen called them out and Southey made a note. See the results at the end of the story.

"Now, the map shows the path goes over the fence opposite and then out to join a path to our left, where we would double back", stated Shaun. "The sensible thing to do though, is just go left to and round the fence corner, to continue the route."

Keeping by the left boundary the path led to yet another kissing gate tucked in the corner.

"There are two paths", said Tetley pointing to the waymarks. "One straight ahead and the other half right."

"Half right is the route we want", replied Shaun.

This led over a rise in the huge pasture to a kissing gate into woods, where we followed the clear path.

Grizzly laughed saying, "judging by all the footprints in the mud, this is a very well walked route."

The path led through a clearing, then out of the woods to a short open section with fields on the right. Then through a kissing gate and up steps to another kissing gate into a huge field, that had a big dip in the middle.

"That's a lovely view to Farleton Fell and Hutton Roof Crags", said Southey.

Little Eric commented, "being so still, those wind turbines we can see are stationery. It does prove that we cannot rely on them alone for our electricity supply."

So down and up to the far side of the field and the final kissing gate of the day onto a track, where looking ahead we could see the car. The large puddle provided a perfect boot wash for Dad!

"Well that was a lovely walk. Thank you Shaun for devising it", said Tetley.

"It's good that even after 40 years there are still paths close to home that are new", went on Dad. "Thank you lad."

"Yippee", cheered Allen. "For once there are no sheep pictures!"

At the car there was the constant noise of traffic on the M6, and Dad walked up to take this shot looking north.

"Right, time for home", said Dad. "I'm hungry and ready for a late lunch."

"I'm ready for more cake and tea", said Allen.

"No surprise there", laughed Tetley.


11th February 2021
Repeated this walk today. Currently we are in a very cold spell. The day was bright and sunny but there was a biting easterly wind. Even Dad had his gloves on at times. Walking however was easier with the ground being frozen. No reflections in the canal today as this was completely frozen over all the length we walked, the ice white under a light covering of hail that had fallen overnight. And the results of count of gates, stiles etc. -

Bridges - 4
Gates - 2
Kissing gates - 11
Stiles - 5

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