Date - 31st January 2021 Distance - 6 miles
Ascent -
960 ft
Map - OL41 Start point - Hazelrigg Lane (SD 4912 5694)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Cockshades Hill 210 64 SD 4918 5566



It was Thursday.

Southey was huddled over the laptop, as Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arrived with the tea and cakes.

"Ooh, great", cheered Southey, as he got the mugs and plates.

"What were you looking at?", asked Shaun, as he poured the tea.

"The pictures Dad took on our walk from Condor Green last Monday. There are lots of good ones so should make for an interesting story."

"Dad has been really good to us this week", said Grizzly. "Taking advantage of a decent day yesterday to do the Heaton with Oxcliffe round again."

Little Eric had opened the cake tins. "Mincemeat slice from me and blueberry slice from Grizzly."

"Ooh lovely", said Southey as he tucked in.

"Where's Allen and Tetley?", asked Shaun. "The arch tea belly and cake stuffer never misses tea time."

"They were with Dad last I saw them", replied Southey. "They'll be along very soon, as Allen can smell tea a mile off."

And sure enough he was right as just a few minutes later they both trotted in.

"Here's your tea", said Shaun.

"Thanks pal", they both replied, as they helped themselves to cake.

"They are both scrumptious", said Allen, who had polished off a couple of pieces of each in quick order."

"Mmm, agreed Tetley who then went on. "We bring news of our next walk, and the paths will all be completely new. We have been helping Dad to devise the route."

"I'll get the iPad", said Shaun, who then opened the OS app. "Where to a need to locate to?"

"The area east of Galgate and Lancaster University", replied Allen.

"Got it", said Shaun, as we all huddled round.

"We park on Hazelrigg Lane on the south edge of the university. Then use paths to Kitchen Ground Farm and south to Middle Crag. Then west and round this quarry along the lane to go north over Cockshades Hill and via Ellel to the start."

"Sounds good and great to explore new paths and take in a summit even if it is very modest", said Southey.

"Just goes to show that there are still parts of the local area to explore even after all the years Dad has lived in Morecambe", commented Little Eric. "If it were not for the lockdown, we probably would not have done this."

"So when are we going?", said Shaun.

"Well tomorrow hopefully", replied Tetley. "The weather seems to be ok, but we all know how it can change. Whatever Dad wants to do it this month, as we will pass 70 miles for the month."

Well the weather thwarted us on Friday, and Saturday was very windy, but Sunday was calmer and here is our account of that day.


The Walk

The plan was to start walking about 10:30, so we did not have to be up too early. Once Dad's gear was loaded, we dashed out to settle on the front seat.

The day was quite cold, so we were glad of the heated seat to warm us on the drive. This was to Lancaster then south on the A6 past the huge Bailrigg campus of Lancaster University that is ranked in the top 10 nationally.

"We turn down the road signed to Alexandra Park and Forrest Hills Golf Club", said Shaun. "It is called Hazelrigg Lane."

"I have seen cars parked at the side of the road, when passing on the M6", said Dad.

However as we drove along the lane, all the way there were double yellow lines on either side indicating parking was not allowed. "Oh bother" said Southey.

"Let's just keep on a bit under the motorway", said Dad encouragingly. Then he said, "this will do at the side of this wide access to those gates. I'll not be blocking any vehicles that need to get into the fields or that track."

"Phew", said Little Eric with relief.

It's actually the perfect place as the outwards path is just opposite over the gap stile by that gate". pointed Shaun.

With the tiny stream to our right Dad crossed the field to this metal ladderstile and plank bridge onto a track.

"Just look at the mud", said Tetley, as we approached the stile. "I suspect we will encounter lots of that today."

The answer to that was a resounding yes., The fields were very soft and boggy in places after all the rains, in particular by the many stiles. So should readers consider following in our paw steps, waiting for spring or summer when the conditions are much drier might well be advised.

At the track that comes from Barrow Greaves Farm, Southey said, "the route is left."

This very soon brought us to where the River Condor crossed the track. This was in spate and quite wide, and we looked about for a bridge.

"No bridge", concluded Allen. Then looking more closely, "it's a ford and there are stepping stones, but they are mostly submerged today."

"Oh well", said Dad, "there's nothing for it but to try and get across. I wish I had my stick to help with balance."

The stones were uneven and harder to see being under water, and the inevitable happened. Dad's boots slipped off and the water came over the top. "Oh never mind, their wet now so I might as well just wade the final bit."

Little Eric was worried. "it's a cold day and not ideal walking with soaked feet. Maybe we should abandon the walk."

"No lad, I will not be beaten nor let you all down."

"We are just glad you got across without any injury", said Grizzly with relief in his voice. "But, your trousers are soaked to the knees."

"Not to worry, they will dry out."

Here is the crossing taken from the far side.

"It's not the first time this has happened" remarked Tetley. "You had to wade the River Calder in the north lakes."

"Aye lad", replied Dad. "there was no getting across otherwise that day. How Uncle Bob and I managed to cross dry on the same walk 10 years before I will never know."

"Then there was the River Esk that day in Upper Eskdale", commented Allen. "Birkett had said it was impossible if it was in spate, so we chose a day when it had been dry for some time."

"That was actually quite easy I recall and no wet feet", replied Dad.

There were two ladies on horses along the track, and Dad's presence had slightly alarmed one horse.

"I'm sorry" said Dad. "Crossing the river was difficult and I slipped off the stones."

"Oh dear", said one of the ladies. "Rather a cold day for that to happen."

The track led on soon to come to Kit Brow Lane. Shaun said, "I am so sorry Dad."

"Why lad?"

"Well, if we had looked at the map before attempting to cross the river, we would have seen there is an alternative route. If we had gone left instead of right on the track, past Barrow Greaves, there is a path across fields to a footbridge over the river and there going left again leads to Kit Brow Lane, but lower down."

"Oh lad, don't worry. I'll be fine. It all adds to life's rich tapestry as Uncle Brian used to say."

"Thanks Dad", Shaun replied. "We go left here past the buildings of Higher Kit Brow, then shortly go right."

The path was accessed by a footbridge and stile and we headed across the boggy field to a gate by the wood. There Southey said, "keep on roughly in the same direction towards Kitchen Ground Farm."

Sheep were grazing here. "Oh no", called out Allen as they stood looking at us. "Shoo", he shouted, to no avail, as Dad lined up the camera.

Little Eric said, "you've done well lately, Allen. There have been no sheep pictures in the last two stories at least."

"Yes, I suppose so", he agreed grudgingly.

Double gates gave access to the farmyard, and we wound our way through the buildings, coming to a gate by the slurry tank, into a large pasture.

Standing to ponder the next move, and after a little studying of the map, Shaun said, "it is definitely not across here. We want that track rising a little to the left. I suggest we go left through that gate to get onto it."

There Tetley said, "you are quite right pal", as he looked left and seeing that the track led into the farm. "We took a wrong turn on the way through, but not sure where."

The track led uphill to a gate into a field, where Dad said, "we go diagonally right to the corner, as I can see the stile."

"Nothing wrong with your eyesight, Dad", commented Grizzly.

This brought us to a road, by the access to Pipe House. "I like the sign", pointed Allen.

That old post box is for their deliveries", said Little Eric. "You can just see a bit of the original colour poking through the black paint."

Here we met a lady and gentleman walking along the road. Dad said, "hello", then commented, "that field was very soft and boggy. It was hard work getting across."

The gentleman replied, "that's why we are sticking to the roads today, until the ground dries out a bit."

As they walked on, Shaun pointed, "our route is over the stile opposite by the signpost."

There was no path, so Dad just headed up the field and over the rise, where Southey called out, "we must be heading to that footbridge."

The descent was over exceedingly boggy ground, Dad commenting as we got to the bridge, "I'm glad to be past that bit."

Beyond we walked uphill to a kissing gate. From here the route was well waymarked and straight on we came to a double stile. Wooden step followed by a stone step stile over the wall.

Winding Allen up, Southey said, "that sheep is posing.

"Go away", shouted Allen to no effect, as Dad lined up the camera.

Immediately over the wall were more sheep, Dad grabbing a shot.

"That's it", growled Allen. "No more sheep pictures today. They have more than made up for there being none in recent stories."

The path was straight on, striding a narrow stream, crossing the access to Crag End Farm, and over the facing stile.

Ahead stands this metal tower. Grizzly said, "I looked it up. It is in fact an old wind pump, which ties in with the OS map symbol. Its blades are long gone."

By this we joined a short enclosed track to a gate, and then beyond followed the enclosed green track, which unsurprisingly was muddy in places...

...that led eventually via a gate onto the access to Middle Crag.

As we approached Little Eric suggested, "those trees near the farm might make a nice shot."

There was no way to secretly pass through here, as these noisy Guinea Fowl heralded our arrival.

"Turn right and walk to the road", instructed Shaun.

"Just look at that fabulous tree house", pointed Tetley. "Love to scamper up the stairs."

At the road, called Whams Lane, Southey told us, "turn right."

It ran arrow straight...

...past this tree... a sharp left corner by the very ruinous former Ellel Crag farmhouse.

Shaun peered closely at the map. "it shows the path is past the ruin, but I can see why it has been blocked off due to the dangerous state of the building. If we cannot gain access it is a longish detour via Five Lane Ends."

"Some moron has also dumped a mattress", commented Tetley. "Some of the humans in this country have no care for the environment,"

Let's just walk down the road and see if we can find a way onto the path", suggested Grizzly.

A short way just before a bend, Shaun said, "through this gate on the right is where we should go, and then walk straight across."

At the far side is woodland. "There's a stile in the fence into it", called out Southey.

"Yes pal, that's the path", confirmed Shaun.

The path was clear until we came to a waymark pointing left. "It seems to point down to that overgrown gate", said Tetley.

As Dad walked down, Allen said, "I am sure this is not the path as there was a fence here that has fallen down."

So we looked ahead by the wood. "Any path further on seems to be blocked by those thick bushes", said Little Eric.

As Dad went in that direction, Shaun said, "there, the path goes a little right."

Dad strode out and very soon it cut left to join a the proper path again beyond the bushes. This ended at the access road to Ellel Crag Quarry, where it was left out to the road.

Later Grizzly told us after some research. "A planning application was submitted last year for an easterly lateral extension to the existing gritstone and shale quarry followed by infilling of the excavation with imported inert waste to be completed by the 30 June 2038. This is together with the rebuilding and extension of the Ellel Crag farmhouse for use as site office accommodation. The whole site is to be finally restored to agricultural pasture by 30 June 2039, or within 12 months from the cessation of landfilling operations, whichever is the sooner."

"That would certainly improve the landscape and it would be good to see the farmhouse restored", said Allen.

Southey told us, "it's straight across." This was down...

This led us over over the River Cocker, that we had also crossed further downstream on our recent walk from Condor Green.

Then soon to pass the gloriously named Walker's I'th Fields Farm.

"We keep on almost to the end to take a path right", advised Shaun.

A few minutes later, Little Eric spotted the sign, saying, "this must be it."

The path led over a bridge, across the next field to a metal ladderstile, and the next field to another ladderstile.

"Oh yuck", exclaimed Little Eric, "so muddy by this stile."

"There's a stone to stand on", said Dad. "And is that another."

"Apparently no", said Tetley as Dad's boot almost disappeared.

Anyway with a bit of manoeuvering we got to the grass on the far side.

Grizzly commented, "metal ladderstiles seemed to be a bit of a feature round this area."

"We are on Cockshades Hill now", said Shaun. "Drifting right will take us to the summit."

The climb was easy and short. The top is flat with this small pool in a little depression.

Checking the GPS, Southey said, "the summit reference we got off the Internet shows it to be a few yards left."

"Here then", pointed Little Eric. "Picture time pals."

Strolling on, Dad headed down at a slight left angle to an open gateway by a ladderstile and then to the far field boundary. "Now go left through the trees", instructed Shaun.

This led to another stile that muddy ground either side made getting over a bit difficult. Kept ahead dropping down and over a stile onto Langshaw Lane and left under the M6.

"We want that track right on the far side of the motorway bridge", said Southey.

Where it entered a field a waymark pointed left and crossing this and a second pasture we exited onto the road at Ellel.

"That building is impressive", said Grizzly. "Looks like it might have once been the school."

Passing we noticed it is called L'Ecole, that is indeed the French for school.

Strolling right we soon came to a detached Victorian House built in 1899. "The River Condor runs through the garden, and also I am sure that that is an old Mill Race", said Grizzly. Later research when he got home proved he was correct. "Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about the mill. Perhaps it was where the house now stands."

Following the road we passed Ward Farm and soon reached the junction with Hazelrigg Lane, turning right to the car.

Here we met the lady and gentleman we had seen near Pipe House, and Dad had a chat with them. He introduced us and mentioned our website. The lady was enthusiastic about this and said they would have a look. We hope they like our stories.

So we settled in the car, while Dad got his boots and wet socks off. "That's better", he said.

"Thank you, that was a lovely walk, despite the conditions underfoot and your misfortune", said Little Eric.

"I enjoyed it too, lad", replied Dad. "It felt longer than the 6 miles, but that's due to the wetness of the ground. A good workout nevertheless."

So home where Dad put his clothes straight in the wash and set about drying his boots after cleaning the mud off.

Then a warming shower and some food revived him.

"You never let us down Dad, whatever happens on our walks", said Tetley. "We love you."


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