Date - 1st January 2022 Distance - 8.25 miles
Ascent -
760 ft
Map - OL7
Start point - Eaves Wood NT car park (SD 4712 7593)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



It was New Year's Eve, and we were having tea and cakes, while chatting.

"The Chorley Cakes are delicious, Grizzly", said Tetley. "You truly are ace at making them."

"Thanks pal. Mind you Little Eric is just as good as me."

"Quite", agreed Shaun, as he passed Southey another mug of tea. "You have made one of my very favourites. The chocolate cherry and coconut slice."

"You are welcome", replied Little Eric. "To be honest it is one of my favourites too."

Rex, Starbuck and Dad had a good time at the Royal Exchange theatre, yesterday", said Southey changing the subject. "They told me the play was rather unusual, but very enjoyable. As well as the acting all the cast played musical instruments and some had beautiful singing voices."

"Yes", agreed Tetley. "Rex has said that Dad plans to book the next three plays. Visits are tinged with sadness, as for about 20 years he and Uncle Brian went to nearly every production. I know he misses having Uncle Brian's company now."

"But we know that Uncle Brian would be pleased he is going there again", went on Shaun.

Tetley was about to hold his mug out for a refill, but he stopped saying, "where's Allen! The arch tea belly and cake stuffer missing out on tea and cakes."

"Unheard of", replied Shaun, filling Tetley's mug. "He's bound to be along soon. He can smell tea a mile off", he went on with a laugh.

And sure enough just a minute later Allen bounded in, calling out, "I have news of a walk. We will be getting our 2022 account under way tomorrow. I'll tell you where but first can I have some tea and cake. I'm not too late?"

"No pal", reassured Shaun, handing him a steaming mug. "Of course it is Ramblears tea that Dad got in Cockermouth."

"There's one of each of the cakes", went on Little Eric, passing him a plate."

"Ooh thanks pals. I was gasping for a cuppa and hungry too."

"You are always hungry, just like Dad", laughed Tetley.

"Don't ever change", said Southey. "We love you so much."

Putting his empty mug down, that Shaun immediately refilled, Allen went on. "the weather is good for tomorrow, unlike yesterday when Dad got soaked walking back to the car after the theatre performance. Then it was awful driving home with the spray. Still he did not regret going. Anyway, tomorrow we are walking in the Silverdale area. Starting from Eaves Wood. We will cross the causeway at Leighton Moss then via Yealand Storrs visit Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve."

"Is it a new walk?", asked Southey.

"Not entirely as we have done sections before", said Tetley. "If I recall it was last done in 2002, when only Shaun and I were walking. So the section from Leighton Hall back to the start will be new to the rest of you."

"Super, can't wait", cheered Little Eric. "Here's to tomorrow."


The Walk

We awoke to what was to be a dry day with a breeze, but very mild. "This mild weather won't last", said Grizzly, "it is set to turn much colder next week."

"More seasonal then", replied Tetley.

"We need to be ready for the off about 09:30, as Eaves Wood car park will be very popular today", called out Shaun.

The drive is quite short, via Carnforth and Warton, and we pulled in shortly after 10:00.

"Plenty of space, but I guess it will fill up soon", said Little Eric.

Indeed as Dad was getting ready three more cars arrived.

We hunkered down in the rucksack, while Dad got his boots on, then shouldering it, off we went.

Shaun instructed, "out of the car park and long the lane opposite."

This is...

"We have walked this a few times usually in the opposite direction", commented Allen. "If we keep our eyes peeled we will see the cow statue in the garden to the right."

After a few minutes, Grizzly called out, "there it is. I know you have taken a picture before, but let's have one today for our story."

Keeping on, the road bent left and climbed to shortly reach on the right Bank Well. "That is interesting" said Tetley, reading from the instructions. "It is an ancient pool that was formed approximately 10,000 years ago. The island in the centre is rather overgrown but is a haven for ducks."

"Keep on then take the gate left to cross Silverdale golf course", advised Southey, who as usual now was helping Shaun with the directions.

Closed today, we were able to cross safely following the waymarks, without fear of having to dodge flying golf balls.

"That might make a nice shot of the line to trees dividing two fairways", pointed Little Eric. "They will catch out unwary golfers if their shot strays."

At the road Shaun said, "go right past Silverdale Station."

We had seen a train pass just minutes earlier. Past the former station house now a private residence, Little Eric called out, "please take a picture of the post box embedded in the wall. It dates from the reign of King George V."

Dad wandered onto the station platform, saying, "if I walk down to beyond that fence I can get a nice shot to include in your story."

Pointing across the line, Southey said, "I like the design of the benches with the red squirrel design.

"What is the other animal depicted in the arms?", asked Allen.

We were not sure, so asked Bracken and Moss who are our hug experts on animals and plants. After a little discussion between them Moss said, "we're pretty sure it is meant to be a stoat in its winter coat."

Strolling on it was now left at the junction crossing the railway line. Shaun said, "our route is across the causeway at Leighton Moss. After lots of rain, like we have had recently, it has in the past been flooded and impassable unless in wellies."

"Hmm", agreed Dad. "I will ask the gentlemen at the visitor centre. What is the alternative lad, if it is flooded."

"Just walk along the road to Yealand Storrs."

The gentleman was very helpful and making a check assured Dad that there was no problem crossing the causeway. Only the path giving access to the Lower Hide was flooded.

Dad strode out and soon we turned right onto the causeway.

Unsurprisingly this was busy with bird watchers looking into the reeds and visiting the hides. At the end the track led to Grisedale Farm, passing this substantially buttressed barn.

Onwards the narrow road took us towards Leighton Home Farm and Leighton Hall.

Southey said, "the line trees on the skyline are at Summerhouse Hill. We have come down that way a number of times to Leighton Hall."

Shaun advised, "our route will be through the gate on the left almost opposite that house."

Shortly Little Eric called out, "this is Keepers Cottage. We have sat on the wall for our picture. Let's do it again today."

A couple were coming along the lane and noticed us as we were settling in the rucksack. The lady enquired, so Dad introduced us all. We are never shy!! They liked the idea of Dad taking us on walks.

"Here's where we go left", said Shaun pointing to the sign.

For the first half of the route we used the good track.

"That large tree by the first boundary will be worth a picture", said Tetley. "It survived storm Arwen, which is good."

About halfway the track went into a field. Shaun called out, "we want to go through those two gates that are close together to the right."

After all the rains, we expected the fields to be boggy now, but this was not the case apart from one short section by a gateway. The route swung left to pass a couple of houses and between the large stone gateposts onto the road.

Tetley said, "years ago there were two tall green painted gates here. Getting to the road was via the narrow passage in the wall on the right."

"All overgrown now since there are no gates", commented Grizzly.

"Go left", said Southey. Then soon at the road junction he went on, "through the gate onto the track between the roads into Yealand Hall Allotment."

Despite the muddy first few yards the good track was dry and led on and on to pass through a gate. "Keep on through another gate to the t-junction", said Shaun.

On and on Dad went, Little Eric saying worriedly, "are you sure we should not be taking one of the side paths?"

"No pal we just keep on ahead. Don't worry."

Shaun was right and eventually we arrived at the junction.

"Turn left and go on to a gate into open pasture at sign for Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve", instructed Southey.

Here we walked the wide green path. We met a local couple with their dog, and being the sociable person Dad is, he stopped to chat for a while about how special Arnside and Silverdale are and how interesting it is to walk here.

Asking where we were from the lady said, "I love Morecambe."

Walking on Shaun said, "we climb the ladderstile."

This was no where to be seen, but bearing in mind it is over 20 years since the walk was published we were not surprised.

"I reckon it was by this gateless gap", said Allen.

Soon at a corner, Southey said, "take the gate right into Gait Barrows."

The narrow path climbed soon to reveal the stunning limestone pavement, being one of the reasons Gait Barrows in a protected reserve.

"We should soon reach the large cairn" said Shaun.

"There it is pointed Allen.

There is a plaque built into the cairn that reads -
1952 - 1977


"Let's sit on top to have our picture taken", urged Little Eric.

"It's a bit breezy and the top is not flat", remarked Dad.

"We are determined nevertheless", responded Grizzly.

Just then, a large party of walkers from a number of local groups arrived. There was comment about us, and a lady and gentleman came across, the gentleman saying, "what is the significance."

So Dad pointed to each of us telling them our names, and about our individual characters and some on our achievements and also our website.

The party were stopping here for lunch. Dad called out "Happy New Year to you all" as we set off to follow the trail and the numbered posts.

"According to the instructions we should end up at number 8 coming out at the gate we saw on the right by the first Gait Barrows sign", said Tetley.

"The route is clockwise, so at junctions it is logical to go right", said Shaun.

We saw numbers 3 and 4 and plenty of intervening posts with arrows. The path meandered on and on twisting this way and that. However all we did was actually walk in a circle coming to post number 4 again.

Dad started off past this, but Shaun called out, "no Dad, this is the path we took before."

"I don't know where we went wrong", said Dad. "Maybe things have changed since the walk was published."

"It is best if we just return to the cairn and drop down the path we climbed up", suggested Southey. "Nevertheless it was nice meandering through the woodland."

The walking party were still there. On telling the gentleman who had been interested in us he said, "I get lost too here. No good asking me the way."

At the gate we actually deviated from the published walk, Dad going right along the track to a gate. There was a narrow trod leading ahead, Dad saying, "I'm going to follow it to see if we can get a picture of Hawes Water. It is ringed with trees but there maybe a gap."

This proved to be futile and we had to return to the gate and follow the path to Gait Barrows car park and the road.

"Go left", said Shaun.

We passed a gentleman who had been collecting firewood, and Dad had a chat for a few minutes. This was at an area of meadow that can be walked round.

"Something we could do another day on a different walk", mused Little Eric.

Eventually we came to Challen Hall.

A track goes off just before that two horse riders wanted, one asking Dad, "would you mind opening the gate so we do not need to get off?"

"Of course. You are welcome."

"Thank you", she replied.

We were now back on the route Southey saying, "we go down the drive to the right of the house."

Even though it is winter the garden will make a nice picture", suggested Tetley.

A stile gave access to fields, Allen pointing, "finally there is a reasonable view of Hawes Water, even of still partly hidden by the surrounding trees."

Now we just followed the waymarked gated and stiled way...

...to cross the railway line and up to the road. As we went right Little Eric said, "another post box. A colourful picture to end the story."

The car park was completely full and cars were parked on the road to the junction. "A very popular place to start walks", said Allen.

So home now. "Thank you Dad for a lovely walk", said Grizzly.

"Aye", agreed Tetley. "It's been a grand day out."


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