Date - 18th May 2022 Distance - 6.25 miles
Ascent -
515 ft
Map - OL7
Start point - Eaves Wood car park (SD 4712 7593)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen was humming quietly, as with Tetley looking over his shoulder, he tapped away on the iPad.

"What's making you so cheerful?", asked Southey as he trotted into the room.

"There is a walk on for next Wednesday, and for the first time in 6 months we will have Uncle Eric for company."

"The Covid restrictions, and the need for Uncle Eric to be careful about this, and then Dad getting the virus, have led to the long gap", went on Tetley.

"Yes it rather knocked Dad for six, and like us all I was worried that he would get over it" said Southey. "But, all is well again, thankfully." Then he went on, "I have brought the latest Dalesman and Lake District magazines that have just arrived."

"Oh, thanks", said Tetley. "Allen and I look forward to reading them. However first we need to come up with a suggestion of where to walk with Uncle Eric."

"Definitely, as the forecast is for a dry day and quite sunny", agreed Allen. "My brain works better if I have tea in paw", he added.

"No surprise there tea belly", replied Tetley, letting out a bellow of laughter.

Well, Allen's prayers were answered, as just a minute later, Shaun trotted in carrying the flasks, accompanied by Grizzly and Little Eric with the cake tins.

"Wonderful", cheered Allen, going with Southey to get the plates that they passed around, and the mugs, that with help from Tetley were soon filled with tea.

"Thanks pal", said Shaun, acknowledging Tetley's help. "It is of course the Ramblears tea from Cumbria."

"How are we for supplies?", asked Little Eric.

"They are getting a bit low. Unfortunately Dad forgot to get more when he went to Cockermouth, in March when we were staying at Armathwaite Hall. He is not planning to go back there until the autumn at the earliest, so we may run out."

"Well, Ringtons gold is excellent and there will be plenty of that", said Tetley practically.

"So what cake delights are on the menu today?", asked Southey.

Grizzly replied. "Little Eric has made peach and apricot slice, and I have made chocolate brownie."

"Ooh lovely", cried Southey as we all dug in. Then he produced another tin. "I have made some cherry and ginger scones, and there is butter and raspberry jam."

"Oh pal, that's super", called out Little Eric. "You are a real ace at scones. I am going to enjoy them."

So all was quiet for a little while. As usual Allen and Southey were competing to see who could eat the most. Shaun laughed, "you two really are the arch cake stuffers! Dad would be proud."

Then our thoughts turned to the matter of the forthcoming walk. "For Uncle Eric's sake and Dad too, as he rebuilds his fitness, the distance needs to be around 5-6 miles, and not too much climb", said Tetley.

Shaun said, "I was wondering about a walk in the Arnside and Silverdale area, as it is such lovely countryside."

"Good idea", agreed Grizzly. "I'll go get the book of walks in that area."

That done we looked down the index. "We have done quite a number over the years", mused Tetley. Then he pointed, "how about this one, number 7 that starts from Eaves Wood. Plenty of parking there."

So we read the description, following it on the OS app that Allen had opened and navigated to the relevant area.

"I think this is a good idea", said Shaun. "Yes we have done the short section to Challan Hall, but then the next section to Hazelslack is definitely new."

"And the return section around Gait Barrows", went on Grizzly. "Amazing to think that even after all these years there are still parts of that area to explore."

"So, sounds like a plan", cheered Little Eric. "You just need to go and see what Dad thinks, Allen."

"OK", he replied draining his mug and picking up the book. He then eyed the cake tins. "All the offerings have been absolutely delicious pals. Can you save me another scone for when I get back, please."

"Of course pal", replied Southey. I'm going to have another piece of peach slice."

"We'll refill your mug too", called out Shaun, as Allen disappeared out of the door.

He was soon back. "Thanks pal", he said accepting the refilled mug. "Dad likes the idea and agrees there is lots of new ground. He will make the suggestion to Uncle Eric when they speak on the phone. Uncle Eric will probably have some suggestions too, so we will have to see if we do this one next week."

Happily as you will see, Uncle Eric liked our idea.


The Walk

The arrangement was to meet at Eaves Wood car park at 09:30, so we made sure to be ready in good time for setting of just before 09:00.

An easy drive to Carnforth then onto Warton, here turning left to Silverdale. Before long we were passing the railway station, and a few minutes later we pulled into the car park, Dad parking next to Uncle Eric, who had just arrived.

"Good morning Uncle Eric", Allen called out, on our behalf. "So good to see you after so long. We are looking forward to your company."

"Nice to see you too lads", he replied.

The day was calm and mild with quite a bit of sun and warm enough for Dad to walk in just his t-shirt.

The car park was pretty quiet but minutes later began to fill up as some National Trust volunteers arrived, and when we got back at the end, we were not surprised to find it completely full and vehicles parked along the road.

So ready for the off, Shaun instructed, "out of the car park and left along the road and then ahead at the junction."

By the junction Little Eric pointed, "post box. I know you have taken this one before Dad, but it will make a colourful picture to start our story."

"Ok, lad I am sure Uncle Eric will not mind stopping so soon."

Just yards further on Southey said, "that's our path signed to the left. It leads as the sign says to Challan Hall. We walked it in the reverse direction on the walk where we explored Gait Barrows."

This step stile allows access as the adjacent gate is securely locked by a chain and padlock.

By the wall the path led to stiles on either side of the railway line, where we paused as instructed to stop look and listen before crossing.

"That's a nice view ahead to the kissing gate in the fence with the trees either side and the buildings of Challan Hall beyond", remarked Tetley.

"The tall trees are later into leaf than many others around. Like Dad's Tree of Heaven in our garden", remarked Allen.

Beyond the kissing gates the path led up the slope with Hawes Water away to the right.

"We bear left and go through the gate and along the drive of Challan Hall", advised Shaun.

Grizzly pointed, saying, "there seems to be a path straight ahead as I can see waymarked posts."

"Ah yes there is a dotted path marked on the map. However I reckon that was not a route when the book was published in 1986, hence the instructions I gave", replied Shaun.

Dad said, "let's stick to the book route, as it will be nice for Uncle Eric to see the lovely garden at Challan Hall."

"Beautiful", remarked Southey.

At the road, Shaun advised, "we go right past the hall and in 50 yards take the descending forest lane branching right.

This was the first of many delightful paths and tracks we would walk today. It was shaded by trees either side, and with views of Hawes Water at intervals away to the right.

Grizzly informed us, "the lake is rather shy being fenced and surrounded by trees and other vegetation. As we can see unlike its big brother in the Lake District, it is small but quite deep, about 100 feet. The surrounds of the lake are protected by the Lancashire Trust for Nature Conservation. At a public watering place on the opposite side, cattle drovers once watered their herds."

Shortly we came to building just off the path to the right. Reading the guide book, Little Eric remarked, "this must have been the ruin the author referred to. It is now fully restored. Let's find out more from the information board."

This told us that it is a Summerhouse, and is about 250 years old. A picture showed the very ruinous state that the author of the guide would have seen. The restoration was completed in summer 2020 and since then has weathered beautifully. This included reroofing with reclaimed local slate, some rebuilding and re-pointing with lime mortar, new oak doors, window, and cast-iron guttering. Trying not to 'over-restore' the structure, it has created lots of opportunities for bats, amphibians and invertebrates, such as gaps for bats to get into the rubble-filled wall. The ridge tiles were installed with blobs of mortar to provide void spaces for bats. The cellar has bat friendly louvered vents and the door was designed with slits to give them access too. There is also a bat roost in the internal apex that can be accessed through the arrow-slit above the window. It is a 'five star bat hotel'. The volunteer team also restored the view to Hawes Water by re-coppicing some of the willow scrub, and native breed cattle has been re-introduced to help manage the rare limestone fen habitat. In view of this an oak paling fence has been erected to keep the cattle away from the Summerhouse. Eventually it will be open to the public, once it is felt safe to do so following Covid.

"How very interesting", called out Allen.

"Another school day", laughed Tetley.

Strolling on we came to a three-armed sign post. Shaun said, "I think we should go left here."

Dad misreading it, said, "it leads to back to Challan Hall."

So we walked on round the head of the lake finding a gate to a path that led to its edge where reeds fringe the edges.

"What a pretty flower", pointed Southey. "Nice colourful shot for the story.

"Does anyone know what it is called?", asked Southey.

He was met with silence, then Little Eric suggested, "we'll have to ask out Hug flora and fauna experts Bracken and Moss."

This we did and even they were not entirely sure, but did some research, Moss saying, "Bracken and I are reasonably sure that it is Red Campion."

On the path again we crossed a footbridge and arrived at another junction, where seeing Dad and Uncle Eric debating the route, a gentleman asked if we needed help. He quickly put us back on track, and indeed Shaun had been quite right about turning left at three-armed signpost.

"Sorry I doubted you lad" said Dad humbly. "I am sure I would have got us lost more often without your expert guidance."

"Not to worry Dad. If we had not ignored the sign initially we would not have found the path down to the lake edge."

The path signed to Challan Hall Allotment, was another delight wooded to either side. So quiet and peaceful with just the sound of the birds singing.

Reaching the road, Shaun stated, "cross and take the track opposite leading through Challan Hall Allotment."

This was another lovely wooded track that we followed on and on. Leaving the woodland, the view opened out to the left.

"That's Arnside Knott", called out Tetley. "We've walked all round it and to the summit too."

Allen was looking further round to the right and called out, "look there's Arnside Tower. We have visited that a few times on our own and also with you Uncle Eric."

Strolling on we passed through a gate into a field. A clear track led ahead soon entering Back Wood.

"What's that ruined structure?" pointed Little Eric.

Looking closely, Uncle Eric replied, "a former limekiln."

In fact this was formerly Coldwell Lime Works. The structure was repaired and conserved on 2005 taking two years.

Tetley said, "it seems a shame that the vegetation has been allowed to grow so tall and close to the structure. To my mind it needs to be cut back considerably, so that people and fully appreciate the remains."

"I agree", said Grizzly, "but in these difficult times I suppose there is really no money for such work. A shame."

Shaun was consulting the map once again. "We are not actually on the footpath, rather we have taken the track through the woods. However there is no problem as it leads to the road and we have seen these remains which has added further interest to the day."

Quite soon we arrived at the road where the delightfully named Creep- 'i th' -call Bridge, carries it over Leighton Beck.

"It marks the boundary between Cumbria and Lancashire", said Grizzly. "An early Ordnance Survey map of 1845, shows the name at that time was Creepock Hole Bridge."

"Turn left into Cumbria", instructed Shaun. "Then follow the road past the first junction and on to the second."

Here tucked in the corner is a gate and step stile...

...the path being signed to...

"That's our route", confirmed Southey.

After a short distance across the field this further delightful path became narrower and was lined with gorse and trees.

"This is such a lovely walk", said Uncle Eric. "Thank you for suggesting it lads."

"You are welcome. We are loving exploring the new paths", replied Little Eric.

After a stile we entered a field, and Hazelslack Tower came into view.

"Ah", said Grizzly, "We have been past here a many times."

"Aye pal", agreed Tetley, "but we have always joined the farm track here via that stile on the left. This approach at least has been new."

Grizzly then said, "Hazelslack Tower is a ruin of a pele tower built in 1375 to give the local inhabitants safe haven from the marauding Scots. It conforms to the general pattern of thick walls and three storeys. Cattle were kept in a stockaded area round the tower."

We followed the farm road to the stile by the gate onto the road and then turned right to pass the tower and farm, to a t-junction.

Across the road in a field a lamb was bleating loudly, and when Dad crossed the road it inquisitively ran down towards us, and Dad was quick to snap a picture.

"Humph" grumped Allen. "We we were doing so well avoiding sheep pictures."

"Well pal", commiserated Southey. "We must include the picture as the lamb is really cute."

Shaun advised, "turn right then after 100 yards bear left along a byway."

We met four motor cyclists on trail bikes coming in the opposite direction, but there noise warned us well in advance and Dad and Uncle Eric kept close to the verge.

Southey then told us, "At a corner we leave the byway and take the footpath right."

Little Eric pointed to the sign. "It reads Leighton Furness? But we are now where near the Furness area."

"Ha", laughed Tetley. "It is a mistake. An error in translation when ordered. The path leads eventually past the site of Leighton Beck Furnace."

"Oh I see. They do sound the same", agreed Little Eric.

So we followed the path across the fields, taking a little diversion into one to the right and then back over the broken wall to avoid the herd of cows with calfs. Pausing so Uncle Eric could rest a few minutes, we looked back across the typically English rural scene. "How lovely", mused Allen.

Our route from the byway started from there is a dip in the tree level just left of centre.

Strolling on we were passing the site of Leighton Beck Furnace. Grizzly told us, "it was a blast furnace that operated from 1713 to make iron. It was charcoal-fired and water-powered by a dam and mill race from Leighton Beck. In 1806 it is said to have been destroyed in an explosion, and to never have been rebuilt."

Here we must thank Uncle Leo for bringing to Dad's attention the National Library of Scotland map images. Grizzly did some research, and told us, "I have found the Lancashire Sheet XVIII. The area was surveyed in 1845, and this clearly refers to Leighton Beck Furnace showing two buildings close together and one at right angles closer to the beck itself."

"So", said Allen, "that latter one has completely disappeared, but the others are the secluded house surrounded by fences and tall hedges and trees, up to the right."

"Yes pal", agreed Grizzly. "The rectangular stone building now a private house was once the former charcoal barn. A modern 3-door garage with a small adjoining flat has been constructed in the position of the former iron ore store, probably using the same building stone because intermittent red staining or discolouration are visible throughout the fabric."

Tetley was scrutinising the undulating ground to the left of the path. "Although most grass covered I reckon those are slag heaps and the only real evidence that exists today."

Shaun said, "according to our guide book the dam and mill race can be identified."

Dad cast about descending to the beck side, but there is now no trace. "Hardly surprising perhaps as the book was published in 1986. Nature has well and truly reclaimed the site."

"Just look at the wild garlic lining the beck. What a beautiful sight", called out Little Eric. "Please take a picture Dad."

The path led to a gate onto the road just before Leighton Beck Bridge that carries the road to Slack Head and Beetham.

Shaun issued his next instruction, "just past the junction we take the signed path right through the stile and head straight across the pasture."

Here there were sheep grazing unconcerned about us, so Dad quickly snapped a picture.

"Oh no.... not again", called out Allen. "There has already been one sheep picture."

"Ah but that was of a lamb", said Tetley. "This is a ewe."

"Still a sheep", huffed Allen.

Following the waymarks we came to a gap stile out into a large field.

We stopped chat to the gentleman seen coming in the opposite direction. He told us, "I am a teacher at Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale. I took some students out on a walk. Now I'm retracing the route to pick up any items of litter they may have dropped."

He indeed had a few items in his hand. As we walked on Southey commented, "how considerate."

The path led on and on crossing the fields on the edge of Gait Barrows, and East Coppice. After one gate Little Eric pointed, "look at those fungi. I bet our Hug pals Bracken and Moss who know all about them, would be able to tell us whether or not they would be edible."

Then after a little way we entered woodland to descend to a wide track.

"We walked along this track when we visited Gait Barrows on New Years Day this year", said Tetley.

"Oh yes I remember", said Little Eric. "Is that our route now today?"

"No pal", said Shaun. "We go through the narrow pinch stile on the opposite side."

This led into open pasture, and to a four-armed signpost. "Keep straight on", called out Shaun.

Grizzly pointed. "that lovely shaped tree will make a nice picture."

After crossing another field, the route took us down through the lovely West Coppice, then exiting the woodland the path became ever clearer, to reach Moss Lane by some cottages.

Shaun then issued his final instruction of the day. "Turn right to the main road and then right and walk past the path to Challan Hall and on to the car park."

"What a lovely walk", said Uncle Eric. "Thanks again for suggesting it."

"You are welcome", said Tetley. "We have all enjoyed it so much too."

And finally. You did not think that you would get away with not seeing a picture of us in the story. We have to appear, and so we sat on a large tree stump by the cars.


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