Date - 23rd February 2023 Distance - 7.5 miles
Ascent -
700 ft
Map - OL7
Start point - Layby on A6 near junction 35A (SD 5111 7242)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen and Southey were hunched over the laptop, as Tetley strolled in. "The Lake District and Dalesman magazines have arrived."

"Great" cheered Southey. "Can't wait to see what articles are in this month."

"What are you looking at?" Tetley then said.

"The pictures Dad took on the Hornby and Wray walks", replied Allen.

"There are plenty", enthused Southey, "and for sure we can make a story."

"It was enjoyable repeating the walk from Long Preston", went on Allen.

"And he got to go to Elaine's afterwards, his favourite tearoom in Yorkshire", said Tetley. "He told me that it was 14 years ago that he first went with Uncle Bob. Then soon after it became the regular Monday lunch out with Uncle Brian."

"Ahh, dear Uncle Brian", sniffed Allen. "I miss him so much."

"I know pal", replied Southey, putting a comforting paw on his shoulder.

Just then Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric appeared with the flasks and cake tins.

This brightened Allen's face. "Just the ticket, I'm gasping for a cuppa."

"As always, tea belly", laughed Grizzly.

"Ramblears tea, of course", stated Shaun, as with Southey's help he filled the mugs.

"Ahh wonderful", breathed Allen after taking a sip.

Grizzly opened the cake tins. "Little Eric has made chocolate caramel shortbread. My contribution is blueberry slice."

It was quiet for a little while, then Shaun said, "the caramel shortbread is scrumptious."

"As is the blueberry slice", went on Allen, who was on his third piece, as was Southey too.

"Real cake stuffers the both of you", laughed Grizzly.

Shaun then picked up the iPad. "Thursday looks to be a dry and sunny day, and Dad has nothing down in the diary. "There have been so few sunny days this year. Maybe we can get him to take us for a walk?"

"That would be good, as the following week Dad is away at Armathwaite Hall", said Little Eric.

"So, where to go", mused Tetley.

"Well, Dad was thinking about that walk up the River Keer from Pine Lake", suggested Allen. "According to the sheet it was last done in 1989, long before any of us had been adopted."

"Oh yes", replied Shaun. "However we have probably done most of the paths before, one way or another as part of other adventures."

"Maybe we can extend it", mused Grizzly.

Shaun opened the OS Maps app, and navigated to the area.

Tetley said, "the path by the Keer leads to Capernwray. Then the route is by the caravan park. But we could instead take the path just before the railway bridge coming out onto the road at Green Bank."

"Agreed", said Grizzly. Then tracing with his paw, "if we turn right and cross the railway again, we can go along Keer Holme Lane, as far as Old Starricks. Then take the path north to link with that walled track that leads to the road and on into Priest Hutton. There we rejoin the published route."

"We have a plan then", said Little Eric. "So please Allen will you put it to Dad."

"OK pal", as he grabbed the iPad and trotted out of the room.

"You had better fill his mug", said Tetley. "After all he has only had four so far."

"Must have hollow legs", said Grizzly shaking his head.

Allen was soon back. "Thanks pal", he said accepting the steaming mug. "Dad agrees we must take advantage of the sunny day, and he likes the route we have devised. It will be another story too."

"Yippee", cheered Little Eric. "Here's to the best Dad in all the world."


The Walk

We awoke and as Dad threw back the curtains, Tetley called out, "you were right Shaun. We are set for a beautiful late winter day with blue skies and no wind."

"A rarity as there has been so many cloudy and overcast days so far this year", went on Grizzly

We made sure to be ready, and once Dad's gear was loaded, we dashed out to settle in the car.

"Have a good time, and tell Dad to be careful", called out our pal Craig.

Dad took the Bay Gateway link road onto the M6, heading north for one junction, and taking the slip road down to the A6.

"The layby is on the opposite side", commented Allen.

"Yes lad, the best way will be to go to the roundabout at the road to Burton, then circle back to the layby."

This done, Dad got his boots on and we quickly snuggled in the rucksack.

"We take the path that circles the Pine Lake resort", said Shaun. "Go a little way towards the motorway junction to find the gate."

Beyond the clear path stretched before us.

This led to the entrance to Pine Lake, by the large roundabout.

"Where now?" asked Southey.

"Cross and take the continuing path by the sign", pointed Shaun.

This ran between Pine Lake and the River Keer to our left. The path was grassy, then neat gravel, and grassy again.

Southey asked, "what exactly is Pine Lake?"

Tetley volunteered. "It is actually known as Dock Acres, and long ago was a gravel pit. When this closed it was developed for leisure use, with lodges being built round the perimeter. The resort is known as Pine Lake."

"Here", pointed Allen. "This view gives an idea of the layout."

"The River Keer is somewhat below and the banks and vegetation hide it", commented Grizzly.

Tetley called out soon after, "there's a view here. Please take a picture."

As we left Pine Lake, the river passed under the M6 motorway, a walkway having been provided.

The path continued, still by the river reaching the road at High Keer Bridge.

"Aww look", pointed Little Eric. "The farmer is releasing two ewes with a lamb each. Spring is nearly here."

We stood watching this, and then Dad had a few words with the farmer.

Then it was through the awkward gap stile, to walk along the opposite bank of the river, passing this building.

"What is it about?", asked Southey.

"To control and manage the flow of the river", replied Allen.

We were crossing pastures, and stiles allowed us to get over the boundary fences.

"A picture of those trees, will be nice for the story", pointed Tetley. "Lovely against the blue skies."

"There's the railway line from Carnforth. Uncle Brian used to travel that line quite often on his days out to Leeds to wander round the shops and have lunch", commented Shaun. "He loved train travel."

"Dad and Uncle Brian went for a long weekend in June 1998 to Leeds staying at the Hilton", said Tetley. "It was very significant for me, as I was adopted by Dad at the Tourist Office. Little did I know what a wonderful life I was to have and be part of the walking club and have so many adventures."

Then suddenly Little Eric called out, "look there's a train. Get a picture Dad."

The fields were full of sheep that baaed at us, and this group obligingly posed for Dad.

"Hmph", grunted Allen. "There goes the sheep picture free story."

Close to the railway embankment we crossed this well crafted stile...

...and so reach and pass under Capernwray railway viaduct.

Grizzly said, "there are lots of photographs but not much actual detail, on the Internet. What I can tell you is that it was completed in 1867. There are 10 masonry arches and in all it is 145 yards long. One of the arches spans the River Keer."

"Thank you pal", replied Little Eric. "It is quite magnificent and a testament to Victorian engineering."

Passing under we kept left by the river, to walk up the field to stile onto the track by the canal. As we did this Allen pointed, "look there's the ancient packhorse bridge. We have had our picture taken sitting on that."

We have indeed", agreed Grizzly. "It is Grade 2 listed, and spans the River Keer. The date is uncertain."

"We cross the bridge over the canal", instructed Shaun.

As we did, Little Eric said, "I recall there is a post box embedded in the wall just up to the right. It is one dating from the reign of Queen Victoria."

Then Shaun said, "we should walk down by the canal to the railway bridge."

"What a superb reflection", enthused Southey. "A must picture Dad."

"Right, here is where we deviate from the published walk", stated Shaun. "Do not go under the bridge, but take the path right and walk by the railway."

This led down to a 'gate' where there was sufficient space at one side to get through with it closed. "That's less than useless", laughed Tetley.

Dad strode across the large field, Southey saying, "we need to get to the bottom right corner."

There seemed to be no exit, but as we arrived saw this tiny footbridge and beyond a gap stile.

The path stretched ahead to a stile by gate where Shaun said, "now go half left across this large pasture to the bottom right."

Here Dad climbed the stile and followed the track under the railway...

...and through the farmyard to road by Mason Fell House.

"Go right", called out Southey.

This took us across the railway line once more at the site of Borwick station.

Grizzly told us, "the platforms are gone, but the building in private ownership, is externally unaltered. The station was opened in June 1867 when passenger services began operating on the line. It was open for nearly a hundred years being closed on 12th September 1960, along with neighbouring Arkholme, when the local service between Wennington and Carnforth ceased."

Issuing the next instructions, Shaun said, "turn left along Keer Holme Lane."

Tetley remarked, "we have been along here before, but coming in the opposite direction."

Passing a gate, Allen pointed, "look there's the alligator sculpture. I recall seeing that before."

Dad strode on, Shaun advising, "next we will go left and over the railway bridge and up to the buildings of Old Starricks."

After a few minutes, Little Eric pointed, "there's the footpath sign."

Walking up and passing a gate, Little Eric said, "do we go through there?"

"No pal", replied Shaun. "The map shows the route is nearer the buildings at the top."

This was Low Barn. Our route was through the gate, where a sign implored us to close it due to free range rabbits! However we did not see any today.

Beyond their home it was through a gate, Southey saying, "left to and through that gate ahead."

There Allen pointed, "there's a stile in the fence."

Over this Shaun said, "keep on half right towards that big tree at top right corner."

There were sheep with lambs, and Dad was just quick enough to snap this shot.

"Aww, lovely", said Tetley.

At the top after crossing the stile, it was obvious that the route was in just a few yards, over the ladderstile on right.

There are extensive gorse bushes here but not yet in flower. "They will make a super sight in a few weeks", commented Grizzly.

Fine views here of Ingleborough and towards Whernside, but not clear enough for photography today.

"We should now head generally half left", said Southey looking up from the map.

Soon a narrow path emerged that led us across a broken wall, there keeping in the same direction to come by the next wall and stile in the corner...

...onto a walled lane that we were to follow for some distance to a narrow road.

"There were no waymarks at all on that last section", commented Little Eric. "Just as well that you Shaun and Dad are so good at map reading."

"Aye pal. And Southey who has become expert too, under my guidance."

The end of the lane was blocked by a van and digger. The workman said, "sorry. You can get round on the left."

They had another machine that had broken down that they were endeavouring to fix. As a consequence this was holding up their work. Dad had a brief chat and wished them well fixing their machine.

"Go right", said Southey.

The narrow lane led eventually to Priest Hutton, with its pretty green.

Tetley said, "we haven't had our picture yet. That seat will be a perfect place to sit."

"We keep right on the road signed to Burton", advised Southey.

This took us past the building that had once been the school. Grizzly commented, "the school closed in 1978."

Striding out of the village, Shaun advised, "we go left on the surfaced track called Kirkgate Lane."

This undulated to come by the canal at Tewitfield Wesleyan Methodist Church. Allen commented, "presumably this is why the lane is called Kirkgate Lane. Kirk being the Scottish name for church."

Grizzly told us, "the chapel is thought to have originally been an alehouse used by the navvies that built the Lancaster Canal, which opened in 1797, bringing much work to the area. About the same time Methodism became popular. It therefore is assumed that once the navvies left the Methodists took the building over. It opened as a recognized place of worship around 1886. It could have been used as a Wesleyan meeting house some time before that."

Crossing the canal, Southey called out, "we want that track down to the right."

This led to the footbridge over the M6...

...and on the far side another bridge over a stream and along the track to A6070 road, where it as left to the roundabout with A6, Dad then using pavement to get back to the car.

"Look", called out Little Eric. "There's an old milestone. You would never really spot it today in a car. Oh and the numbers are in Roman numerals."

"And someone with a Ford car is missing a wheel rim", remarked Shaun.

"Well Dad that has been a most enjoyable walk and for once we have had sunshine", said Southey. "Thank you. We are so fortunate to go on all these adventures."

Glancing at the time, Tetley said, "there is time to go to the River Bela Cafe for lunch."

"For sure lad, and of course you will all get to go in too."

"Yippee", cheered Allen.

Martyn and Sarah were surprised to see Dad. He had brie bacon and cranberry pannini with fries. Apple crumble and custard. Tea in his big pot.

Rounded the walk off very nicely!


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