Date - 19th March 2023 & 26th April 2023 Distance - 5.75 miles
Ascent -
440 ft
Map - OL41
Start point - Former Halton Station (SD 5035 6547)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



All was well as we had steaming mugs in paw, and cakes on our plates.

"The Chorley cakes are delicious as usual, Grizzly", said Southey, helping himself to another.

"And so is the blueberry slice, Little Eric", went on Tetley.

"That's your third piece", commented Allen.

"Ha", laughed Tetley. "That's rich coming from the arch tea belly and cake stuffer."

"Hmm, your right", conceded Allen. "Will you fill my mug again please, Shaun."

"That will be your fourth", he replied. "I am sure you have hollow legs."

There was quiet for a while then Grizzly said, "it's been over a week since we last walked. I was wondering if we might get out this weekend?"

Tetley picked up the iPad and opened the diary. "Hmm, Dad is at a concert in Kendal on Saturday night with Wayne and Crumble. So we must not take it as a given."

"What about the weather?", asked Shaun.

"Dry and mild if rather cloudy."

"So that's in our favour at least", stated Allen.

"We need to come up with an idea to put to Dad, and see", went on Little Eric.

So we sat in thought, then Southey said, "not driving too far to the start, so how about walking by the River Lune, starting from Halton railway station. I realise we have done the section there and back to Crook o'Lune, but we could extend that by walking on to the Waterworks Bridge."

"Oh yes pal", agreed Grizzly. "The outwards section from Crook o'Lune will be completely new."

"I like the idea Southey", said Shaun. "Now all we need is for Allen to go and see Dad and try and convince him to walk on Sunday."

"Ok", he sighed, draining his mug. "But I'll need a refill when I get back."

Tetley let out a bellow of laughter. "Truly living up to your reputation pal. We love you to bits. Don't ever change."

It was a little while before Allen returned. He explained, "Dad was on the phone. He likes the idea, and says providing he feels ok, on Sunday morning the walk is on."

"Great", cheered Little Eric. "Our Dad is the best."

The walk was repeated at the end of April with Uncle Eric for company. For him the majority of the walk was new. Most of the pictures included are from March, but there are a few additions from April.


The Walk

We had been a little concerned as Dad had not felt well at all on Saturday, but he was determined to go to the concert.

We asked how he was feeling when he came home.

"A lot better for making the effort to go, lads. I am sure I will be fine to walk tomorrow."

"That's so good", replied Little Eric. "We have had our paws crossed."

In the morning Dad said, "I plan to start the walk about 10:30, so we need to set off by 10:00."

"Right", replied Tetley. "We will be sure to be ready."

The drive was along the Bay Gateway, then a short distance on the A683 to take the narrow Denny Beck Lane, to the car park at the site of the former Halton Station.

The building was the good depot. Now it is the headquarters and boathouse for Lancaster University Rowing Club, and there were teams of rowers preparing to take to the river.

"Will you please take our picture sitting on the platform?", asked Southey.

Whenever we walk with Uncle Eric, our pals Barnaby and Lee always come to say hello to him. That day we had arrived a little before him. Barnaby asked, "it would be nice if Lee and I could have our picture taken with our pals."

"No problem", replied Dad.

l-r - Allen, Lee, Barnaby with Grizzly and Little Eric, Shaun, Southey and Tetley

Dad did not need telling the route, dropping down behind the building to follow the clear path by the river.

"That will make a nice shot of the river and Denny Beck bridge", suggested Tetley.

Grizzly said, "when Halton Railway station was under construction in the late 1840's there was no bridge across the Lune. So, workers were ferried across from the village to work on the construction. Sadly in 1849, only months away from the station's completion, severe flooding claimed the lives of 8 men. Soon after the railway company undertook the construction of a toll bridge that opened in December 1849. This first bridge was swept away in 1869 and the railway company hastily built a replacement. In 1911 Greyhound Bridge was opened across the Lune carrying the railway towards Morecambe. The old wrought iron bridge it replaced was then largely used for the crossing at Denny Beck, opening in 1913 and is the bridge we see today. It was renovated in the 1990's. It survived without damage during Storm Desmond in 2015 when the river rose to a level that submerged the deck."

"Thank you pal for the history lesson", said Shaun.

Striding on the path eventually ended, Dad climbing the steps onto the cycleway. Then after the steep river bank where there is no path, we took once again a path down via steps to walk out into fields by the river.

These trees caught our attention. "Please take pictures for the story Dad", said Allen. "This first one looks to be totally dead. The other is nice and shapely and by early May will be coming into leaf."

"I love the month of May", went on Tetley. "Nature waking up, the trees freshly in leaf, and the bluebells, wild garlic etc. will be a wonderful sight."

Shortly we entered woodland and the path brought is to Lune West Bridge.

Grizzly reminded us. "This is one of the bridges that carried the railway across the Crook o'Lune. Now they are part of a footpath and cycleway."

Seeing the steps rising to the right, Southey remembered and advised, "they are not our route. We continue under the bridge by the river."

This was the tranquil scene as we walked along.

Quite soon we climbed the steps, to then follow the path through woods that undulated steeply, close by the main road.

Now by Crook o'Lune the path crossed a footbridge...

...and into the open area where there are memorial trees, and from which Dad took this beautiful view of the river, on the day with Uncle Eric. As can be seen the weather conditions were much better.

Crossing the road we took the gate opposite. "Look there are sculptures down to the left. Let's go and have a look", called out Grizzly.

"They are otters", exclaimed Little Eric. "Picture time."

"Where now?", asked Little Eric.

"Under that cattle creep bridge, to then cross and come beside the river again", pointed Southey.

Once through Tetley pointed, "we need to get across that stream, but it is a bit wide." Then looking about he went on, "there does not seem to be a bridge."

"Not to worry, we'll just follow it right and see if we can get across further on", replied Dad.

All was well, as it turned out that the stream was culverted after a few hundred yards, and Dad headed across to the riverside.

"Look", pointed Shaun. "That culverted stream makes a nice waterfall."

Then looking at the map, he went on, "the seat above is within the grounds of the property called Low Mill."

Once by the river we passed the flood monitoring station...

...crossed the footbridge over Artle Beck...

... and continued on towards Waterworks Bridge.

As we approached Grizzly pointed to the hillside above. "That building is one of many associated with the Thirlmere Aqueduct. It is 96 miles long from Thirlmere Reservoir to Heaton Park in Manchester and was built between 1890 and 1925 by Manchester Corporation Waterworks, to meet the growing demand for water. It takes 36 hours for the water leaving Thirlmere to arrive in Manchester."

We soon arrived at Waterworks Bridge that carries the aqueduct across the River Lune...

...through these large pipes.

Allen pointed to a hatch cover. "The letters 'TA' indicate that this is the Thirlmere Aqueduct. The other from Haweswater is identified by the initials 'HA'

"We have seen quite a few of these hatch covers on different walks and the initials have helped us to know which aqueduct it was", commented Shaun.

As we crossed Dad got into conversation with a gentleman about the aqueducts. An interesting few minutes, during which he had kept his wife waiting. "Blame me" Dad said.

This was the half way point and we now returned along the other bank. Seeing lines of small gouges made by a digger, Little Eric said, "I wonder what this is about?"

"Drainage?" speculated Southey.

Our questions were answered on the repeat with Uncle Eric.

"Trees!", exclaimed Southey. "Once they grow the woodland will be extended quite extensively down to the river bank."

Passing along the muddy path through the woodland, Allen pointed, "look, a money tree."

"Oh yes", said Southey. "I can see that people have hammered coins into the trunk." Then laughing, "if only money did grow on trees."

Now for Allen's sake Dad is trying not to take as many sheep pictures, but could not resist this.

"As long as that is the only one in this story, I do not mind", sighed Allen.

Further on this white duck posed for us.

We were now near to Crook o'Lune once more and we had this fine view of Lune East Bridge with the road bridge behind.

Entering the car park we saw that Woodies was open. "Snack time, Dad?", suggested Tetley.

"There's quite a queue so no, we'll just keep going."

As we strolled on to gain the return path, Shaun pointed, "what's that sign about, by the gate?"

Grizzly looked closely, saying, "this is Hermitage Field, where trees can be planted in remembrance of a loved one."

"Oh", said Dad. "I have wanted to plant a tree in Brian's memory. I hope that there is space still available."

"What a lovely thing that would be", enthused Allen. "We all miss him so much."

Strolling on we took the walled path by the road, to then cross and join the path by the river via this kissing gate...

...and follow the clear path that is never in doubt.

At times it is very narrow and clings to the bank with vertical drops into the river. On the right side it rises quite steeply.

"Too early for the bluebells", commented Southey. "They will be quite a sight by the end of April."

And indeed they were when we repeated the walk with Uncle Eric.

At one point a footbridge allows walkers to cross Monkley Gill Beck. "What a lovely name", laughed Little Eric. "I wonder where it originates from?"

His question was only met with silence.

The path widened to a track beside which stands this stone.

"Ahh", said Tetley. "We have studied this before, and concluded that it was probably an old gatepost. There is the hole in the bottom and also a depression on the top, where the hinges would have been fitted. We assumed that the top of the stone has broken off at some point."

Soon now the path became a track and then road as we entered Halton.

At the end the road bends right. Almost immediately we took the left turn that at the end turning left again, led across Denny Beck Bridge to the start.

"Thank you Dad, that was a most enjoyable walk", said Southey.

"Aye" agreed Tetley, "another grand day out."

As Dad was getting his boots off, a lady from the Countryside Agency stopped to chat for a while. This ranged from the cycleway and the ongoing need for repairs, that have been made more difficult, as the paid team had been reduced considerably. Morecambe was discussed. Also there was conversation about remembering loved ones. Nice end to the walk for Dad.

Dad made inquiries concerning Hermitage Field and at the end of April he planted a Rowan tree in memory of our dear Uncle Brian.

And here is the dedication plaque.

Walking to the top of the field this wonderful view along the Lune Valley is revealed.

Such a beautiful place, and so fitting for a memorial to our dear Uncle Brian.

Our pal Fred was Brian's special bear, so Dad took him to see the tree. Here he is on the right with his brother Gladly.

Our pal Craig came from John Lewis, who Uncle Brian once worked for. He referred to Uncle Brian as partner, as that is what the employees are known as. Here is Craig on the left, with his best pal Ralph, by the tree.


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