Date - 13th May 2023 Distance - 8.75 miles
Ascent -
330 ft
Map - 296
Start point - Verge by former Hamilton Arms (SD 4925 4935)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen and Southey were huddled over the laptop, when Tetley wandered in. "What are you looking at pals?"

"The pictures Dad took on the walk from Crooklands", replied Southey. "There are plenty of good ones for our story."

"Hmm", said Tetley. "But when will that be. Dad is going to Whitby with the Railway Bears and other pals next week, and we have got back into regular walking."

"Yes pal, you're right", agreed Allen. "Besides what you mentioned he has lots of other commitments, so we will just have to be patient."

"Honestly it's great to be getting out regularly", said Southey.

"Yes", agreed Tetley, "but that just means there may well be even more of a story backlog."

Just then Shaun arrived with Little Eric riding on his back, and Grizzly with cake tins in paw."

"Ooh tea", cheered Allen.

"I know", laughed Southey. "You're gasping for a cuppa."

Mugs to paw they were soon filled and then Grizzly said, "Little Eric and I have had a day off."

"What!" cried Tetley. "No cakes!"

The look on Allen and Tetley's faces was a picture of anguish.

Then Southey said, "the reason is that I have made three kinds of scones. Cherry and ginger, sultana, and cheese. There is butter jam and cream too. I thought the Grizzly and Little Eric deserved a break."

"That's really considerate", said Shaun.

We all tucked in, Allen scoffing one of each in quick order. "They are scrumptious pal", he said. "You are an ace scone maker."

"There is one other piece of news. Dad will be taking us walking on Saturday, before the holiday in Yorkshire", advised Shaun. "We need to come up with an idea."

"Dad started collecting walks from newspapers way back in the 1980s, so there are perhaps some of those that could be repeated", suggested Tetley.

Allen quickly navigated to the spreadsheet and we looked down the list. "How about that one in the Winmarleigh area. Last walked in 2002. Only Shaun and Tetley were in the group then", said Grizzly.

Allen's paws were busy again as he opened the listing of walks done. Scrolling to the date, Tetley pointed, "at that time Dad did not take us on every walk, and this was one. So, none of us have done it."

"Seems we have a winner", called out Little Eric.

After extracting the walk sheet from the binder, Allen went off to see Dad. Soon back, Shaun handed him a refilled mug. "Thanks pal, you read my mind. Dad likes the idea. He has no memory whatsoever of the walk."

"Great", cheered Shaun. "Roll on Saturday."


The Walk

We made sure to be ready for the off and after Dad had loaded his gear, we got settled in the car.

"Have a good time", called out Craig as we headed out. "Make sure Dad takes care."

"We will", called back Allen.

We headed south on the M6 just one junction then continued south on the A6.

Reading from the directions Southey said, "we start from the lane by the Hamilton Arms."

"The building is still there, but no longer the Hamilton Arms. Last I recall it was an Italian restaurant", stated Dad.

Keeping his eyes peeled, Dad pointed, "there, but it seems to be closed."

"We can park in front", called out Shaun.

"Yes lad. I'll go past then turn round in a layby a little further on, so that we are facing the right way for going home."

As Dad got ready we surveilled the building. "Looks like it is in the process of being turned into apartments", said Little Eric.

"There's the coat of arms of presumably the Hamilton family", pointed Grizzly.

Walking a few yards right, Shaun pointed, "it's left now down...."

As the instructions stated, we walked down to the last house.

Here Dad got into conversation with a gentleman who had asked where we were going, so Dad explained. They then talked about the countryside and other things. A nice interlude.

Southey then advised, "it's now right through that gate."

A track led across the field by the right boundary. "There is an abundance of spring flowers on the verge" commented Grizzly.

"Just beautiful", said Allen.

"The trees are now in leaf and the countryside is so fresh", added Dad. "May is one of my favourite times of year!"

The track led to Cartmels Bridge over the Lancaster Canal. Shaun said, "we cross and then continue to Marlholes Farm."

Our progress was halted by Southey calling out, "wow what a super view along the canal. A must picture for the story."

"Absolutely", agreed Tetley. "Perfect reflections too."

Striding on we passed through Marlholes Farm and on to the road.

More wildflowers in the verges. "They are worth a picture", pointed Shaun.

Southey gave the next instruction, "turn left to the junction with the main road and keep ahead a little way to go left and walk through Forton Hall Farm."

Just before Forton Hall Farm, Little Eric pointed, "those are majestic copper beech trees to the right." And glancing at the map went on, "at Richmond Grove Farm.

Passing the buildings at Forton Hall, Little Eric said, "look there's a post box. A very old one dating from the reign of Queen Victoria."

Along the ongoing concrete track we finally exited into a field. The fields were huge, and ones around were being cut to get grass for silage. Although the walk was virtually flat it was somewhat hard going for Dad as the grass was quite long, and as far as we could see the route is rarely walked, there being evidence of perhaps only one or two people recently.

"We are heading for Lathwaite Farm", called out Shaun, pointing ahead.

"Cross the footbridge, and then across the centre of the next field to a second footbridge."

At the far side of the next field a gate gave access to the track up to Lathwaite Farm.

Peering at the map Tetley said, "there's a trig point the height being 11m (36 ft). The highest point on our walk today,"

"Over the fence to the left", pointed Shaun.

"I know we really shouldn't but will you climb over and take our picture sitting on top?", asked Allen.

"Ok lads."

And from which Dad also took this shot of Lathwaite Farm.

We met the farmer who said, "was it you that went to the trig point."

"Yes to take the picture of the teddy bears. I am sorry if it caused a problem."

"You didn't, but a man did the same yesterday and let his dogs run free. We are about the cut the grass, but his dogs have contaminated it, and this can lead to cows aborting and getting sick. I am fed up." He then said, "can I move the trig point."

"I don't know" was Dad's reply.

As we walked on, Tetley said, "I suspect the farmer does not realise that of the trig point there is as much below ground as above."

"Look" pointed Allen. "There's a cow made of bits of scrap metal. Picture please."

The access led to the next farm Hardhead, where it was left as signed through a gate."

"Ahh look that ewe has three lambs", pointed Southey. "Whatever Allen says, you have just got to take their picture."

"Well, ok", sighed Allen resignedly.

It was now to the far side of the field to a gate and beyond we crossed the bridge over the dyke.

Allen and Tetley were looking at the GPS. "Dad", said Tetley. "According to the instructions the walk is 6 miles, but we have already done more than 4, and there is still a way to go including back along the canal. It is understated and will definitely be more than 6 miles."

"Oh well never mind", replied Dad.

A cross of paths here, and Shaun and Southey were studying the map intently.

"Do we go along that track left?", asked Little Eric.

After murmuring agreement, Southey said, "no pal. It is ahead by the side of the gas pipe installation and along the bank of dyke then into the field to walk with dyke to the left."

This field seemed never ending, but finally we came to a track.

"Go right to the corner, and then it is left", advised Shaun.

"There's a kissing gate", pointed Tetley.

We went ahead and through a gate and on by Old Hall Wood. We encountered nettles around the gates and stiles but thankfully despite being in shorts, Dad managed to mostly avoid getting stung.

Two further fields then brought us to Church Lane. "Go right for 600 yards and then left into Island Farm", instructed Southey.

Grizzly commented, "not a farm now, but just a small residential community.

Coming to a cross of paths, Shaun said, "straight on across the field to the right corner and then cross the next pasture to Elm Farm."

Southey then said, "at the buildings we go left."

This brought us to this waymarked gate.

The waymarked pointed us to a stile in the fence, and onto the long track towards Nateby Hall Farm.

"Fine view of the Bowland Fells behind", commented Allen.

As we approached the farm, Grizzly called out, "that's a fine beech tree."

At Nateby Hall we followed the access road to Nateby Hall Bridge, Number 67, there joining the canal towpath and heading north.

Shaun read from the instructions, "the towpath is followed now to bridge 73."

It was a delightful stroll of about 2.5 miles, as can be seen in this shot with moored barges.

Suddenly Tetley pointed, "look there's a heron."

We also liked this of a barge coming under a bridge, with the towpath lined with wildflowers.

The barge owner called out as he passed, "did you get a good picture."

"Yes thank you", replied Dad.

Further on Grizzly said, "look there is a swan sitting on its nest. There will be a number of cygnets soon."

Then we spotted these flowerpot men, some brandishing guns. "They make me laugh", called out Southey.

We laughed too at some of the signs. 'The Dirty Harry Gang', The Good the Bad and the Ugly', 'Go Ahead Make My Day'. The tall one on the left reads 'I'm The Good Looking One', and next to the right 'Are You Feeling Lucky'. Finally the sign by the one to the far right reads 'Why Can't I Have a Gun'.

So finally we arrived at bridge 73 adjacent to Cabus Nook Farm.

"Leave the towpath, cross the bridge and continue the short distance to Cabus Nook Lane, then go left to the start", advised Shaun.

At the A6 Little Eric pointed, "there's a post box on the far side."

"Ok lad, I get the idea", replied Dad.

As we scrambled out of the rucksack, Shaun looked at the GPS. "It's been 8.75 miles, nearly 50% more than shown in the instructions."

Allen said, "perhaps when typing it up he hit 6 instead of 9 by mistake."

"Well it has been very enjoyable", went on Southey. "And we have all explored a new area. Thank you Dad for doing it again after all these years."

"You're welcome lads, I could not remember any of it."

"A story will record it for posterity and we will be able to relive it at any time in the future", replied Grizzly.

We did not see many other walkers. Only one gentleman out on a run of the first section, and one on the canal section", said Allen.

"Yes", but we waved and called out hello to quite a few boaters as they passed by", said Tetley.


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