Date - 22nd May 2023 Distance - 4 miles
Ascent -
530 ft
Map - OL41
Start point Stoops Bridge, Abbeystead (SD 5636 5435)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



All was well as we had steaming mugs in paw and there was cake.

"The chocolate caramel shortbread is truly scrumptious", said Southey, taking another slice.

"So I see, that's your third" laughed Little Eric. "Just glad you like it."

"I'm only keeping up with Allen", he replied.

"Ha", laughed Allen. "Come on admit it, you're a much a cake stuffer as me."

"Yea, you are right."

Shaun said, "Grizzly, the Chorley cakes are delicious as always. Thank you pal."

Higgy told me that he and his railway bear pals had a great day on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and Fred, Glad and other pals had good days out too", said Tetley. "Apparently Dad really liked Raithwaite Hall, so much so that he has booked to go back in September."

"Great", cheered Little Eric. "Glad Dad makes the most of things."

"Next week Dad is going to Feizor on Tuesday, so he told me that Monday is free for a walk. He wants us to come up with an idea", said Shaun.

"Let's look in the walks index to see if we can find another that was done years ago", suggested Allen, who quickly opened the file on the laptop.

We scanned down, Tetley pointing, "how about that from Abbeystead. It was done in 2003 when only Shaun and I were in the club. Also that was pre website, so there will be s story."

Grizzly and Shaun carefully lifted the binder down and extracted the instructions. "It's 4 miles, but we extended it to 9 miles", said Shaun.

"Well this time perhaps it is best to stick to the published route, especially as Dad is just back from holiday", suggested Little Eric.

"Right I'll go see what Dad thinks", said Allen, draining his mug.

"I'll refill it for when you get back", called out Shaun.

"Thanks pal."

He was soon back. "Dad is in agreement to do just the 4 mile route."

"Great" cheered Tetley, "roll on Monday."


The Walk

As Dad completed loading his gear, he called out, "I'm ready".

"Ok", called back Allen. "Come on pals let's get settled in the car."

As we pulled out of the drive, Southey asked, "how do we get to the start?"

Tetley said, "we go as if going to the Bowland Fells. Into Lancaster then up past the Boys Grammar School, then past Williamson's Park and out to Quernmore. Up to pass Jubilee Tower, then take the next road right that leads down to Abbeystead. The start is at the end of the village just over Stoops Bridge. I seem to recall that there is parking on the right by the river."

He was quite right and there was plenty of space, Grizzly commenting, "I suspect this will be busy at the weekends."

As Dad got ready we looked about. "Wow those trees are beautiful", pointed Little Eric.

Dad ready and us safely tucked in the rucksack. Shaun said, "we recross Stoops Bridge, then walk through the village.

Grizzly told us, "the bridge dates from the mid 19th century. It is constructed in sandstone, has as we can see two segmental arches with triangular cutwaters. The solid parapet has a rounded top. It is a Grade II listed structure."

"Thanks pal. Once again you add extra interest to our adventure", said Allen.

Strolling on Little Eric called out, "look there's the post box. It dates from the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II."

There were lovely substantial stone houses in the village, like this.

"Continue uphill to the corner and then over the stile on the left", instructed Southey.

"Now cross the field to the waymarked gate on the far side, and then cross the footbridge onto a track at farm, and turn left", advised Shaun.

"Aww look, there's a ewe with her two lambs. Their just begging to have their picture taken", said Tetley.

"Huh, there goes the sheep picture free story again", grumped Allen.

The path led by the reservoir to a gate, where Southey said, "go left by the wall."

Seeing a waymarked gate on the left Dad went through this leading to a metal bridge, and here met a lady with her dog, who had got somewhat lost. We were not really able to help her with her route.

"We were wrong to come this way", said Shaun. "This is not Long Bridge, it's much further on by the river."

Striding the track, Dad paused to take this rather majestic tree.

Then after a gate we kept ahead on the clearly waymarked route.

"There's footbridges ahead, but I don't see any stream on the map", commented Tetley.

There, Grizzly said, "they are defunct seemingly. I wonder where they were originally used?"

Just here was another ewe with her two lambs, and Dad swung the camera round to snap a shot.

"Oh nooo", called out Allen. "That's it though, no more in this story."

Walking on Little Eric pointed, "what's that carved stone about."

"One of many that mark the Wyre Way long distance path", replied Tetley.

Then we passed these Hawthorn trees in covered in blossom. "Beautiful", breathed Southey.

And finally we reached Long Bridge that we used to cross the river.

"I wonder if the current bridge replaced one of those defunct ones?", mused Grizzly.

In a few yards we came to a t-junction. "Our route is left", called out Shaun.

Before taking it, Dad took this of the bluebells lining the path to the right a continuation of the Wyre Way.

As we strolled on Grizzly exclaimed "wow, just look at the bluebells over there."

"Wonderful" cried Allen. "Take another picture Dad."

"Let's have our picture sitting amongst them", suggested Tetley.

"Ooh yes", agreed Little Eric.

We had deviated slightly off the path to get these pictures, so dropped down and went left to cross the footbridge and then climbed right to the stile into the field beyond.

There a clear cart track took us half right to a gate.

"Keep on by the hedge on the right to pass through Catshaw Hall", instructed Southey.

"Look", pointed Little Eric, "there's a post box. I don't think it is an official one as there are no collections on a Sunday, and there looks to be a key in the lock!"

The access led to Little Catshaw. "That ornate gate is definitely worth a picture", pointed Allen.

"That I remember", said Tetley. "Not from when Shaun and I did this walk in 2003, but one we did from Over Wyresdale Church in April 2015. I am sure Dad took the same picture."

Later Southey looked the walk up. "You were right pal. However do you remember all these things? Amazing.

Along the farm track with wide open views of the Bowland Fells. "Where the track goes sharp right, we keep ahead by fence to cross a stile and bridge", Shaun said.

"Half right across the pasture to a gate at the far side", advised Southey.

However Dad did not go far enough and instead went through gate in the left boundary to join wide track and follow it on and on through the woods descending finally to gate.

"This does not tally with the instructions", said Shaun. He and Southey looked closely at the map. "Ahh", he said. "I can see the track we have taken."

"We can still get back to the start", said Southey. "If we drop down right to a footbridge we will come to the metal bridge we saw earlier. We do not cross rather join a path through the woods above the reservoir."

To do this just before the bridge Dad climbed the slope to a gate and then along by the wall. Very soon we encountered a fallen gate on left, that gave access to the narrow and delightful path through the woods.

The ground to the right rose quite steeply areas of it clothed in bluebells. "Just beautiful", breathed Little Eric.

After some distance, Allen pointed right. "Look there are steep steps. That must have been the path we should have been on."

"Yes pal", agreed Tetley, "However I for one am not bothered we took the wrong route as we would not have see so many beautiful bluebells and wildflowers."

Very soon we crossed a footbridge then shortly reached the road. "Turn left, and cross the Marshaw Wyre", called out Southey.

A short stroll then brought us to Stoops Bridge.

"Wow", pointed Grizzly, "there's more magnificent trees in the grounds of Abbeystead House."

"More beautiful bluebells", pointed Tetley.

"Doing this walk in May, we should christen it the 'Bluebell Walk'", said Allen.

"Spot on pal", agreed Little Eric. "What a lovely time we have had. Thank you Dad, as always.

"You are welcome lads. I have enjoyed it too. It might be worth repeating the walk later in the year to try and do the full route."


shopify analytics