Date - 17th April 2024 Distance - 7.25 miles
Ascent -
630 ft
Map - OL7
Start point - Layby on old road near Derby Arms (SD 44066 82851)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



Allen and Tetley were hunched over the laptop, as Southey trotted in. "What are you looking at pals."

"The pictures Dad took on my 1000th walk", replied Tetley.

"They will for sure make a good story", went on Allen.

"That was some milestone. And we mustn't forget that Shaun has passed that too", said Southey.

"I know. I am still pinching myself that Shaun and I have done so many walks. Wonderful adventures, and as the years went by, made more enjoyable as our club gradually grew to the six today."

"For sure", said Grizzly, as with Shaun and Little Eric he came in with the cake tins and tea.

"Ahh just what I needed", cheered Allen getting the plates and mugs.

The latter were soon charged, Southey saying "I really love the Ramblears tea. Good job Dad got some more when we went to Armathwaite Hall."

"What's the cake selection?", asked Tetley.

"Grizzly has made chocolate coconut and cherry slice, while my contribution is peach and apricot slice", replied Little Eric.

We all dug in. "Both are scrumptious", called out Allen, as almost immediately he was on his third piece.

"Living up to your position as president of the Teddy Bear Tea Belly and Cake Stuffers Society, I see", laughed Grizzly.

Tetley was looking at the iPad. "Dad has a pretty quiet week coming up." Then looking at the weather app, he said, "Wednesday looks to be a good day. I wonder if we can get him to agree to a walk."

"If any of us can, it's Allen", chuckled Little Eric. "But first we need a suggestion."

"Well", said Shaun. "I have been looking at the walks index. Any walks done before 2006 will not have a story at they predate the website. So I found one that was done in 2000. While Tetley and I will have done it, it will be totally new to the rest of you. It starts from the Derby Arms at Witherslack. Through woodland, and on to Meathop then via a quiet road to the start."

"Sounds perfect", replied Tetley. "Even I cannot recall anything about the route."

"We need to get the instructions out of the binder", said Grizzly. "What is the number?"

"170", replied Shaun.

Southey and Tetley carefully lifted the binder off the shelf and retrieved them. "Right", said Allen draining his mug, "no time like the present", going off to see Dad

Grizzly said, "you had better refill his mug. I know it will be his fourth."

Shaun obliged, laughing, "I am sure he has hollow legs."

"Love him to bits", laughed Tetley. "We do not want him to change ever!"

Soon Allen came bounding in. "Thanks pal", he said, accepting the mug from Shaun. "Dad is very happy to do this walk. Like us he cannot remember anything about the route."

"Great" cheered Little Eric. "Another adventure and a new story for the website."


The Walk

We awoke to find that we were in for a dry and partly sunny day, but still a cold wind.

Soon after 09:30, Dad pulled out of the drive and headed to the M6 and then onto the A590 towards Barrow. A few miles beyond Levens, we saw the sign for Witherslack to the right. A short distance brought us to the Derby Arms on the old road, Dad turning left to park in the layby.

As Dad got ready Shaun studied the map. "Pals, we should continue down the old road and take the bridleway to the right."

Dad called out, "I'm ready. Get settled in the rucksack Lads."

This done we set off as Shaun had instructed to the start of the bridleway.

A sign on the gate told us we were entering the Latterbarrow Nature Reserve.

Open at first, as can be seen, the path became narrower through woodland.

Into open pasture, where Allen called out, "that tree will make a nice shot for the story."

Nearing High Fell End, Little Eric pointed, "those forget me nots and dandelions are so pretty."

Through the buildings we reached the road. "So where now?", asked Grizzly.

"Left round the corner, onto the bridleway branching off right", replied Shaun.

This climbed steadily through the woodland. "It is so peaceful and lovely along here", enthused Tetley. "We could be miles from anywhere but Church Road runs below to the left."

"We need to look out for a cairn, indicating where we start to descend left", advised Shaun.

A few minutes later, Allen called out, "here."

A steep meandering descent, Shaun now saying, "there is now a very definite right turn to take the path down to Church Road."

Keeping our eyes peeled, it was Allen again that called out, "there's the waymark."

"Can we visit St Paul's Church?", asked Grizzly.

"Sure lad."

Grizzly told us, "the church was built between 1668 and 1669. It resulted from a bequest made by John Barwick, dean of St Paul's Cathedral, who died in 1664. It was to provide a burial pace in the village of his birth, rather then the dead having to be carried across the tidal estuary of the River Kent at St Michael's Church in Beetham. There had previously been a church in the village dedicated to Saint Mary, but this was ruined in the Civil War. John Barwick's brother, Peter, who was physician to Charles II, successfully petitioned the Bishop of ChesterĀ for a new church and a burial ground. The new church was a chapel of easeĀ to the mother church at Beetham. The land for the church and burial ground were granted by the 8th Earl of Derby. The church was consecrated in June 1671 by the Bishop of Chester. Architecturally it is stone with a slate roof and consists of a nave and chancel in a single chamber, a south porch and north vestry and west tower. As we can see there is a clock in the tower that has a single hand."

"Thank you pal for the history lesson", said Tetley, as we went to look inside.

"How lovely", said Little Eric.

Grizzly went on, "the screen we can see consists of two Ionic columns and pilasters."

As walked up the nave, he said, "the pulpit was constructed in 1880, using material from a 17th century three decker pulpit. It has a sounding board dated 1768. That is the structure behind and above."

"What is that?" pointed Allen.

"The Royal arms of 1710. Queen Anne was on the throne, and the initials A R stand for Anne Regina."

Towards the back stands the organ. "It is a single manual instrument built in 1878 by Brindley and Foster", stated Grizzly.

This was the end of our visit, Shaun saying, "as always Grizzly you add interest to our walk."

"Thanks. But it is thanks to my research on Wikipedia that I can do this."

An electrician gentleman from Windermere, was carrying out a check of the circuits. Dad had a little chat with him before we went on our way.

At the road, Little Eric called out, "there's the post box. Please, Dad a picture for the story and my collection. It is an old one dating from the reign of Queen Victoria."

"Where do we go now?", asked Tetley.

"Down here to the right", replied Shaun, pointing to the signpost. "Once round the corner we should look out for a path to the right."

Allen called out, "here it is. There's a waymark too."

This narrow path bent left then descended to the lane via these steps.

"Just look", pointed Southey. "The road is flooded. Shows how much rain there has been."

"Ok", said Shaun. "It's along the track opposite. We want the path leading to Slate Hill."

Strolling on Allen called out, "look primroses. Always remind me of dear Uncle Brian. I really cannot believe that it is nearly five years since he died."

"I know", replied Tetley. "We all miss him so much."

Shortly reaching a waymarked junction, Shaun said, "we go left."

The path led via two stiles into a field, and then through the next gate into woods again. At the next junction Shaun instructed, "left here."

The path descended steeply with some rocky steps leading to a large stone step stile, viewed here after Dad had climbed over.

Walking on the path exited onto a track, then right to the road.

"A seat", called out Southey. "Come on pals time for our picture."

At the road corner, Shaun advised, "keep on ahead.

"I like the sign for that house", said Little Eric.

"I wonder what it means?", mused Tetley.

Well our Grizzly rarely lets us down and this was no exception. After research when we got home, he told us, "Gwensteri, was according to a Welsh poem, the scene of a victory for North British king Urien Rheged over Pictish enemies. It is thought that the battle may have been fought in the Winster Valley, which is where we were. So the name likely refers to the River Winster."

Seconds after taking this picture, Southey, whispered, "that ewe and lambs will make a great shot."

"Oh hey ho", sighed Allen. "There goes the sheep picture free story. But I have to agree it is a perfect shot."

The road led us through the lovely Winster valley, passing entrances to Bowes Lodge and The Grove, and eventually petering out to a surfaced track and then a grassy bridleway through delightful woodland.

This is a delightful path through Nichols Wood. "Just look at that wrecked car", shouted Grizzly. "Looks like it's been here a long time."

"And going nowhere soon", added Tetley with a laugh.

The bridleway ended at a gate into a large pasture where there was no path, just a waymark pointing half left. This brought us to a fence, where there was no sign of a way over.

Shaun said, "I think we should go left alongside. The waymark was a bit misleading."

We did and Tetley said, "sure enough you were right as usual pal. Here's a waymarked gate."

Crossing the very soft pasture a gate left gives access to a track. "Right I assume", stated Allen.

Looking at the map, Southey said, "yes, the track crosses the River Winster, at Stripe Bridge."

We nearly missed spotting this, the path being grassy and the sides overhung with vegetation.

"Beneath all that is a graceful stone arch", commented Grizzly. "As for the Internet, I was unable to find anything."

This led to the A590 dual carriageway, that we crossed carefully. Through the gate opposite we crossed the field leading to gate onto B5277 at Meathop New Bridge.

"Left across the River Winster yet again, then take the road right signed to Meathop", advised Southey.

From this road we had a view of the bridge.

Having noted it as we crossed, Grizzly said, "there are two things of significance about the bridge. Firstly until 1971 it marked the boundary between the counties of Lancashire and Westmorland. Secondly it was built in 1951. The year our Dad was born."

Strolling on towards Meathop, Little Eric called out, "there's the post box. A picture please Dad."

The road swung left to enter the hamlet, with its substantial stone houses.

Then passing Kendal House Farm...

...and leaving the hamlet, Shaun advised, "at the next junction we turn left. This lane will ultimately lead back to the start."

"We have walked the latter part a few times on the other walk from Witherslack over Foulshaw Moss", remarked Tetley.

A little while later, Little Eric said, "those wildflowers are pretty. I wonder what they are called."

When we got home we showed the picture to our Hug flora experts, Bracken and Moss. "They are Lesser Celandine", they both said together.

Further on Whitbarrow Scar loomed up, and we knew that there was not far to go.

Finally we came to the traffic light controlled underpass on A590...

...where it was just a short walk to the Derby Arms and left to the car.

"That was a super walk", called out Grizzly.

"So varied and enjoyable", agreed Little Eric.

"Thanks Dad as always", said Allen. "We truly are a lucky band of brothers."

"You are welcome lads. And it has been so quiet and peaceful."

"Quite" agreed Tetley. "We did not see any other walkers on the whole route."


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