Date - 1st April 2010 Distance - 6.5 miles
Ascent - 1200ft
Map - OL6 Start point - Layby on A5092 opposite Farmer's Arms (SD 302850)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Lowick Beacon 692 211 SD 1860 8393


Preface & Route

Allen & Grizzly were sitting staring out of the window, looking very glum.

"Whatever is the matter", said Shaun, who had just trotted in with Little Eric riding on his back.

"This winter seems never ending. The hills are blanketed with snow again, and we wonder if it will be fit to go walking this week", replied Allen, mournfully.

Little Eric piped up, "there is not any snow at lower levels, and I have seen Dad scrutinising the weather forecasts for later in the week."

"Here comes Tetley, in a rush, so maybe he will have some news for us". called out Shaun.

"Good news Lads", said Tetley breathlessly. "Dad has just spoken to Uncle Eric and they have arranged to walk on Thursday as the weather promises to be good."

"Hooray", called out Allen & Grizzly, the glum looks having been replaced with smiles

"Where are we going?, asked Shaun.

"To walk in the area around Lowick Common", replied Tetley who had been doing his homework on the route. "It was originally published in the Westmorland Gazette, after those terrible floods in November 2009, when many footpaths were impassable. It will be mostly on narrow quiet side roads, but there is the promise of good views and not a little interest too."

Here is a map of the route -

From the layby we take a narrow road to the cluster of buildings at Wood End, then along a track to Beck Bottom and the road. This we leave shortly to climb the prominent hill, Lowick Beacon, to the right. Descending we reach another road/farm track passing eventually Bark House. Crossing the main road we follow the lane to pass by pretty Lowick Church, the graveyard a blaze of colour with spring flowers. The lane then comes to Lowick Bridge where we cross the River Crake, and turning right follow the lane to the village of Spark Bridge, where it is just a short walk uphill to the start.


The Walk

Thursday dawned, and we were up and ready in good time, Tetley helping Grizzly to make the sandwiches for our lunch, which were then packed safely into Allen's rucksack.

As we heard Dad getting his kit into the car, we rushed out and settled on the front seat ready for the off. The road we took was a familiar one along the A590 under Whitbarrow Scar to finally turn off at Greenodd.

"I wish I had a pound for all the times we have driven this route", remarked Grizzly.

"Absolutely", replied Shaun.

It was not long before we arrived at the start, a layby, that was once the actual road until some improvement was done. Uncle Eric was already there, so Dad hurried to get ready and we jumped into the rucksack and settled down.

Setting off, we walked south for a few yards to take the lane right that climbed up past a now derelict Methodist church. The building looked very sad and forlorn. Dad and Uncle Eric learned later from Sam at the Hat Trick Cafe, that when it closed it had been bought by a person who wanted to turn it into a house, but had been refused planning. As a result it lies derelict and decaying the roof starting to lose slates. For whatever reason we did not think that this was a very good decision.

Continued up the lane to the houses at Wood End, where we had the first of many stunning views of the Coniston Fells. Here Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man having cloud over their summits, while the sun shines on Swirl How and Wetherlam.

The metalled road ended here, our route now being along a muddy track. Here Uncle Eric strides out between the enclosing substantial stone walls.

This led down to Beck Bottom where there is a farm and cluster of houses. Behind these the pretty Otley Beck, sparkling in the sunshine, runs through the field.

Beyond the buildings the lane climbed slightly to a narrow road.

"Where to now?, asked Little Eric.

Tetley replied, "we turn left along this road for about a mile, below and then round that hill to the right, which is called Lowick Beacon."

Allen piped up, "it would be nice if we could climb that instead, as it would make the walk more interesting, and there is a clear path leading to the summit."

" Yes", said Tetley, "especially as we will end up back on the published walk after descending on the other side."

"Uncle Eric, Dad, can we climb over the hill", implored Shaun.

"Yes", they both replied in unison.

"Hooray", shouted Grizzly.

So after a short distance on the road we took a path right that meandered over the rough terrain towards Lowick Beacon. Soon a small tarn was passed. We consulted the map and found unsurprisingly that it was called Beacon Tarn. Very pretty setting too with the small clump of daffodils in the foreground.

So, striding purposefully on, we soon reached Lowick Beacon summit at the modest height of just under 700ft, and stared in awe at the stupendous views. Ahead and left were the Coniston Fells now clear of cloud, with part of Coniston Water.

While away to the east totally snowbound, was Red Screes, Caudale Moor and the Kentmere Horseshoe.

The other important matter to attend to here, was to record our achievement of this hill, so we gathered by the rock that marks the summit for our picture.

From the summit we descended to a stile and then over rough ground and slightly off course, above Nettleslack to the narrow road. This to avoid a herd of cows. The road passed the buildings of Knapperthaw, then at the junction we walked right along a delightful hedged road. This passed Bark House - former farm buildings that have been tastefully converted into houses. Continuing we passed the houses at Wood Gate, where again there was a similar superb view to the Coniston Fells. Soon we reached the main A5092 road, which we crossed carefully to continue on the narrow road opposite. This led to St Lukes Church, Lowick. A fine building with a square tower.

In the churchyard was a mass of crocus & daffodils - a lovely spring sight!

Dad and Uncle Eric spent quite a while taking pictures, so we were able to appreciate fully the pretty scene. Taking a last lingering look, we walked on to come to the Red Lion pub at Lowick Bridge. Crossing the A5084 carefully, then shortly the bridge over the River Crake, that today was flowing swiftly. It starts from Coniston Water and runs for about six miles into Morecambe Bay.

Immediately beyond, we turned right to walk another quiet road passing Bridgefield, yet another group of farm buildings that have been converted to houses. The fields were full of sheep and lambs, two of which were sitting together, and just asking to be photographed. Yes we know - more sheep. Sorry but Dad cannot resist getting the camera out.

Finally after more ups and downs the road led into the village of Spark Bridge, where we recrossed the river and climbed up to the main road to regain the start. A lovely adventure in an area that none of us had walked before.

Refreshment time now so Dad and Uncle Eric went to the Hat Trick Cafe at Low Newton, run by Jane and Sam. The great thing was that we, with our pals Barnaby, Lee, Grizedale & Ginger, went in too. Dad made this his main meal having a delicious bacon lettuce and tomato toasted sandwich, followed by apple, prune & almond crumble with cream, It looked, and was, Dad said delicious as always. Even before Dad had ordered his main course he was looking at the pudding board, something Jane pointed out to him. What a reputation!!


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