A Circuit from Barrows Green.

Start. Barrows Green.

Route. Barrows Green - Low Barrows Green - Crosscrake - Stainton - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Well Heads Lane - Tunnel Hill - Hincaster - Hincaster Hall - High Barns - Levens Bridge - Levens Park - Park Head - Nannypie Lane - Wilson Place - Larkrigg Hall Bridge - Cracalt - Natland - Oxenholme Lane - Burton Road - Oxenholme - Barrows Green.

Notes. I awoke this morning to a strange eerie light, it looked like the end of the world had arrived, I know now it was caused by forest fires and sand blown in from the Sahara. What I also knew was ex-hurricane Ophelia was predicted to sweep up the west coast later in the afternoon. The weather gods promised winds of up to ninety miles per hour. At the moment it was dark, damp and 11 o'clock in the morning, by two in the afternoon the wind had yet to arrive, the sky was a more pleasing colour and I was heading down the road to Barrows Green, I utilised the pub car park, with every intention of grabbing a bite to eat at the end of the trek.

From the Punch Bowl car park I followed the lane next to the Inn, west to Middle Barrows Green then through a field to Low Barrows Green, all names found on the OS map, all christened after burial mounds or barrows found in the surrounding area. A narrow tarmac lane now guided me between hedge rows through low rolling hills, a mosaic of green fields bordered by dry stone walls, dairy farms dotted the landscape, this was cow country, I dislike cows fortunately I was on a ribbon of the grey stuff en route to Crosscrake. After Crosscrake the narrow lane continued to Stainton where I was able to access the disused Kendal/Lancaster canal at Stainton Crossing. To the east a quiet waterway used mainly for angling, to the west my route the dry disused and partially overgrown northern reaches.

I wandered West, under Sellet Hall Bridge, across Wellheads Lane then on to Hincaster Tunnel, cut 76ft under the summit of Tunnel Hill, stretching 738ft this was a formidable obstacle, never fear a horse path climbs the hill to the left of the tunnel, this was my guide to Hincaster. Once at Hincaster and it wasn't very far I followed a tarmac lane signed High Barns and Levens Bridge. Between dry stone walls and hedge rows I strolled, at Hincaster Hall I accessed a farm lane that was to be my guide to High Barns, a wonderful three story farm house dating from the 17th century.

The path passing High Barns is vague to say the least, in the event it passed through a metal field gate at the end of the track I was following, then down the field to the left of the farm house to be welcomed by a finger-post inviting me to many destinations, I opted for Levens Bridge, the farm drive then ushered me to said bridge.

After crossing the River Kent at Levens Bridge I joined the west bank, on green paths I wandered through the dear park. The remnants of hurricane Ophelia had just arrived, un-announced without warning, invisible hands pushing me ever faster north, the sylvan park was performing some wild dance, it was quite daunting wandering beneath the flaying limbs of ancient oaks.

After escaping the clutches of Levens Park I made my way through large fields to access the tiny hamlet of Park Head, a tarmac lane then guided me to the river, under the main road and on to Sedgwick Gorge. From this trough where the River Kent is squeezed between limestone walls I wandered over the tarmac of Nannypie Lane before utilising the foot-bridge at Wilson Place, to my mind there was less trees to cripple or maim me on this route. Along muddy bridleways I was pushed, through large fields I was jostled, even the woolly backed lawnmowers, the hardy South Cumbria sheep had taken cover under the walls.

I re-crossed the canal before being blown to Cracalt, the large trees lining the access drive were terrifying to walk under. Once in Natland I wandered up Oxenholme Lane joining field paths at it's junction with Longmeadow Lane, no trees on this route. Once on the main road it was ¾ of a mile into a howling gale under the flaying limbs of large trees, straight into the shelter of the Punch Bowl Inn.

view route map.


Today's starting point, the Punch Bowl, Barrows Green.

View taken from near Low Barrows Green, blue/grey across the horizon the Newton Fells with Whitbarrow slightly darker to the right.

Seen over the rolling farmland of the Kent valley the Scout Scar plateau.

Seen from Sellet Lodge, The Helm.

Under Stainton Crossing Bridge looking west....

....and east along the Kendal/Lancaster Canal.

Hincaster Tunnel with my guide the horse path clearly visible, the smaller tunnel to the left.

Above Hincaster Hall looking to Scout Scar and Kendal Fell, on the far horizon the hills of Lakeland.

Approaching High Barns looking to The Helm over a landscape of rolling grassland.

Ahead the lane allowing access to High Barns, my guide to Levens Bridge, across the horizon the limestone escarpment of Whitbarrow....

....before heading along that lane, a wonderful old building High Barns.

En route to Levens Bridge looking to Whitbarrow.

The River Kent in Levens Park.

Autumn colours, Levens Park.

Striding out on field paths near Park Head, sunburst to the west, if you could see over the hill it would be above Morecambe Bay.

The River Kent at Sedgwick.

The Helm on view from near Natland.

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