A Circuit from Kendal.

Start. Kendal Town Hall.

Route. Kendal Town Hall - Allhallows Lane - Low Fell Side - Sepulchre Lane - Cliff Brow - Queen's Road - Tram Heights - Kettlewell Crag - Helsfell Nab - Helsfell Hall - Cunswick Fell - Scar Wood - Cunswick Tarn - Ash Spring - Cunswick Hall - Gamblesmire Lane - Scout Scar - Mushroom - Bradleyfield - Bradley Field Farm - Brigsteer Road - Kendal.

Notes. I've had this walk on the to do list for years, I thought I'd save it for a rainy day, the rainy day being today. I was sitting at home watching water pool down the front window all ready resigned to a day indoors, then somebody switched the light on in the dark dormant recesses of my mind, I remembered two walks I put aside for a day such as this. I'd hang around until noon then head into the countryside, whatever the weather gods had in store.

Noon came and the rain blew over the horizon. I set out from Kendal Town Hall, ascended Allhallows Lane to access Low Fell Side, from Low Fell Side the cobbled surface of Sepulchre Lane guided me between ancient and modern housing depositing me at the foot of Cliff Brow. Cliff Brow in turn allowed me to ascend to Queen's Road from where I joined the the Tram Heights, a good path that guided me to Kettlewell Crag. From the small quarry on Kettlewell Crag I stepped through a narrow stile, a green trod then guided me north along the edge of sheep pastures to sylvan Helsfell Nab. I walked on crossing another stile before swinging round a field barn. This substantial structure showed all the signs of being a rather large farm house, bricked up mullion windows adorn the gable end and a large roof line can be traced in the north wall. Could this possibly be Helsfell Hall? On leaving the building I ascended to the south, the song of traffic accompanied me to a foot-bridge spanning Kendal By-pass, I crossed to enter sheep and cow pastures.

Through a small field then much larger meadow I walked, gates and stiles aided my crossing of field boundaries, soon I was standing on the summit of Cunswick Fell drinking in stunning views to the hills of Lakeland, the Howgill Fells and over timeless Lyth Valley. Once I'd had my fill I made the short descent to the south, to my right behind a large erratic boulder a kissing gate allowed access to Scar Wood, I entered letting way-marked paths guide me passed an old well and out into wild flower meadows. With Cunswick Tarn to my left field and woodland paths that guided me passed some Pillow Mounds guarded by beady eyed cows, I ignored them continuing on passed Cunswick Hall to access Gamblesmire Lane. An old track possibly the main route through the hills before the coming of the motor vehicle, it's ancient surface lead me up hill, after passing an 18th century lime kiln I stepped onto the path that traverses the scars, I swung right my aiming point Scout Scar.

Whilst wandering south above Lyth Valley the cliffs of Scout Scar at my feet, the first spots of rain blew in from the west, dark cloud loomed above Whitbarrow, I headed for the Mushroom (a dome roofed view indicator with a 360 degree panorama), donned my coat then carried on. Walking in the lea of the hill guarded against the worst of the wet stuff, this path guided me to a dry stone wall, I passed through a metal kissing gate allowing access to Bradleyfield. The easy descent that followed lead through dwarf vegetation, after passing Bradley Field Farm I accessed Brigsteer Road, all that remained a short walk over tarmac followed by a steep descent to the town centre.

view route map.


On the Tram Heights looking to the flat top of Kentmere High Street.

The Whinfell ridge seen from near Kettlewell Crag.

Quarrying and limestone burning was an important activity on the fell in the eighteenth century, this small limestone face is Kettlewell Quarry, stone was quarried here to be used in the construction of Kendal Prison.

The remains of this substantial farm house, passibly once known as Helsfell Hall marked the point I turned south towards the trees in the background.

Cunswick Fell as seen over Kendal By-pass.

The blue/grey hills of Lakeland seen from the summit of Cunswick Fell.

The summit looking to High Street with Harter Fell and Kentmere Pike to the right, further to the right the green slopes of Potter Fell.

Benson Knott over Kendal town with the Howgill Fells to the left.

On the descent through Scar Wood I passed this spring or well emerging from beneath moss covered boulders.

My route through coppice woodland ejected me into....

....a vast wild flower meadow near Cunswick Tarn.

For all you budding geologists out there, this unassuming pool is Cunswick Tarn, resting on a bed of impenetrable shale trapped between layers of limestone, this prevents the water from seeping under ground

Cunswick Hall a fine building under restoration.

Scar Wood and Cunswick Scar seen from near Cunswick Hall.

Lime Kiln passed on the ascent of Gamblesmire Lane. Limestone quarried in small quarries near by would of been stacked in the kiln alongside some form of fuel, possibly wood or coal, heated to between 800-900 degrees Celsius, allowed to burn for a few days then the residue would be used to freshen the pastures or mixed with water for use in the building industry, the kilns were always built away from populated areas because of the acrid fumes produced.

From the summit of Gamblesmire Lane views over the Kent valley to the grey bulk of the Middleton and Barbon High Fells.

Barrowfield Wood and the lush green pastures of Lyth Valley seen from above the Scout Scar cliffs.

The high skyline, grey melting into the cloud cover the Coniston massif seen from Scout Scar.

Locally christened The Mushroom this four way shelter was built in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of King GeorgeV.

Benson Knott backed by the rolling summits of the Howgill Fells.

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