A Circuit from Leighton Moss Visitors Centre.

Start. Leighton Moss Visitors Centre.

Route. Leighton Moss Visitors Centre - Storrs Lane - Leighton Moss - Grisedale - Leighton Hall - Summer House Hill - Yealand Manor - Cringlebarrow - Yealand Redmayne - Thrang Moss - Thrang Brow Lane - Brackenthwaite Road - Brackenthwaite - East Coppice - West Coppice - Moss Lane - Red Bridge - Trowbarrow - The Trough - Storrs Lane - Leighton Moss Visitors Centre.

Notes. With a morning to spare I made the short drive to Silverdale, my only plan, to keep away from the coast, if I was able to resist it's magnetic pull. What unfolded was a short ramble through woodland and grassland, accompanied by a sound track of bird song , after all it is spring, the country side's awakening after a long winters sleep.

In the event I parked at Leighton Moss Visitors Centre before striding out north with the tarmac surface of Storrs Road under foot. I joined the causeway cutting across Leighton Moss, the largest expanse of reed beds in the north-west of England. My traverse was accompanied by the constant tune of water foul, once ascending through Grisedale song birds replaced the persistent honk of Geese. Summer House Hill above Leighton Hall is a splended view point, I sat and drank in stunning vistas over Leighton Park to the waters of Morecambe Bay and the white washed buildings of Grange-over-Sands. Sufficiently rested and raring to go I strolled east passed the ruins of the Gothic summer house the hill takes it's name from, descending to a finger-post inviting me to Deepdale Wood. I obliged letting yellow arrows guide me behind Yealand Manor into hidden pastures enclosed by mixed woodland before guiding me the wrong way. I knew I'd been misled but that mattered not, I was walking on new ground, the path ushered me through woodland to Yealand Redmayne depositing me on a narrow tarmac road. This unassuming ribbon of tarmac was once the winter road north, the high level route avoiding the soft ground in the valley bottom, in days before drainage and the building of the A6, when horse drawn carriages and packhorse trains used this route, in the days before the modern motor car robbed us of the use of our legs.

I followed in their foot fall, north through the delightful village to access field paths just south of Yealand Storrs. A finger-post pointed the way, arrows again guided me through limestone pastures and coppice woodland, across boggy ground and scrub-land before ejecting me onto the tarmac surface of Thrang Brow Lane. I turned left to join Brackenthwaite Road, a short walk over tarmac followed, passed a farm of the same name to access field paths that would guide me above Hawes Water. Ignoring the well trod path descending the field to the tarn, instead I let a dry stone wall lead me to a finger-post, this promised I was en route to Moss Lane, a promise kept, to Moss Lane it guided me via a geological feature christened The Trough, more about that shortly. A short walk along Moss Lane followed, just before Red Bridge a permissive foot-path allows access to Trowbarrow. I wandered up the inclined plane into the quarry, marveled at climbers glued the the sheer cliffs with what looked like little bits of string to arrest a fall.

For over a hundred years Trowbarrow produced limestone for the construction industry, but far more important it was the birth place of tarmacadam, you know the road surface we all take for granted today. Using graded limestone and tar from the gas works at Carnforth this flexible road surface was invented and patented in this small corner of the English countryside, alas the quarry and lime works closed in 1959.

Imagine layer upon layer of tiny dyeing sea creatures, their corpses piling up on the bed of a sub tropical ocean over tens of millions of years, weight and heat solidified them creating fossil rich limestone, between one such layer soft sediments from an ancient flood get deposited. Over a period of 140 million years England and Scotland collide creating volcanic activity, immense pressure forces the sea bed skyward bringing limestone to the surface twisting it vertical, rain then washed the soft sediments out creating The Trough I mentioned earlier, best viewed at Trowbarrow. It guided me back to Storrss Lane a short distance from the parked car. “Oh” what a quiet world we live in today.

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home.

Grisedale Wood as seen over Leighton Moss.

A nice new path safely guides walkers and birders away from the main road, unless you're a dog walker, I'm afraid you're left to take your chance with the traffic.

Looking to Grisedale Wood from the Public Hide at Leighton Moss.

Stunning views from the ascent of Summer House Hill, over Leighton Moss the white washed buildings of Grange-over-Sands.

Viewing the Gothic pile of Leighton Hall.

Dating back to 1805, Yealand Manor.

Wonderful views from near Yealand Manor, rising from the lush green valley Hutton Roof Crags.

Erratic boulder near Deepdale.

A small slice of Yealand Redmayne.

Bluebells adorn the forest floor at Thrang Moss.

Striding out over the tarmac surface of Brackenthwaite Road, looking to the limestone cliffs of Farleton Fell.

Gait Barrows on view from the path to Moss Lane.

Natural spring found in West Coppice just before the start of the descent to Moss Lane.

The Shelter Stone at Trowbarrow, long before the days of health and safety this large limestone boulder provided shelter for the quarrymen, a haven to escape the debris from blasting.

This is my small tribute to David Bowie, the climbing routes at Trowbarrow are named after Bowie records, the crack to the left of the climber is A Lad Insane.

Trowbarrow Quarry.

Looking along The Trough, it's a hard place to photograph, you need to come along and see for yourself.

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