A Circuit from Milnthorpe.

Start. Milnthorpe.

Route. Milnthorpe - Old Bridge - Dallam Park - Beetham - Whin Scar - Beetham Fell - Longtail Wood - Storth - Sandside (Back Lane) - Dallam Park - Milnthorpe Bridge - Dallam Park - Old Bridge - Milnthorpe.

Notes. The last day of 2018, I'd have loved to end it on a high, the last day strolling some airy ridge line in the Lake District, dragging myself home at the end of the day too knackerd to enjoy the new years festivities, now that appeals to me. The weather forecast was grim, I opted to stay home, that was until Sue got up for work and I felt the urge to hit some trail somewhere.

Somewhere turned out to be the northern end of the Arnside/Silverdale AONB, a ridge line in the Lake District it was not but out in the fresh air it was, and I was going to make the best of it. After parking in Milnthorpe Old Bridge guided me over the River Bela into Dallam Park. Built in 1763 this quaint bridge carried the road to Arnside until 1813, the route roughly followed the public foot-path to Dallam Tower then over the hill to Sandside, inpatient me neglected to take a photo of it.

Once in the park way-marked paths ushered me north, under Castle Hill I wandered, once the site of a Mote-and-bailey castle dating to around the 11th century. I continued into a hollow, looking to my left the 18th century deer house had come into view, I ascended the next hill crossed a ha-ha, a way of walling without ruining the expanse of park land, I then descended to Beetham.

From the Heron Corn Mill car park a bridleway runs west between hedge rows and dry stone walls, this guided me to a tarmac lane, I turned left then wandered towards Beetham. Next to the first house on the right a finger-post invited me to the Fairy Steps, after squeezing through a narrow stile I headed up the field. The path guided me into the woods on Beetham Fell, yellow arrows kept me on course, after passing a ruined cottage the path joined a track, still guided by yellow arrows I traversed Beetham Fell bursting out of the tree cover into a clearing above the Whin Scar cliffs.

Last time I visited this spot it was busy, today I had the place to myself, it was ok to make a fool of myself and descend the Fairy Steps, which I did of a fashion. From the foot of the cliff a finger-post invited me to Cockshot Lane, I obliged following the path through coppice woodland then onto a wider track which soon deposited me in Cockshot Lane. I turned right then almost immediately left entering more woodland. Two paths confronted me, one ascends Haverbrack Bank the other descends to Storth, today I opted for the left hand path to Storth.

Through mixed woodland I descended, over and passed some fabulous limestone features, the descent over I emerged into Yans Lane on the edge of Storth, I turned right away from the village then wandered on to a finger-post inviting me to Sandside. Still in Yans Lane but now a rough track under foot I wandered to Sandside, stepped from the tree cover onto Back Lane. Back Lane then guided me behind some residential properties, passed a couple of lime kilns then onto the Sandside Road, I crossed, descended a flight of steps which allowed access to the long abandoned track bed of the Hincaster/Arnside railway. This short stretch of track bed lead into Dallam Park, I joined the banks of the River Bela for the short walk back to Milnthorpe.

view route map.


Dallam Tower a splendid country house, completed in 1720 on the site of a much older piel tower, the present building was remodeled in the 19th century.

Viewing Whitbarrow over the River Bela and Milnthorpe Sands.

Whitbarrow as viewed over Dallam Tower.

Dating back to the 18th century the Deer House.

Looking to the blue/grey hills of the Lake District from Dallam Park.

Beetham with the limestone scars of Farleton Fell to the right.

The ruined cottage on Beetham Fell, I've got a story connected to this, every third wednesday we go out for a meal with friends, Peter and Ruth, Ruth tells me when she was a child her auntie lived in this cottage, she got to stay in the school holidays, it was the spookiest place ever.

Moss covered wall near the cottage.

Fungi grows on a fallen tree on Beetham Fell.

Above the Fairy Steps enjoying the view to Arnside Knott and Upper Morecambe Bay.

The Fairy Steps, note to self, new years resolution, must lose some weight or in future I'll not fit through that fissure.

The last two miles have been spent wandering through once heavily coppice woodland, this is the reason, two industrial kilns. These kilns burned 24 hours a day consuming vast amounts of Coppice wood, the immense amount of lime produced was transported away by train.

The confluence of the rivers Kent and Bela.

The River Bela below the elegant single arch of Milnthorpe Bridge.

The River Bela in Dallam Park.

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