A Circuit from Natland including Sizergh and Helsington.
Route. Natland - Cracalt - Larkrigg - Wilson Place - Nannypie Lane - Sizergh - Sizergh Castle - Holeslack Farm - Helsington - Helsington Barrows - Scout Scar - Bradleyfield - Brigsteer Road - Lane Head - Helsington Laithes - Scroggs - River Kent - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland.
Notes. Today I stayed local, an afternoon ramble through the Kent valley, a wander through sheep pastures, along river side paths and over stunning limestone scars. Come along we'll be rambling, if we break into a sweat it will be walking and we want none of that.
Natland marked my starting point, with the car tucked away next to the school I rambled across the village green then headed south, after a couple of hundred yards the lane to Cracalt greeted me, a farm, a few converted out buildings and a finger-post inviting me to Force Bridge. To Force Bridge it was then, first over tarmac which was soon replaced by a bridleway, this well used path guided me through sheep pastures, over the disused Kendal/Lancaster canal then along the banks of the River Kent, at Wilson Place I utilised the foot-bridge to access Nannypie Lane.
With tarmac under foot Nannypie Lane guided me along the west bank of the river before turning west, a short ascent deposited me at Sizergh. Behind the Strickland Arms next to a row of tide cottages another finger-post greeted me, no destination just an outline of a walker (or in our case a rambler), this path I followed, passed the cottages before entering sheep pastures. After a short climb I passed through a gate on the right, with a dry stone wall for company I rambled to Sizergh Castle. Bloody hell was it busy, I quickly wandered through the car park to access field paths signed Helsington Church.
Over good paths through sheep pastures I rambled, after passing Holeslack Farm this ramble very nearly turned into a walk, a steep climb deposited me at Helsington Church, I sat on a bench before breaking into a sweat. The views up here are stunning, a good place to sit and drink them in before heading north. With the tarmac access lane under foot I rambled to Brigsteer Road to be greeted by a path carving it's route rough limestone pastures, a landscape of stunted flora, broken scree and staggering vistas, stunning rambling for the next mile.
A mile of picking my way through stunning views ended at a large cairn marking a path junction, if you like you can continue to the summit of Scout Scar, I didn't, I turned up hill, a good path guided me through even better scenery, into even better views, it's a stunning place this limestone scar rising above the Kent and Lythe Valleys. After descending a kissing gate allowed access to Bradleyfield, another area of limestone scars and stunted vegetation. I exited Bradleyfield via another kissing gate, traversed a large field that once played host to equestrian performance sports (horse racing), a narrow stile then allowed access to Brigsteer Road.
With the tarmac surface under my boot soles I rambled south, on reaching a lone bungalow a stile allowed access to sheep pastures, I crossed said stile then descended the field a faint path and large dry stone wall to guide me. This faint path lead to Lane Head where I stepped onto the access lane, with the narrow lane to guide me I descended to Helsington Laithes, a cluster of tastefully converted farm buildings, the lane terminated at the main road into Kendal.
It was quiet, I picked a gap and rambled across, then entered Scroggs, a tarmac lane ushered me to the River Kent. Where the road meets the river a stile allowed access to sheep pastures, this green trod guided me through fields, along river side paths, through gates and over stiles as far as Hawes Lane. I turned left, crossed the river at Hawes Bridge then continued following the lane back to Natland.
view route map.
Overlooking the village green at Natland, the Church of St Mark.
Sizergh Fell seen over sunlit pastures at Larkrigg.
Approaching the rear of Sizergh Castle from the south.
Medieval barns at Holeslack.
Near Helsington Church enjoying this stunning view over Lyth Valley.
Seen over the sunlit flat lands of Lyth the brooding grey bulk of the Coniston massif.
Views through the mouth of Lyth Valley, to the left Arnside Knott, far right Whitbarrow.
Rambling along the edge of Scout Scar looking towards the limestone escarpment of Whitbarrow.
A fabulous view along the Scout Scar cliffs.
The timeless beauty of Lyth Valley.
From Helsington Barrows views over Kendal to Benson Knott, with the Howgill Fell capturing the sunlight.
Looking down on the whitewashed buildings of Natland and Oxenholme, backed by The Helm with the Middleton Fells in dappled light across the horizon, I've a question for the managers of the various renewable energy firms, if we must have bog brushes in the sky why can't they be painted a less obtrusive colour.
Kendal town forever in the shadow of Benson Knott.
Rambling through Bradleyfield.
Looking to Farleton Fell and a distant Bowland Fells from sheep pastures above Lane Head.
Still rambling, now over river side paths.
The River Kent seen from Hawes Bridge.
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