A Circuit from Natland including the Kendal Scars.

Start. Natland.

Route. Natland - Hawes Lane - Crowpark Bridge - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Canal Head - Canal Head North - Little Aynam - Bridge Street - Miller Bridge - Kent Street - Finkle Street - Wainwright's Yard - Low Fell Side - Serpentine Wood - The Heights - Kendal Fell - Cunswick Fell - Underbarrow Road - Scout Scar - Hodgson's Leap - Helsington Barrows - Bradley Field - Brigsteer Road - Lane Head - Helsington Laithes - Scroggs Wood - River Kent - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland.

Notes. I was aching from my exploits of yesterday, almost five hours walking over soft ground had taken it's toll, what was more irritating was that the sun was shining. Late morning I decided to head out in an attempt to walk the lactic acid from my legs, a short drive to Natland saw me wandering over the familiar tarmac surface of Hawes Lane.

I'd parked in the village hall car park, Hawes Lane was ushering me to Crowpark Bridge where I intended to join the canal for the two and a bit mile walk into Kendal. Once on the canal the going was slow, soft ground raised objections from already sore muscles. The going did get easier, the town section was over a hard surface. One o'clock, dinner time I pop into my good ladies place of work, offered to take her out for lunch, how thoughtful was that. I should name and shame the store but I won't. Once they saw my muddy boots I was swiftly ushered from the premises, my good lady the main instigator. I grabbed a sandwich and ate it on The Heights enjoying stunning views across Kendal.

But first I had to navigate through town, when the canal ended I made my way via Canal Head North, Little Aynam and Bridge Street, I crossed the River Kent at Miller Bridge before ascending Kent Street, after an aborted attempt at lunch Finkle Street guided me to to the main shopping area, I turned right to access Wainwright's Yard, this in turn guided me onto Low Fell Side. The fell side it certainly is, I ascended many steps as guinels and narrow ways lead me to Queen's Road and the entrance to Serpentine Wood. The most direct route through this delightful airy wood saw me emerge above the Tram Heights, a good spot for lunch.

Lunch over, keeping one eye open for stray golf balls I traversed Kendal Fell, crossed the by-pass at a fine foot-bridge then ascended Cunswick Fell, here I sat down and drank in stunning but hazy views to all points of the compass. It's a special place this low limestone escarpment, just 679ft above sea level the views are superb, and all the people are on Scout Scar to the south, making it a hard place to leave, but time was slipping away. I rambled south wonderful green paths under foot, I crossed Underbarrow Road before traversing Scout Scar. It's always busy up here, so let your eye wander north from the sands of Morecambe Bay, across timeless Lyth Valley to the heights of Lakeland, with the crowds behind you, it's easy to imagine you are the only person for miles around. I did just this before continuing south.

Above haunted Hodgson's Leap I walked to access Helsington Barrows, after passing the end of the boundary wall I turned left, (east) the wall guided me along the edge of Helsington Barrows, passed the trig point, through stunning limestone scenery to access the main path carving it's route across the plateau. This well walked trod guided me through Bradleyfield then a large sheep pasture depositing me in Brigsteer Road, I turned right. The tarmac surface then guided me to a lone bungalow next to which a finger-post invited me to Helsington Laithes. I crossed the stile, ignoring the bull in field warning, there's never been a bull in the field as long as I can remember.

A green trod shepherded me to Lane Head where I stepped between the dry stone walls of the access lane, said lane passed under the by-pass to access Helsington Laithes before depositing me on the main road into town. I crossed immediately entering Scroggs Wood, a short stretch of tarmac deposited me on the banks of the River Kent. Riverside rambling for the next mile as green paths guided me south through sheep pastures, gates and stiles allowed easy crossing of field boundaries, the final stile deposited me in Hawes Lane, all that remained a short walk back over tarmac to Natland.

view route map.


Bereft of water, the Kendal/Lancaster canal, looking to Natland Hall Bridge with Benson Knott rising behind.

The cobblestones of Low Fell Side, unfortunately I was soon ascending over modern paving.

Victorian summer house in Serpentine Wood.

Fringed with wild garlic my route ahead.

Views over Kendal to the Whinfell ridge.

Above the Tram Heights viewing Benson Knott.

On Kendal Fell looking to the grey bulk of High Street.

Seen from the gentle slopes of Cunswick Fell, Kendal Fell.

On view from the summit of Cunswick Fell, the High Street massif.

Looking to Lord's Lot backed by a light grey crown of Lakeland giants.

On the broad grassy ridge of Cunswick Fell looking over upper Lyth Valley to the Coniston fells.

Whitbarrow as seen over the northern slopes of Scout Scar.

I've just been up there, capturing and savouring the afternoon sun Cunswick Fell, with Scar Wood and Cunswick Scar clearly visible.

Above the cliffs of Scout Scar looking to the mouth of Lyth Valley.

High Street as viewed over Lyth Valley from above the cliffs of Scout Scar.

Barrowfield Wood below the ragged edge where the Scout Scar plateau plunges into timeless Lyth Valley.

On view a hazy Arnside Knott melting into the waters of Morecambe Bay, with Whitbarrow guarding the mouth of the valley.

Striding over the limestone scars of Helsington Barrows, the hill in the middle distance is The Helm, my back garden and a stunning view point.

Helsington Barrows a wonderful stretch of limestone upland.

The green fields and civilised landscape of the Kent valley.

On the edge of Helsington Barrows with this wonderful panorama in front of me.

Descending through Bradleyfield looking to Whinfell Beacon and it's lieutenants, Castle Fell and Grayrigg Pike.

The River Kent, Reflections.

In the confines of Hawes Lane looking over Natland to The Helm.

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