A Circuit from Oxenholme including Windy Hill and Singleton Park.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Station Inn - Hayclose Lane - Hayfellside - Windy Hill Farm - Paddy Lane - Singleton Park - Castlegreen Wood - Sedbergh Road - Birk Hagg - Aikrigg Hill - Parkside Road - Lancaster Canal - Crowpark - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. Another walk from home, when Covid ends I’m never going to walk from home again, but until that day here we go again. I studied the map for this one, my plan to avoid as much road walking as possible. I’ll hold my hands up, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this one so dragged Sue along for company, the verdict a bloody good ramble in good company.

We left Oxenholme heading north, passed the railway station then ascended the Old Hutton Road to reach the Station Inn (closed at the moment due to Covid), the inn sits at a crossroads, we turned left onto Hayclose Lane (take care, no pavement), Hayclose Lane in turn guided us to a footpath, the second on the right. We left the road the driveway to Hollins Farm under foot, when the drive swung right a small arrow nailed to a gate post pointed the way.

With field paths now under foot we wandered on, gates and stiles aided our crossing of field boundaries, between the converted farm buildings at Hayfellside we wandered, through Windy Hill Farm to be ejected onto Sedbergh Road (busy A road take care). We turned towards Kendal, a few yards and we stepped onto Paddy Lane, narrow, quiet and a delight to ramble along. This narrow ribbon of tarmac guided us passed the entrance to Singleton Park and on to a stile, a finger post promised passage to Parkside Road. After crossing said stile the descent begun, again stiles and gates aided our crossing of field boundaries, for a while we were in the company of a delightful stream, a conveniently placed bench presented a comfy perch to rest and drink coffee.

When field walking ended we found ourselves at the head of a very narrow gunnel, high walls hemmed us in, ivy and moss clung to the stone work, mature trees rose on all sides, it was dark and dank, slippery and muddy under foot but a delight to descend. We emerged into day light on Sedbergh Road at the junction of Parkside Road, now we could of descended Parkside Road but I had another plan.

Up Sedbergh Road we wandered to be greeted by a finger post promising access to Parkside Road via The Valley, this path we followed, passed the tastefully converted farm buildings at Birk Hagg then between the modern bungalows and houses on Valley Drive. The path was dead easy to follow, so easy we nearly missed the junction that would allow us to traverse Aikrigg Hill (not sure if that is it’s actual name but that’s what I’m calling it). A shrill beep from my GPS warned of our error, we turned left crossed a stile and ascended this rather inconspicuous green mound.

If proof was ever needed, you don’t need to climb very high to get a good view this was it, as we crested the hills summit ridge the views were breath-taking, we stopped to get our breaths back (it was a bloody steep climb) and soak them in. The steep descent that followed deposited us on a narrow trod cutting between modern housing, this deposited us on Parkside Road, we followed said road to the point the canal cuts across it, then joined the canal.

South we walked tarmac under foot at first, after crossing Burton Road tarmac gave way to compacted gravel, as we left town we crossed Natland Road, still following the canal we now walked through slippery mud. Bad weather and the amount of foot fall during lock down has turned this stretch of path into a quagmire, we battled on to reach easier ground, under ivy clad Natland Hall Bridge we wandered, at the next bridge Crowpark Bridge we left the canal to join Hawes Lane for the short walk into Natland, from this modern village sitting in a hollow it was a short ascent up Oxenholme Lane to the main road and home.

view route map.

home.

With tarmac under foot we approach the Station Inn.

Time to leave tarmac behind.

Kendal seen from near Hayfellside.

Viewing The Helm over Hayfellside.

Looking over Kendal to Kendal Fell from sheep pastures on Windy Hill.

A glimpse of the Howgill Fells from Windy Hill Farm.

With the narrow grey ribon of Paddy Lane under our boot soles views over Singleton Park to the limestone escarpment of Scout Scar.

Singleton Park.

Field paths guide us down the hill with this view for company, Kendal backed by Kendal Fell, across the horizon the blue/grey hills of the Coniston massif.

Descending through the sheep and cow pastures of Singleton Park.

Soaking up the view from the rolling hillside to the east of Kendal.

A distant Arnside Knott seen from the gentle rolling landscape of Singleton Park.

Enjoying the ambiance of a South Lakeland stream.

Ruin in the woods, I was always lead to believe this was the remains of some kind of mill, there's a large tower to the left, I took a closer look today and now think it is probable the remains of a walled garden, feel free to put me right.

Hemmed in by moss coated dry stone walls, what a way to end the descent.

From the ascent of Aikrigg Hill views to Potter Fell and the hills bordering Longsleddale.

Taking a breather looking to Benson Knott.

Surveying Kendal Castle, I've never seen it from this viewpoint on Aikrigg Hill, I think it's the best by far.

Change Bridge possably the only surviving change bridge in Cumbria, the ramped pathways allowed horses pulling barges to cross the canal to avoid coal wharfs on the northwest side of the bridge.

Ivy clad Natland Hall Bridge.

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