A Short Ramble through the Kent Valley.
Route. Oxenholme - Burton Road - Helm Lane - High House Farm - Cracalt - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Sedgwick - Wellheads Hill - Levens Park - Levens Bridge - Levens Park - Coppy Wood - Park Head - Force Lane - Nannypie Lane - Wilson Place - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.
Notes.Lots to do this morning, by late afternoon with the sun shining I decided to throw my bag on my back, lace up my boots and head into the Kent valley. A ramble along the banks of the River Kent, maybe capture some Autumn colours.
I walked from home, for the purpose of this walk you dear reader should set out from the Post Office on Helmside Road, park on the road to the side of the shop. If the residents committee leaves a snotty note on your windscreen tell them to sod off, if you've paid your road tax you've every right to park there, but what ever you do don't tell them I said it was ok.
I wandered along Helmside Road, turned left at the main road, then carried on passed the filling station until reaching Helm Lane. With the tarmac of Helm Lane under foot I descended to Natland, after passing High House Farm a stile on my left allowed access to field paths, said paths ushered me to Cracalt (via a short diversion, the field was flooded) where a bridleway safely delivered me onto the banks of the Kendal/Lancaster Canal, south I wandered.
I strolled through woodland and sheep pastures, passed under bridges spanning nothing but grass, crossed Sedgwick Aqueduct before traversing the lower slopes of Wellheads Hill. The path and canal terminated at the Hincaster Road where the the main road into the Lake District carves everything in two, the biggest obstacle in re-opening the northern reaches of the canal. In front of me the north entrance to Levens Park. Once the main entrance to the park, hall and gardens, it's thanks to Guillaume Beaumont, whom remodeled the medieval deer park over 300 years ago, us lucky walkers have the delight of a mile long avenue of oaks to guide us to Levens Bridge.
Once at Levens Bridge I crossed the river and re-entered the park, green trod's then guided me north, I exited the park into cow pastures, a couple more stiles and I spilled out of the fields at Park Head. The single track road that passes through Park Head goes nowhere unless you happen to be a rambler, another route severed by the building of the A590/91. A path passes under the road, it guided me into another lane then on to Force Bridge, I continued north to access Nannypie Lane, which in turn guided me to the foot-bridge at Wilson Place, after crossing I continued following the waters of the river up stream.
Over river bank paths I walked, through woodland and sheep pastures, on reaching Hawes Bridge I stepped back onto tarmac, this narrow lane guided me to Natland where I joined a path cutting across fields to Oxenholme and journeys end.
view route map.
The only obstacle on today's short ramble, too deep to paddle through, I wandered through the adjacent field then climbed over the wall.
Passed the obstacle looking back the way I came with The Helm across the skyline.
Near Cracalt looking to Scout Scar and Prizet Manor.
Larkrigg Spring Wood.
Approaching Sedgwick Hall Bridge looking to sylvan Sizergh Fell.
Stunning views north from the lower slopes of Wellheads Hill.
In Levens Park, this mile long avenue of oaks once the main carriage drive to Levens Hall guides lucky walkers through the deer park.
The River Kent from Levens Bridge....
....and again in Levens Park....
....and yet again at spectacular Force Gorge.
Looking down stream from the foot-bridge at Wilson Place.
Wandering over the tarmac of Hawes Lane, approaching Crowpark.
Striding out through pastures above Natland, almost home looking to The Helm.
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