Hampsfell above Grange-over-Sands.

Start. Grange-over-Sands.

Route. Windermere Road - Eggerslack Wood - Hampsfell - Fell End - Spring Bank Road - Spring Bank - Ashmount Road - Eden Mount - Charney Well Lane - Hampsfell Road - Main Street - Promenade - Railway Station - Windermere Road.

Notes. I'm down with a chest infection, I've turned into a mucus machine, with half the country suffering with flu or flu like symptoms, if this is as bad as it gets I can't complain, trouble is there's lots of snow on the high fells, as much as I'd like to be up there a steep ascent followed by a trudge through deep snow may not be a good idea. My granny used to say, she used to say lots of things that made no sense to a young me, “if you cough when you lie down get yourself up, your bodies talking to you, laying down's bad for it, sit, stand just don't lay” which is all very well but we all have to sleep sometime. With her words running round in my head, and lots of other adages that all make sense to an older me, I decided to ascend the limestone pimple rising above Grange-over-Sands. I'm being unfair to Hampsfell, a pimple it may be but it rises from sea level, and boy are the views good.

I parked in Grange-over-Sands, on the Windermere Road car park, wandered north until the pavement ended then entered Eggerslack Wood via a narrow stile, a finger-post promised access to Hampsfell. My ascent was made through coppice woodland, an easy climb with way marked paths under foot. I escaped the woodland and continued ascending the open fell side, even in my poor state of health I soon reached the summit with it's hospice and stunning views to all points of the compass. To the north heavy weather swept over the Lakeland fells before funneling down the valleys of Winster and Lyth in my direction, south over a tide filled Morecambe Bay, the sun was “sucking water”, work that out if you can, standing on the roof of the Hospice it makes sense to me almost fifty years after I first heard it.

After hanging around the Hospice a while, waiting for a family to move on so I could take some no folk pictures. I followed the ridge south. first over an unnamed top then on to the beacon on Fell End, from the beacon I descended to access Spring Bank Road, which is hardly a road but a narrow ribbon of tarmac that leads to Spring Bank Farm. Once at the farm the path ushered me along the edge of a large field containing a lime kiln, a narrow path then guided me to the outskirts of Grange-over-Sands, with tarmac under foot I descended through the streets of this exclusive sea side village, I eventually after a wrong turning (that wasn't my fault) stepped onto the promenade to start the short walk back to the car.

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Fallen trees in Eggerslack Wood, this wood may be the gateway to Hampsfell but was once heavily coppice to provide bobbins for the textile industry and wood for charcoal burning.

Free of the tree cover, ascending the open fell looking to the Newton Fells....

....and in the other direction stunning views over Morecambe Bay.

Sun light paints the pastures of Low Meathop.

From near the summit of Hampsfell viewing the Lancashire coast.

Angry weather over Morecambe Bay, seen from the summit of Hampsfell.

View north across the summit capturing stormy weather sweeping across the South Lakeland hills.

Viewing Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea with the squat towers of Heysham Power station clearly visible.

I think there's something special about snow on limestone.

The Hospice a provider of shelter for weary travelers (most would have risked life and limb crossing the bay) since it's construction in 1846.

Looking towards the Furness Peninsular.

Wonderful plays of light and sunburst or "sucking water" as it's not so well known.

Looking to the Furness Peninsular across the Leven Estuary, the island you can just see is little Chapel Island. In the 14th century Cistercian monks from Conishead Priory built a small chapel, a refuse for travelers and people working on the sands of the estuary.

Looking to Fell End from the unnamed top crossed en route.

Arnside Knott viewed across the dark sylvan mound of Eden Mount.

Lime Kiln at Spring Bank.

Big skies and reflections from the promenade at Grange-over-Sands.

Silhouetted against the bright sky, Arnside Knott and the long finger of Know End Point.

Holme Island backed by Arnside Knott.

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