Kendal and it's Castles.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Burton Road - Oxenholme Lane - Natland - Hawes Lane - Hawes Bridge - Scroggs - Romney Bridge - Netherfield Bridge - Kirkland - Captain French Lane - Garth Heads - Castle Howe - Beast Banks - Lowther Street - Miller Bridge - Bridge Street - Canal Head Street - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Sunnyside - Kendal Castle - Park Side Road Cemetery - Park Side Road - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme Lane - Burton Road - Oxenholme.

Notes. My apologies for being so quiet over the past weeks, unfortunately I have to work for a living, just lately work commitments have stood in the way of leisure time, with no light at the end of the tunnel I stole an opportunity for a short ramble. A wander along the banks of the River Kent south of Kendal, a visit to Kendal's castles, (I bet you thought there was only one), tend to a spot of business in town before wandering home along the upper reaches of the Kendal/Lancaster canal.

I walked from home, you should walk from Natland, there's plenty of parking by the village school and green. Down Hawes Lane I wandered, the narrow tarmac surface deposited me at Hawes Bridge, I crossed to join the west bank of the River Kent. North through sheep pastures and crop fields I rambled, graded paths ushered me through woodland, new gates and stiles aided my crossing of field boundaries, (built to replace the ones washed away in last winters floods), along the edge of the water treatment works and on passed Romney Bridge into town this path guided me. I stuck to the main road through Kirkland, it allowed me access to Captain French Lane. When Captain French Lane started climbing I turned right into Garth Heads, the narrow cobbled surface guided me up hill, squeezing me between dry stone walls to access a steep set of stone steps, which in turn lead to the monument. Erected in 1788 in memory of the Glorious Revolution a hundred years earlier, this slender needle stands proud on Castle Howe, the site of Kendal's first castle, a motte and bailey built around 1092.

From Castle Howe my next aiming point was clearly visible rising above the grey slate roof tops of Kendal Town, Kendal Castle, birth place of Katherine Parr the last wife of infamous Henery VIII. North I walked to access Beast Banks, down the steep hill I wandered joining Lowther Street at the Town Hall, a hotch-botch of architecture mainly Victorian. Continuing down hill Lowther Street deposited me at Miller Bridge, I crossed before entering Bridge Street followed by Canal Head Street, inevitably the latter lead to the canal. South I wandered an excellent foot-path under foot, at the first bridge I ascended a well worn flight of stone steps to access Sunnyside, up hill I walked, smart Victorian houses to my left the mature woodland of Fletcher Park my right, the road terminated at a field gate A metal kissing gate allowed access to Castle Hill, I ascended to partake in a brief exploration of the castle ruins before descending to the south. My morbid curiosity for grave yards (the older the better) lead me through Park Side Road Cemetery to access the canal once more. With this dry watercourse to guide me I wandered south, passed the Leisure Centre, across one of the main roads into town then out into the sticks. Leaving the town behind the canal safely guided me through sheep and cow pastures eventually depositing me at Crow Park Bridge just up the lane from Hawes Bridge, all that remained, to re-trace my steps home, or in your case dear reader Natland.

view route map.


Approaching Hawes Bridge.

The River Kent seen from Hawes Bridge.

Riverside rambling.

The River Kent north of Hawes Bridge.

Looking towards Helsington Barrows from near Scroggs.

Across the River Kent the pastures of Watercrook guard the remains of Alvna Roman Fort.

Romney Bridge with views to Kendal Castle.

One of two narrow guinnels leading off Garth Heads allowing access to Castle Howe.

Undisputedly Kendal's first castle, a motte and bailey constructed around 1092.

Standing proud on Castle Hill, birth place of Katherine Parr, Kendal Castle.

This slender tapered obelisk erected in 1788 in memory of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, establishing the supremecy of parliament over the monarchy.

Views taken from Castle Hill, Kendal Fell rises above the grey limestone buildings of Kendal Town.

Kendal Castle has adorned this hill top since the early 1200s, built by Gilbert Fitz Reinfred between 1205 and 1215....

.... in 1388 through marriage the castle passed to the Parrs, the most famous being Katherine the final wife of Henry VIII, abandoned in 1572 the stone was pilfered for various building projects until 1896 when the town acquired it to mark Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

En route through Parkside Road Cemetery.

South of Kendal and my route gets somewhat overgrown.

Scout Scar as seen from the Kendal/Lancaster Canal.

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