Kendal/Lancaster Canal (Northern Reaches).

Start. Natland.

Route. Natland - Hawes Lane - Crowpark Bridge - Larkrigg Spring Wood - Sedgwick - Sedgwick Hall Bridge - Nannypie Lane - Wilson Place - Larkrigg Hall Bridge - Cracalt - Natland.

Notes. It was a bank holiday weekend, the Lakes and Dales will be packed, I've always made an early start on these occasions but this bank holiday it hasn't been possible. It got to mid afternoon today when I decided to throw some gear in the bag and head along the northern reaches of the Kendal/Lancaster Canal. This may have been a canal walk but the only water I saw from the quiet tow-path was the stuff that falls from the sky.

The last commercial traffic traveled through these fields in 1944, the canal basin at Kendal and a number of other sections became landfill sites around 1947, the canal was finally closed from Tewitfield north in 1955, the final death knell came with the building of the M6 motorway and Kendal By-pass, severing the canal in a number of places. Plans are under way to re-open it but that's another story for another day, I doubt if I'll ever get to see boats cruising through these tranquil pastures to Kendal.

I set out from Natland, my heart wasn't in it, the rain that started just as I set out didn't help my mood. Down Hawes Lane I trudged, on reaching Crowpark Bridge I joined the Kendal/Lancaster Canal, my plan had been to follow the canal to Crooklands then pick my way back through the valley cut by Peasey Beck, around eleven miles, in the event I walked as far as Sedgwick Hall Bridge, turned down hill and headed through sheep pastures to the banks of the River Kent. After crossing the road bridge at Sedgwick Gorge I let tarmac lanes usher me above the west bank of the river, on reaching the foot-bridge at Wilson Place I re-crossed to access a bridleway that soon guided me between hedge rows and dry stone walls into pastures south of Larkrigg Hall, I crossed my outward route at Larkrigg Hall Bridge before trudging on to Cracalt, from the farm it was a short walk over tarmac into Natland and shelter from the persistent rain.

view route map.


Crowpark Bridge looking north.

The Helm above the sprawling mass of Cracalt Farm.

The canal at Larkrigg.

Viewing Scout Scar over the green pastures of the Kent valley.

Larkrigg Hall Bridge.

Rather further to Lancaster than Kendal.

As we know narrow boats were towed by horses, over many years the ropes have etched their mark in all the bridges on this canal.

En route through Larkrigg Spring Wood.

Horse Park Bridge looking back to Larkrigg Spring Wood.

Sedgwick House, built in 1868 for William Henry Wakefield, we've come across this chap before on our outings, he owned a substantial slice of the gunpowder works on the River Kent.

Sizergh Fell seen from near Sedgwick Hall Bridge.

Sedgwick Hall Bridge.

The River Kent at Sedgwick Gorge.

Again at Sedgwick Gorge, visit after a cold spell you'll find the whole east bank swathed in icicles.

This is a ford allowing access to Sedgwick and Wilson Place from Nannypie Lane, fear not there's a perfectly good footbridge a little further up stream.

Looking to Larkrigg Hill and the line of the canal, Larkrigg Hall Bridge can just be seen top left, my route back to Natland.

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