River Kent, Levens Park and the Lancaster Canal.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Natland - Hawes Lane - Hawes Bridge - Wilson Place - Force Bridge - Force Lane - Park Head - Levens Park - Levens Bridge - Levens Park - Hincaster Road - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Sedgwick - Lankrigg Hall Bridge - Natland - Helm Lane - Oxenholme.

Notes. Good Friday, I expect the tourist hordes to be heading into the Lake District, well half of them, the other half will have to head up the M6, the road north is still closed at Dunmail Raise affectively cutting the Lake District in half. Me well I was at work last night, yes I do still have to earn a living, so the need for sleep forced me into a late start. I decided to leave the car keys at home, use foot power to carry me into the Kent Valley, and because my better half was at home complaining she had lots of house work to do, I dragged her along too.

If you wish to follow in our foot-fall there's lots of places to park en route. After following public roads into Natland (a good place to park) we made our way down Hause Lane, crossing the canal at Crowpark Bridge before descending to the River Kent, joining the east bank at Hawes Bridge (parking for a few cars). Above the river we rambled good paths under foot, the foot-bridge at Wilson Place was still closed forcing us to walk down the narrow road to Force Bridge (loads of parking here) we crossed to access Force Lane. This narrow ribbon of tarmac has been carved in two by the road builders of the late 60s and early 70s, a walk-way passes under the busy A590 emerging at the tiny hamlet of Park Head.

Welcomed at Park Head by a finger post we stepped into sheep pastures, a green trod guided us over a couple of stiles depositing us in Levens Park. A Medieval deer park or hunting enclosure extensively re-modelled around three hundred years ago, you're asked to keep to the rights of way and rightly so. A green trod ushered us to Levens Bridge (lots more parking available here) where we decided to have a late lunch in one of the cafés at Levens Hall, only to find the hall closed. We turned for home, the original carriage drive approaching the hall was through the park, emphasised by a mile long avenue of oaks, this grand entrance way guided us in style to the Hincaster Road, (a few parking spaces here) the road crosses the busy A590, we crossed also to join a path ascending through sheep pastures to access the Kendlal/Lancaster canal at Sedgwick Hall Bridge, a grade two listed building, as are all the bridges on the northern reaches of the canal.

With the canal to guide us we wandered north, over the impressive Sedgwick Aqueduct (plenty of parking in Sedgwick), through fields and woodland with extensive views over the Kent Valley. On reaching Lankrigg Hall Bridge we left the canal ascending a bridleway that deposited us on the edge of Natland, all the remained to pick our way through a couple of fields south of the village before the narrow tarmac surface of Helm Lane guided us back to the main road a stones throw from Oxenholme.

view route map.


From Hawes Lane views to The Helm.

Seen over the Kent Valley, Scout Scar.

Looking to Prizet House a grey stone Victorian mansion.

The River Kent below Hawes Bridge.

Another view of the River Kent, everything looks clean and polished after this Winters devastating floods.

The foot-bridge at Wilson Place, we were about to discover it is still closed due to storm damage.

Looking back to Larkrigg Spring Wood from Wilson Place.

The River Kent above Force Bridge.

The walk-way that passes under the main road into the Lake District, here's a piece of useless information, it approaches the bridge as the A590 and leaves as the A591.

Views from Levens Park.

The original carriage drive approaching Levens Hall, defined by a mile long avenue of oaks.

Sedgwick Hall Bridge with The Helm to the right.

Horse Park Bridge looking back to Sedgwick.

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