Scout Scar via Sizergh and Helsington.

Start. Natland.

Route. Natland - Hawes Lane - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Wood - Low Park - Nannypie Lane - Sizergh - Sizergh Castle - Holeslack Farm - Helsington Church - Brigsteer Road - Helsington Barrows - Scout Scar - Bradleyfield - Bradley Field Farm - Brigsteer Road - Gillingate - Kirkland - River Kent - Scroggs - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland.

Notes. I was supposed to be partaking in indoor things today, as I'm useless at indoor things by half ten I was getting on Sue's nerves, she calls it moping around sulking, I call it a plot. Free of my chains with no plan I drove to Natland, parked up, togged up and headed down Hawes Lane. This is a walk I tend to do on the spur of the moment, it's diverse gifting me with a small slice of everything and a large chunk of stunning vistas from the limestone escarpment rising to the west of Kendal.

Once Hawes Lane had safely shepherded me to the River Kent I turned south, the west bank of the river now guided me. Through woodland and grassland, then more woodland home to an old gunpowder works. Once free of the tree cover and striding out over the tarmac of Nannypie Lane I turned my back on the river, the lane ascended to Sizergh, I ascended with it. At Sizergh a road rises behind the Strickland Arms, I ascended said road to access a foot-path passing in front of a row of cottages, this path guided me into sheep pastures, I climbed in the company of a dry stone wall bordering Chapel Wood, a gate allowed access to the next field, then another almost immediately allowed passage into a large meadow. I joined a green trod running along the edge of the large meadow, this in turn ushered me to the rear of Sizergh Castle where there's a jolly good café if you need refreshments. From the north end of the car park a finger-post points to a litany of destinations, not in miles or kilometres but time, it was Helsington Church 25 minutes for me.

I wandered through fields good paths under foot, after passing Holeslack Farm a steep climb deposited me at the little church at Helsington to enjoy stunning views over Lyth Valley. On I wandered just drinking them in, once at Brigsteer Road I swung right to join a path that would guide me to Scout Scar and even better views. Two miles of superb walking followed through a landscape of shattered rock where flora fights for life in shallow soils, forcing it's roots between fissures in the vast limestone plateau. It's a wonderful place this plateau above the scars.

Once at the Mushroom, you'll know it when you see it, I headed east before swinging south to reach a metal kissing gate allowing access to Bradleyfield, another stunning tract of limestone scar and scrub land. Down Hill now all the way into Kendal, passed Bradley Field Farm to access Brigsteer Road, then the tarmac of Gillingate, once in town I wandered through Kirkland to join the west bank of the river at Romney Bridge.

I'm afraid it's time for a rant, after wandering down stream almost half a mile I came upon a blockage, a fence stretched across the path, a sign announced improvements were under way, a little map detailed the diversion in operation, I cursed out aloud, it was cold, getting dark, I was tired and had over two miles of riverbank wandering to do before I could put my feet up. “Why on earth couldn't they put a path closed sign at the beginning of the bloody path, imbeciles”.

I doubled back still cursing to myself, joined Wattsfield Road which in turn lead me to Bellingham Road and a path leading back to the river. Back on track I strolled on to Scroggs to be seen off the river bank by some noisy ankle pecking geese. Safe out of their territory field paths shepherded me back to Hawes Bridge, all that remained to drag tired legs over the surface of Hawes Lane back to Natland.... Oh! and hope indoor things had been finished.

view route map.


The River Kent above Hawes Bridge.

The river at Low Park.

Medieval barns at Holeslack seen from the foot of the steep climb to Helsington.

Wonderful timeless views over Lyth Valley, seen from Helsington Church.

On the edge of Helsington Barrows looking to a snow capped Lakeland skyline.

Viewing a distant Kentmere massif from Scout Scars limestone plateau.

The cliffs of Scout Scar rise above the tree tops of Barrowfield Wood.

Above Barrowfield looking to Arnside Knott.

Arnside Knott seen over the mouth of Lyth Valley.

Barrowfield Wood spills into the green fields of Lyth Valley, with the High Street massif dominating the horizon.

East across the Kent valley, under deep snow the Howgill Fells.

Lit by the late afternoon sun, Morecambe Bay and Arnside Knott.

Adorning this spot since 1911 the Mushroom, built to mark the Coronation of King George V.

Laying under a dark cloud, carrying a little snow Whinfell Common.

Descending Bradleyfield looking over Benson Knott to the Howgill Fells.

Looking back to the dwarf vegetation of the Scout Scar plateau.

Strolling through Bradleyfield an inspiring place, looking over Kendal Fell to the ridges of the Whinfell range.

In fading light, above the weir at Scroggs looking to The Helm.

Evening light in sheep pastures south of Scroggs.

Evening reflections, this old race once carried water from the River Kent to power the machinery of a bobbin mill near Hawes Bridge.

It's almost too dark to take photo's, I just liked this tree silhouetted against the sky.

There's lots of electricity poles and pylons in the fields between Natland and the river, I usually try my hardest to avoid them, so for a change let's embrace them.

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