The Hampsfell Ridge.
Start. Grange-over-Sands (Main Street car park).
Route. Grange-over-Sands - Main Street - Windermere Road - Eggerslack Wood - Hampsfell - Fell End - Spring Bank Road - High Farm - Hampsfell Road - Yewbarrow - Yewbarrow Road - Main Street - Grange-over-Sands.
Notes.Come take a wander with us over a low grassy ridge rising between the sand and salt water of Morecambe Bay and the Vale of Cartmel. I can't promise you an airy ridge walk but what I can promise you, for very little effort is some of the best views in South Cumbria.
Midday saw us setting out along the promenade at Grange-over-Sands, an easy start with stunning vistas over a water filled bay, the sun was shining, a cold wind at our backs. Once at the railway station we left the coast, wandered across the road to access Windermere Road, the tarmac surface then guided us to a discreet finger-post pointing the way through Eggerslack Wood. Eggerslack derives from the Norse word “eiger” meaning “bore” or incoming tide, way back when the tide would flood the channel of Carsson Beck spilling over the low lying land which is now a car park and the road we just wandered along.
Through the wood we ascended, light and airy this time of year. After passing two large redundant water tanks we stepped over a stone stile to access the open fell. The climbing continued through stunning limestone scenery into wonderful views over Morecambe Bay as far as the squat towers of Heysham Power Station, reaching across the horizon the Howgill Fells and the hills of Bowland. Another stile allowed us to cross the final intake wall before stepping into even better views, the saw tooth skyline of Lakeland, and guarding the summit a low limestone tower.
Hampsfell Hospice, built in 1846 by the vicar of Cartmel the Reverend Thomas Remington, to provide shelter for weary travelers. You must sit back and imagine a time with few roads, a time when the salt waters of Morecambe Bay flooded the valleys of Lyth and Winster, the bay at low water was the main route west, the high dry ground of Hampsfell a safe route to the ecclesiastic settlement of Cartmel in the next valley.
We ignored the main path to Cartmel our route followed the ridge line south, over a couple of un-named tops before reaching the beacon on Fell End, the fell ended at this large pile of boulders, we descended a green trod under foot to access the tarmac surface of Spring Bank Road. This narrow ribbon of tarmac ushered us north, the tarmac ended at Spring Bank Farm to be replaced by a rough farm track.
Between dry stone walls and hedge rows we wandered, after passing High Farm the track swung right, descending along the edge of Eggerslack Wood, terminating at Hampsfell House Hotel to be replaced by tarmac. Just after the hotel a finger post on the left promised access to Grange, we passed through a metal gate then continued descending through woodland, stepping from the tree cover at Yewbarrow Lodge a fine residential home, the access road then guided us back into Main Street a few yards from the parked car.
view route map.
Morecambe Bay at high tide on a stunning winters day.
Across the bay Arnside Knott leading to Heathwaite with Holme Island to the left.
Ascending through Eggerslack Wood, formally coppice to provide bobbins for the textile industry and wood for charcoal.
One of two redundant water tanks, believed to have once supplied water to the village of Grange-over-Sands, last used in the 1940s.
Limestone boulders on the lower slopes of Hampsfell, with stunning views to the Howgill Fells.
Looking into Lakeland, kissed by cloud Red Screes with Caudale Moor to the right.
A wonderful view over Eggerslack Wood, Arnside and upper Morecambe Bay.
A stunning panorama from the summit of Hampsfell, across the horizon the Coniston massif.
Seen over the dramatic scars on Hampsfell and the green wedge of the Newton Fells, a grey Red Screes and Caudale Moor split by the deep notch of Kirkstone Pass.
Seen from the south because there's lots of people on the other side, Hampsfell Hospice.
Wandering across the Hampsfell Ridge with this view for company, the Vale of Cartmel.
A grey crown of Lakeland favourites, from White Maiden on the left through the Coniston fells to the Langdale Pikes far right.
Descending Fell End looking over Humphrey Head to the squat towers of Heysham Power Station.
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