The Kendal Scars (a traverse).

Start. Kendal Town Hall.

Route. Town Hall - Allhallows Lane - Low Fell Side - Sepulchre Lane - Cliff Brow - Queen's Road - Serpentine Wood - Kendal Fell - Cunswick Fell - Underbarrow Road - Scout Scar - Hodgson's Leap - Bradleyfield - Brigsteer Road - Lane Head - Scroggs Wood - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme Lane - Oxenholme.

Notes. Just west of Kendal within easy walking distance of the town centre rises a spectacular limestone escarpment, a landscape of shattered weathered rock and stunted vegetation, plunging cliffs and awesome vistas. Some would say the best views across the Southern Lakes can be had from above the scars cliffs, the late Harry Griffin claimed they were the best views in England. Come take a peek with me on this glorious winters day.

Something a little different first, a bus ride into town, I thought I'd let the No41 take the strain, save a little leg work, after all winters days are short and without time saving measure I would surely be walking back in the dark. I disembarked near the Town Hall, then headed up the road opposite, Allhallows Lane leads to Beast Banks, before ascending the steep hill I turned right onto Low Fellside then immediately left onto the narrow cobbled surface of Sepulchre Lane, with cobblestones under foot I climbed the hill before turning left into Cliff Brow, another narrow way, this narrow path deposited me on Queen's Road a stones throw from the entrance to Serpentine Wood. I entered letting woodland paths originally laid by Victorian entrepreneurs guide me roughly north, I escaped the tree cover into stunning views over the Kent Valley, taking centre stage Benson Knott and the Howgill Fells.

Good paths then ushered me over Kendal Fell and the golf course, a narrow foot-bridge saw me safely over Kendal By-pass before the trail guided me into breath-taking vistas from the summit of Cunswick Fell. I wandered around drinking them in before turning south. Above the cliffs of Cunswick Scar I wandered, passed Scar Wood, across Gamblesmire Lane eventually stepping onto the tarmac of Underbarrow Road next to the Scout Scar car parks. From the car parks it's an easy climb onto the Scout Scar plateau, with the sun low in the sky I wandered through long shadows, the views were staggering, better than usual, I lingered soaking them up.

Day was turning to night, the gloaming a fabulous time to be walking, unfortunately for me I was a fair way from home. South I wandered passed the mushroom (an affectionate name given to a shelter erected in 1912) then passed Hodgson's Leap, (the legend tells us a local man, Hodgson rode his horse over the cliffs at that point, nobody seems to know what the horse was called, inevitably they haunt the spot). On reaching the trig point I turned east, with a dry stone wall to guide me I descended the hill. After passing through a kissing gate allowing access to Bradleyfield then another into sheep pastures I emerged onto Brigsteer Road. South I wandered tarmac under my boot soles, on reaching a whitewashed bungalow a finger-post announced a public foot-path descended the field.

With another dry stone wall for company I followed said path through sheep pastures emerging at Lane Head farm, the farm lane then ushered me under the by-pass and down to one of the main roads into town. Busy at this time of day I risked life and limb crossing before entering Scroggs Wood, Scroggs Wood allows access to the River Kent and river side paths that would guide me home. With the light fading fast the inky black waters of the river were my only companion on this lonely stretch of path. Pastoral walking ended at Hause Bridge, with the welcome surface of Hause Lane under foot and the eerie sound of creatures of the night for company I wandered through the half light into the dimly lit streets of Natland, all that remained, a short walk up Oxenholme Lane to the main road and home.

view route map.


A glade in Serpentine Wood equipped with benches for warmer days than today.

Free of the tree cover, I've walked into this view, Benson Knott over Kendal.

An icing sugar day on Kentmere High Street.

From Kendal Fell views to Cunswick Fell.

On the gentle slopes of Cunswick Fell looking to the Howgill Fells.

Heading up Cunswick Fell with views over Kendal Fell to look back on.

The summit with a stunning view to the Kentmere range.

The Lake District skyline seen over Lord's Lot.

Reaching across the horizon, the Coniston massif.

The high skyline, Middleton Fell with the Barbon High Fells to the right.

Cunswick Fell one of Lakeland's secret corners.

Long shadows and fine vistas from Scout Scar, I've just left there, Cunswick Fell.

Timeless views over Lyth Valley with a saw tooth sky line of Lakeland favourite reaching across the skyline.

On the edge of Scout Scar cliffs looking south to Whitbarrow and the flat lands bordering Morecambe Bay.

The Mushroom, adorns this limestone escarpment.

There are wonderful views to be had from above the Scout Scar cliffs.

Hodgson's Leap with views to Arnside Knott and Morecambe Bay.

A final glance to Arnside Knott and Morecambe Bay before turning my back on the scene and heading down the hill....

....into yet more stunning views....

.... but who could resist a quick look back to Whitbarrow, not me.

A landscape laid down at the bottom of a warm tropical ocean over 350 million years ago, the view Farleton Fell seen over the Kent valley.

Approaching Lane Head looking to Farleton Fell with the hills of Bowland grey on the far horizon.

In fast fading light, the River Kent at Scroggs.

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