The Kendal Scars via Bradleyfield.

Start. Natland.

Notes. Natland - Hawes Lane - River Kent - Scroggs Wood - Helsington Laithes - Lane Head - Brigsteer Road - Kendal Racecourse - Bradleyfield - Scout Scar - Underbarrow Road - Cunswick Scar - Kendal Fell - Kendal - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Hawes Lane - Natland.

Route. Scout Scar rising to the west of Kendal, a wonderful limestone plateau, a wall of rock separating the Lyth and Kent Valleys, many paths ascend to it's 764ft high summit. Short from the car park on Underbarrow Road, considerably further from Kendal, many people make the ascent from Lyth Valley, my chosen route today was even longer, Natland to the south of Kendal marked my starting point. A walk in through a pastoral landscape, along the banks of the attractive River Kent, followed by an ascent on farm lanes, and through sheep pastures, my return was made along the disused Kendal/Lancaster canal, long bereft of water, now a cycle way making for effortless walking on a level surface, an easy final few miles to the days wanderings.

From Natland I let the dry stone walls of Hawes Lane guide me to the banks of the River Kent, the path on the west bank lead through green fields, eventually depositing me in Scroggs Wood where a tarmac lane guided me to the main road. A finger-post on the opposite side of the road acted like a magnet, I crossed to be invited to Helsington Laithes. Following the farm lane, passed Helsington Laithes I wandered, under Kendal By-pass to access Lane Head Farm, here I entered sheep pastures for the final pull to Brigsteer Road. North along the road I strolled soaking up extensive views over the Kent valley, to be met by a finger-post on my left, I followed this path through Kendal Racecourse before passing through a metal kissing gate allowing access to Bradleyfield. A hundred yards further up the path I turned right, leaving the main path I picked my way through a landscape of limestone scars, scrub and stunted vegetation. Crabbing from sheep track to sheep track I ascended to a dry stone wall, a metal gate allowed access to the Scout Scar plateau. On I wandered, north above limestone cliffs once washed by the sea before descending to Underbarrow Road. You're free to park here if you wish, two car parks allow ease of access to Scout and Cunswick Scars.

I continued north through a small cops before a stile carried me into sheep pastures, on I walked with stunning views to my right and Scar Wood my left. Around a mile of easy walking took me to the summit cairn on Cunswick Fell, the time had come to turn my back on the high limestone plateau and head back into the Kent valley. Southeast on a good path through a large field locally known as the Rifle Range, over a number of stiles followed by a foot-bridge over Kendal By-pass. Way marked paths guided me over the golf course on Kendal Fell, I soon found myself standing on the tarmac surface of Queens Road planning my descent into town. Basically walk down hill, it's complicated but generally all routes lead to the river. I walked south to the junction of Queens Road and Serpentine Road, here a flight of steep steps descends to Sepulchre Lane, part of old Kendal. From Sepulchre Lane I joined Fountains Brow, modern steps guided me to Low Fellside, here I entered one of the many narrow ginnels that lead into town. I wandered through Market Place to join Kent Street for the final few yards to the River Kent.

My route followed the river south to a splendid foot-bridge at Abbot Hall Park, I crossed before ascending Parr Street to join the canal. Easy walking all the way back now, guided by the canal I wandered south, passed the cemetery then over Parkside Road, behind the Leisure Centre before crossing Burton Road, on over Natland Road and out into the countryside. From Natland Road it was less than a mile of easy walking back to Hawes Lane where I re-traced my steps back into Natland.

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In the confines of Hawes Lane viewing Scout Scar.

Rising to the right of the grassy knoll, Kendal Fell to be crossed later.

The River Kent as seen from Hawes Bridge.

In Scroggs Wood.

The scene over Kendal. Benson Knott carrying a light dusting of snow.

Looking over Kendal Racecourse to Bradleyfield.

Ascending Bradleyfield with this view behind me, Benson Knott melts into the horizon.

The high skyline, Potter Fell dissolves into a grey winters sky.

Arriving at the summit of Scout Scar, the Mushroom marks a fine view point.

Whitbarrow over Lyth Valley.

Above the scar's limestone cliffs looking south.

Little Knott Hill seen from Scout Scar.

Viewing Potter Fell from the Scout Scar plateau.

Rising above Scar Wood, Cunswick Scar next on the agenda.

On the approach to Cunswick Scar.

Looking to Scout Scar from the short ascent of Cunswick Scar.

As seen from the summit of Cunswick Fell (Scar) Benson Knott above Kendal.

The summit Cunswick Fell.

From the summit a view to the mouth of the Kentmere valley.

A hazy view to Potter Fell.

Striding out through what is locally known as the Rifle Range looking to Potter Fell.

Wandering along the canal to the south of Kendal looking to Natland Mill Bridge.

Bereft of water for now, plans are under way to re-open the canal, one day canal boats may once again cruise under Natland Hall Bridge.

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