The Kendal Scars via Kendal and it's Canal.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Oxenholme Lane - Natland - Hawes Lane - Crow Park Bridge - Kendal/Lancaster Canal - Burton Road - Park Side Road - Canal Head - Canal Head North - Kent Street - Market Place - Wainwright's Yard - Low Fell Side - Queen's Road - Tram Heights - Kettlewell Crag - Kendal Fell - Cunswick Fell - Scout Scar - Brigsteer Road - Helsington - Sizergh Castle - Nannypie Lane - Wilson Place - Larkrigg - Cracalt - High House - Helm Lane - Oxenholme.

Notes. I was confined to the four walls of the house this morning, other commitments keeping me home, early afternoon saw me free of my chains, with poor weather forecast I decided on a short excursion with camera. In the event I made the short walk into town followed by a return via the shattered limestone of Cunswick and Scout Scars, almost four miles of high level walking with stunning views all the way. I walked from home you dear reader should set out from the Leisure Centre on Burton Road, the canal runs behind it, save yourself the two mile loop to Oxenholme..

I left Oxenholme via the tarmac of Helmside Road and Burton Road, the tarmac continued down Oxenholme Lane into Natland, after passing the large perfectly formed village green and post office I stepped into Hawes Lane my guide to the Kendal/Lancaster Canal. After joining the canal at Crowpark Bridge I strolled north through cow and sheep pastures, through arable land, under a number of canal bridges spanning nothing but grass, after a long two and a half miles I reached the Canal Head, the end of the line.

From the Canal Head I made my way via tarmac streets into town, look for Kent Street then Market Place, from Market Place Wainwright's Yard, (named after possibly Kendal's most famous adopted son) ushered me to the many steps of Low Fell Side, I didn't count them but this was most definitely the hardest section of this walk. Puffing and blowing like an old cart horse (the people that live on these steep slopes must be fit) I stepped onto Queen's Road to be met by a finger-post inviting me to Helsfell Nab, I obliged by starting the easy ascent of the Tram Heights. This old tram way was built to transport limestone from the small quarries on Kettlewell Crag to be used in the construction of Kendal Prison, long gone so are the tram lines but the surface remains making an excellent path, it ushered me to the quarries from where a narrow path guided me along the edge of a wall then over Kendal Golf Course. Once out of harms way from stray golf balls a foot-bridge safely conveyed me across the by-pass before a green trod guided me through a couple of gates, a final narrow stile allowed access to Cunswick Fell, the start of a four mile hike through stunning vistas over limestone scars and through strange dwarfed flora that fights for a root hold in these shallow limestone soils, it's a fabulous place this escarpment above the scars.

Helsington Church marked the end of this classic four mile walk, although still high my descent started just after the little church. The stoney lane that runs south shepherded me to a field gate and a finger-post inviting me to Brigsteer, although this was not my destination I followed said green path through sheep pastures and wild flower meadows, down hill through exquisite park land to be ejected onto a land-rover track. The track lead east to a high wooden gate, I passed through said gate into a narrow lane, this lane fringed with many wild flowers bordered by dry stone walls and hedge rows lead to Sizergh Castle, it was late the place was closing, I made my way to the access road, this meandering lane guided me through yet more park land depositing me on Nannypie Lane. With tarmac under foot Nannypie Lane guided me under the main road then down hill to the banks of the River Kent, I crossed the foot-bridge to Wilson Place then followed the river up stream. After passing through a large field a bridle-way guided me between dry stone walls, this popular trod lead into fields above Larkrigg, after crossing the dry canal at Larkrigg Hall Bridge (If you're parked at the Leisure Centre continue along the canal) I ascended to Cracalt, passed the farm buildings I wandered to join the tarmac access lane, this deposited me at another finger-post promising access to High House. Said path guided me through sheep pastures over a couple of stiles before ejecting me into Helm Lane. Up the lane I wandered, dragged tired legs up the hill then followed the main road the short distance into Oxenholme.

view route map.

home.

From Hawes Lane views to the limestone escarpment of Scout Scar, we'll be up there later.

Built in 1818 by John Fletcher from the original design by John Rennie, you really wanted to know that didn't you, all I know it carries Hawes Lane over the canal so I can access a kissing gate on this side.

Striding out between hedge rows and a wire fence just south of Kendal.

View taken from the Tram Heights.

Looking to Benson Knott above Kendal.

On view the mighty head of Kentmere from near Kettlewell Crag.

Seen over Lord's Lot, grey on the skyline the Langdale Pikes.

The scene over Kendal Fell from Cunswick Fell.

On the ragged edge where limestone cliffs plunge into the valley below, looking to the Kentmere massif across upper Lyth Valley.

Heading along the edge of Scout Scar looking over Barrowfield to Arnside Knott and upper Morecambe Bay.

Over the tree tops a glimpse of Whitbarrow.

Arnside Knott seen across the mouth of Lyth Valley, land once washed by the sea, now possibly the Damson capital of Europe, renounced for the beauty of it's Damson orchards, April is the best time to visit.

En route to Sizergh Castle.

Sizergh Castle, dates back to the 14th century.

In Nannypie Lane, just a small reminder we're walking through a working landscape, a landscape shaped by the hand of man.

From Larkrigg Hall Bridge views south along the line of the canal, if you dear reader have parked at the Leisure Centre continue north into town.

Another reminder we're walking through someone's office, farmers at their labours on the edge of Natland at High House.

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