Whitbarrow from Mill Side.

Start. Mill Side.

Route. Mill Side - Beck Head - Hell Moss - Witherslack Hall Farm - Whitbarrow Scar - Lords Seat - Farrer's Allotment - Buckhouse Wood - Mill Side.

Notes. South of the volcanic turmoil of the Lake District lies a softer landscape, where gentle folds of limestone absorb the lucky walker, a mixture of woodland, grassland and limestone pavement, a landscape laid down on the bed of a warm tropical ocean over 350 million years ago. Christened by our Norse forefathers “White Barrow”, they utilised it as a navigation beacon in their quest to colonise the North West of England, we know it as Whitbarrow a wonderful wide limestone ridge dividing the valleys of Lyth and Winster, and like all good ridges it gifts the lucky walker with fabulous views. I was reminiscing today, the route I followed was the one I used the very first time I set foot on the hallowed limestone of this wonderful escarpment.

There's loads of parking on the old road at Mill Side. With tarmac under foot I wandered along the narrow lane leading to Beck Head, after passing a limestone cliff face with a large stream emitting from it's base (beck head) the tarmac ended to be replaced by a rough bridleway. Through woodland I rambled followed by sheep pastures before stepping onto tarmac once more near Hell Moss. I walked North to the top of a low rise to access a foot-path on the right where the buildings of Witherslack Hall Estate begin.

Walking towards the impenetrable walls of rock that are Whitbarrow and Chapel Head Scars it's difficult to discern a route of ascent. Our Victorian ancestors solved this problem honing a pony track from the sheer cliffs, it climbs diagonally across the face of Whitbarrow Scar above Black Yews Scar into staggering views.

After wandering along the edge of a football field a ladder stile allowed access to woodland paths, I turned left joining the path that would guide me onto the carboniferous limestone delights of Whitbarrow. The steep climb that followed terminated at the intake wall, a stile aided my crossing. The path now followed the wall north through young birch woods, at an obvious cairn it swung right up hill depositing me at the large pillar cairn marking Lords Seat the summit of Whitbarrow.

I hung around drinking in the views, to the north Lakeland, to the south Arnside, Silverdale and the mirror like wet sand and waters of Morecambe Bay, reaching across the horizon to the east Wainwright's sleeping elephants the Howgill Fells, right a bit more the Middleton Fells and Barbon High Fells, swinging round to the south east the unmistakable flat top of Ingleborough. I was standing on the 705ft contour but the views were jaw-dropping. After I'd shut my mouth a good path ushered me south towards Upper Morecambe Bay and the edge of the escarpment. Through Farrer's Allotment I strolled before descending into Buckhouse Wood, a good path wound down through the trees, another construction we have Victorian entrepreneurs to thank for. This deposited me on the old turnpike road linking Beathwaite Green (Levens) to Witherslack, I turned right letting the original mettled surface lead me to a tarmac lane descending to Mill Side and the parked car.

view route map.


Woodland passed en route to Beck Head.

Through the trees a taste of things to come, the cliffs of Whitbarrow.

Beck Head....

....and the reason it gets it's name.

The massive cliffs of Chapel Head Scar seen from near the buildings of Witherslack Hall Estate.

From my ascent route, a gap in the tree cover gifts me with views over the wooded Winster valley to the heights of Gummer's How.

Unfolding panorama, the Coniston massif viewed from near the summit of Whitbarrow.

One of many stunning views to be had on this short excursion, Morecambe Bay and the Lancashire coast.

Stunning views across Lyth Valley, rising above Scout Scar Wainwright's sleeping elephants, the Howgill Fells.

Across the horizon to the north west the Coniston fells.

Glistening in the midday sun, Morecambe Bay, seen from the summit of Whitbarrow.

Who could wish a better place, Lords Seat the summit of Whitbarrow.

Looking to the east, reaching across the horizon, the Middleton Fell and Barbon High Fells split by the deep cleft of Barbondale.

Viewing Lords Seat from Farrer's Allotment.

The dramatic limestone scenery of Whitbarrow.

A landscape laid down on the bed of a warm tropical ocean 350 million years ago, scoured by ice, sculptured by wind and rain, laid bare for our delights, get yourself up here you know it makes sense.

Magical views across the flood plane of the River Kent, taking centre stage the flat top of Ingleborough with Farleton Fell much closer to the right.

Looking down on Foulshaw Moss with Arnside Knott rising from the salt water and sand of upper Morecambe Bay.

Morecambe Bay seen over the limestone outcrop of Meathop Fell, we've viewed this from the other side of the Kent Estuary many times.

Wonderful views to Arnside Knott before disappearing into the tree cover of Buckhouse Wood.

Descending through mature woodland on a good path.

Not quite Autumns golden gown but not far off.

The White Scar face of Whitbarrow seen from Mill Side.

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