A Circuit from Oxenholme including Wellheads Hill.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Oxenholme Lane - Natland - Hawes Lane - Low Park - Force Gorge - Wellheads Hill - Crosscrake - Low Barrows Green - Barrows Green - Oxenholme.

Notes. Seems we’ve been here before, forced to walk from home by our government who can't seem to get to grips with this pandemic, seems Cumbria is now in tier four, I’m not surprised the amount of people visiting that shouldn’t be traveling. Not enough police to enforce government guidelines I’m told, yet there were plenty on the roads over Christmas wielding speed guns and patrols hoping to nick the poor motorist unknowingly over the limit from the night before.

Well that was my rant for 2021, this is the first walk, it looks like the first of many from home. We left it until after lunch before tossing some gear in a bag and heading for the banks of the River Kent, via Oxenholme Lane we made our way to Natland. Hawes Lane then guided us to the River Kent depositing us at a stunning limestone gorge, a twin arched packhorse bridge spanned the chasm, we crossed to join the west bank of the river.

Down stream we wandered, first through Hawes Wood a boot sucking path under foot, free of the trees and mud easy walking followed. Through sheep pastures we walked before entering the New Sedgwick Gunpowder Works. Ghosts of long abandoned buildings welcomed us, the ghosts of the people who lost their lives working in the dangerous industry remained hidden, but their spirits linger believe me.

From the ghosts of a bygone industry we wandered over tarmac to Force Bridge, another disused gunpowder works lies just south of the bridge but our route crossed the river then continued up the field opposite. Sedgwick Hall Bridge guided us over the dry Lancaster Canal before crossing the shoulder of Wellheads Hill, the way crossed Wellheads Lane ascending then descending another hill, a fine footbridge safely carried us over the West Coast Main Line depositing us in fields near Crosscrake.

With field paths under foot and stiles to aid our crossing of field boundaries we wandered through fading light to Crosscrake, the sun was now an orange ball on the horizon painting the land a wonderful golden hue. At Crosscrake we stepped onto tarmac, the narrow lane that would guide us back. Between hedge rows and the odd dry stone wall we wandered, passed Low Barrows Green then on to Barrows Green and the main road that guided us home.

view route map.


Hawes Lane descends into the Kent valley.

The River Kent at Low Park.

The head race that once carried water from the river to power the grinding wheels of the New Sedgwick Gunpowder Works.

New Sedgwick Gunpowder Works, looking to what remains of the incorporating mills and wheel pit.

The River Kent at Force Gorge.

Fading light over Wellheads Pasture.

Seen from Sedgwick Hall Bridge, Sizergh Fell.

Sedgwick Hall backed by Kendal Fell and the distant hills of the Lake District.

A wonderful view over the Kent valley from Wellheads Hill, capturing the early evening light High Street and Harter Fell.

The route ahead, across the West Coast Main Line, through the stubble all that remains of last years crop to Crosscrake the buildings in the middle distance.

The Helm, my back yard, seen from near the footbridge in the shot above.

The setting sun paints the landscape.

Above Crosscrake looking to Farleton Fell.

Golden light to end the day

Near Barrows Green enjoying the gloaming, the point day slips into night, on a night like tonight it's a stunning time of day.

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