A Circuit from home including Helsington Barrows, Scout Scar and Bradleyfield.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Natland - Hawes Lane - Hawes Bridge - Scroggs Wood - Helsington Laithes - Brigsteer Road - Helsington Barrows - Scout Scar - Bradleyfield - Bradleyfield Farm - Brigsteer Road - Kendal - Gillingate - Abbot Hall - Par Street - Lancaster Canal - Watercrook - Crowpark - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. Even though the rules have been relaxed, the small communities throughout the Lakes and Dales are asking people to stay away, just a little longer, I think that's a fair ask, I can live with that. So off I go again, familiar lanes under foot, but this time I'm heading to Scout Scar a place I've steered clear of throughout this pandemic.

I followed my usual route into Natland, Hawes Lane a lane I've become quite intimate with ushered me to the west bank of the River Kent, there in the shade of the trees to the song of the river I joined the path on the west bank. North I walked in the company of the River Kent, though fields, gates and stiles aided my crossing of field boundaries, at Scroggs I wandered up the left bank of the beck, a change from the tarmac lane. After fording the beck I stepped onto the grass verge of the A6, the main road into town.

On the opposite side of the road a finger-post invites the walker to Helsington Laithes, this I followed turning left at the first path junction, passed Helsington Laithes Manor I walked then under the Kendal By-pass to be met by a large foot-path sign. Field paths ushered me on, hedge rows guided me almost all the way to Brigsteer Road which I crossed to enter Helsington Barrows.

With a good path under foot I ascended between hawthorn and holly, juniper and gorse, dense bushes and ash struggling for a root hold in the fragile limestone soils. My guide on this section a fine example of a dry stone wall, never very far away to my left, on reaching a wall corner I turned north, another good path then guided me across a wide limestone ridge to the trig point on Scout Scar, not the highest point the mushroom a famous local landmark can lay claim to that, I headed there next.

The mushroom was oddly quiet, I also ignored it, my route now turned south towards a dry stone wall where a kissing gate allows access to Bradleyfield, I passed through said gate immediately starting my descent. Again a good path guided me, through hawthorn, juniper and gorse, I descended, again to my left a dry stone wall, the wall ended just before Bradleyfield Farm. After passing said farm the access lane ushered me to Brigsteer Road, the start of the descent into Kendal.

Via Brigsteer Road and Gillingate I descended, through Abbot Hall Park I wandered, I crossed the foot-bridge to access Parr Street, Parr Street in turn ushered me to the Lancaster Canal. The town section is a cycle way, it's tarmac surface guided me south passed the Leisure Centre, across Burton Road to Watercrook, at Watercrook I had a choice, the river or canal, this time I opted for the canal.

Easy walking followed, narrow at first before opening out, good views were to be had over ground covered earlier in the day, always a good thing. Under Natland Hall Bridge the path ushered me, the next bridge, Crowpark Bridge marked my exit point, a metal kissing gate allowed access to Hawes Lane, all that remained to re-trace my steps back to Oxenholme.

view route map.


Viewing Helsington from Oxenholme Lane on the edge of Natland.

Riverside rambling.

The River Kent above Scroggs Weir.

From Scroggs Wood views to Prizet House.

In fields above Helsington Laithes looking to Helsington Barrows.

Bare scree and stunted vegetation, the eerie landscape of Helsington Barrows.

Stunning views over Lyth Valley.

The trig point Scout Scar, not the highest point but we'll be heading there after a few more snaps.

I've just ascended the gentle side of the hill, this is the dramatic side, the cliffs of Scout Scar.

Above Hodgson's Leap with a staggering view over upper Lyth Valley. Allegedly this is the spot a local man named Hodgson made a bet he could ride his horse down the Scout Scar cliffs, the horse was blindfolded and over they went, neither survived but when the light is fading and the conditions are right it is said you can still see them attempt that fateful journey.

Wonderful views over timeless Lyth Valley.

The Mushroom at 742ft the highest point on the Scout Scar plateau.

Descending through Bradleyfield viewing the Whinfell ridge over Kendal Fell.

My descent route through Bradleyfield with views to Benson Knott.

Heading south out of Kendal guided by the Lancaster Canal.

Millbeck Lane Bridge.

Looking back to Natland Hall Bridge with Benson Knott on the skyline.

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