A Circuit from home, return via the Lancaster Canal.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Hayclose Lane - Paddy Lane - Paddy Lane Viewpoint - Birds Park Reservoir (disused) - (Old) Sedbergh Road - Sedbergh Road (A684) - Castle Road - Castle Hill - Lancaster/Kendal Canal - Crowpark - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. This was a walk through the sunshine of childhood memories, in the hills to the east of Kendal where many an hour was filled walking and building dens in the bracken, swimming in the reservoir, even though it was private with keep out signs prominent. I’m afraid things have changed and not for the better, it was still a very pleasant walk encompassing some lovely views, but I think chasing childhood memories was a mistake.

We left Oxenholme heading north, on reaching the Old Hutton Road we wandered passed the railway station ascending the hill to the Station Inn (closed at the moment due to Covid), at the inn we turned left onto Hayclose Lane, with one eye on the traffic the other on the views we wandered north to access Paddy Lane.

Paddy Lane is quiet, it hugs the slopes of the hillside above Kendal running between the 543ft and 668ft contours, a route of old, once the main road north south, it gifts the walker with stunning views to the hills of South Lakeland. We soaked them up as we wandered along, when we reached the Paddy Lane View Point we left the lane, descended a steep rough farm track before squeezing through a narrow stile into a tract of scrubland. There was some kind of flood relief scheme being put in place, it looked a bloody mess, time might heel the scars, it did occur to me if they hadn’t drained the two reservoirs we wouldn’t need such a scheme.

The path continued where the dam wall used to be before descending to a low tunnel under the West Coast Main Line, bent almost double we passed through, then turned left to join a tarmac farm lane. This lane ejected us onto what Google Maps calls Sedbergh Road, I’ve always known it as Old Sedbergh Road, once a toll road before the coming of the A684 Sedbergh Road. Confused well it ejected us onto the A684 which we followed into town.

Not quite in town we passed under a railway bridge then turned immediately left onto Castle Road, a few yards up said road a kissing gate allowed access to Castle Hill, but our route wasn’t to Kendal Castle we intended to follow a lower path away from the crowds. This we did, the path lead to a steep flight of steps which we descended to access the canal.

With the canal to guide us we wandered south, passed many allotments, behind the Leisure Centre, over Burton Road and Natland Road then out into the countryside of the Kent valley. When we reached Crowpark we left the canal, the grey ribbon of Hawes Lane guided us into Natland. To the east of Natland a path cuts through sheep pastures before following the railway line into Oxenholme, this we followed emerging onto the main road in the village, aching feet and legs told me we were glad to be home.

view route map.


With one eye on the traffic, the other on this view to Scout Scar.

Stunning views over Kendal and the Kent valley.

Kissed by cloud, the Coniston massif.

Looking to the Langdale Pikes above Kendal Fell.

From Paddy Lane views over Singleton Park to the Coniston fells.

Stunning views over the manicured landscape of Singleton Park, taking in Cunswick Fell and the Langdale Pikes.

A wonderful view over Kendal and it's fell, on the horizon almost within touching distance Wetherlam and Wet Side Edge,

A high skyline of Lakeland favourites.

Stunning views to Morecambe Bay, to the left grey, Arnside Knott, to the right Sizergh Fell.

Magical views over Kendal and Cunswick Fell, across the horizon from left to right, Wetherlam and Wet Side Edge, under cloud the Wrynose Pass and Pike of Blisco, on view Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and the unmistakable Langdale Pikes.

Sad, High Jenkincrag Farm has been empty as long as I can remember, it sits in a shallow hollow with views to Potter Fell.

The farm track that guided us from Paddy Lane.

Benson Knott seen over the rolling farmland of South Cumbria.

Scout Scar seen from the Lancaster Canal at Watercrook

On field paths above Natland, looking to The Helm as the white washed buildings of Oxenholme tilt into view.

Dappled light on the pastures of Wellheads Hill,

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