Above Caton.

Start. Bull Beck picnic site.

Route. Bull Beck picnic site - Brookhouse - Annas Ghyll - Quarry Road - Moorside Farm - Moorside Road - Littledale Road - Cransfield Cottage - Forge Mill - Forgelands Farm - Brookhouse - Bull Beck picnic site.

Notes. This short ramble, within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Beauty, passes through mainly open countryside, under foot ancient sunken lanes and field paths linked by the odd stretch of tarmac, our reward splendid views over the Lune Valley, a slice of history and fields full of cows. I've got my better half for company, she's in charge of map and compass, I'm here to enjoy the scenery on this easy ramble above Caton.

Our day started in the Bull Beck picnic site half a mile east of Caton, on leaving the picnic area we wandered down the busy main road, east to a footpath sign and stile allowing access to cow pastures. After ascending the field we emerged onto the main road through Brookhouse. A short stretch of road walking carried us up hill to another footpath sign, a stile allowed admission to a field carved in half by a shallow groove edged with the odd hawthorn and ancient oak, this we followed over the hill to Annas Ghyll farm. The farm access lane then ushered us away from the farm buildings depositing us on the tarmac surface of Quarry Road opposite Moorgarth, we descended, turning left at the next junction.

Now in Moorside Road we wandered on to reach the lane approaching Cransfield Cottage, the path guided us along the edge of the first building depositing us in a sunken lane, little walked this ancient track, wet in places, blocked by fallen trees in others made for slow progress, it terminated at a stile allowing access to pastures once more. Field paths then guided us passed Vaccary walling, Vaccary being a medieval word for cow pasture usually bordered by upright slabs. Through more cow pastures we wandered before the path ejected us onto tarmac at Forge Mill. I expected a ruinous mill, an opportunity to take some photos, alas it's been converted into smart housing, as nice as it was it doesn't look so interesting through the view finder. The tarmac lane then guided us away from the mill, just before Forgelands Farm a stile and finger-post invited us back into cow pastures. Over the shoulder of the paddock we walked, passing through a metal kissing gate allowing admitance to field boundary paths alive with mature hawthorn, holly and oak. This ancient pathway ushered us into the Brookhouse housing estate, we picked our way between the white washed bungalows to reach the main road through the village, this we followed passed the Black Bull Inn and St Paul,s Church to join our outward route, all that remained to re-trace our steps through cow pastures back to the picnic area.

Cows, a word of warning. Over the years we've walked through many a field containing these nosey beasts, I'm not over keen on the animals, trust them I do not, but I refuse to let them spoil a good walk. Entering the final field a heard of the beasts were gathering around the gate, we forced our way passed, seconds later whilst descending the pasture something made me turn round, a bloody bull was feet away, traveling in stealth mode at some speed, the hero I am I pushed Sue out of the way and stood my ground, surprisingly there was no temptation to run, no sense of panic, it happened in a split second, luckily the wild eyed animal stopped, leaving us to walk back safely.

view route map.


Ascending cow pastures above the Bull Beck picnic site with this view for company, Middleton, Barbon and the Leck Fells.

Green Hill across the Lune Valley.

A friend to guide us to Annas Ghyll.

Viewing Ward's Stone from pastures to the west of Annas Ghyll.

Gate stoop near Annas Ghyll, it's old, not a gate as we know them, planks once slotted into the holes effectively closing the gate.

Above Annas Ghyll looking to the Middleton Fells.

Near Ravenscar Farm looking across the Lune Valley.

Tarn Brook from Moorside Road.

The scene over the Lune Valley, across the skyline Middleton Fell and the Barbon High Fells.

Wind turbines on Caton Moor.

A small slice of history, Vaccary walling.

Another ancient gate stoop passed en route.

Field boundaries near Ravenscar Farm.

Distant views from the descent to Forge Mill.

St Paul's Church with it's 16th century tower.

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