Beehive Bridge, St Sunday's Beck and The Helm.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Station Inn - Underhelm Lane - Underhelm Wood - Underhelm Farm - Syphon Well - Beehive - Beehive Bridge - Strickley Bridge - Strickley - Blease Hall - Bleasehall Wood - St Sunday's Beck - Stang - Underhelm Lane - The Helm - Helm Gate - Burton Road - Oxenholme.

Notes. Come take a walk with me through some beautiful countryside that attracts few visitors, my route followed the waters of St Sunday’s Beck before ending with a leg burner of a climb onto the whale back ridge of The Helm. An Iron Age Fort and trig point adorn the summit, but that’s not what I ascended the hill for, no take a look around, the 360° panorama will blow your mind, Kendal fills the valley but all around are the saw tooth mountains of the Lake District, the limestone peaks of the Yorkshire Dales and the silvery seascapes of Morecambe Bay, take a good look all this will soon be back in reach.

Because of that bloody virus I’m walking from home again, north through Oxenholme I wandered, once at the railway station I ascended the Old Hutton Road. Passed the Station Inn to access a narrow ribbon of tarmac, this was Underhelm Lane it guided me into Underhelm Wood where a flight of steps welcomed me, I descended passing a memorial bench, somebody's favourite place in life, the steps terminated at an over grown narrow green lane, I turned left. This narrow lane was short it guided me between hedge rows and dry stone wall depositing me at Underhelm Farm, between the farm buildings I wandered to access a large field with a stoney track running through it, there was no way-mark sign but my map promised this was the way. The right of way loops across the field, it made sense to me to follow the track, which I did, it terminated at a field gate.

After passing through said gate a squat red brick building greeted me, this was a syphon well bearing the coat of arms of Manchester Corporation Water Works, it marks the line of the Thirlmere Aqueduct, ninety five miles of pipes and tunnels built between 1890 and 1925 to carry water to power the industry and slack the thirst of the good citizens of Greater Manchester.

Once passed the syphon well a wooden stile allowed access to Old Hutton Road, I turned right, crossed Beehive Bridge then Strickley Bridge to access the farm lane leading to Strickley. Part way up said lane a finger-post greeted me, an arrow confirmed my route went over a steep hill. Guided by hedge rows up and over I went, once down the other side I had my first encounter with St Sunday’s Beck, a narrow footbridge conveyed me across depositing me in a boggy field, after traversing said field I emerged at Blease Hall, a fine old building with mullioned windows dating back to the 16th century.

At Blease Hall I swung right, wandered through a small industrial site to join a narrow green lane that in turn deposited me in sheep pastures. Along the edge of large fields I wandered, the way was easy to follow, after traversing the third field a stile allowed access to Bleasehall Wood, this time of year just a woodland walk but in a few weeks when the bluebells are out it will be a completely different experience. I wandered through the wood followed by three large fields, the song of St Sunday’s Beck accompanied my every step just across the wall to my right. Once across the third field a stile and footbridge greeted me, I crossed the bridge, after climbing the next field I found myself back in civilisation at Stang, a delightful scattering of houses.

After crossing a cattle grid a few yards of tarmac ushered me to a finger-post, this bridleway guided me to The Helm, followed by a lung buster of a climb to the summit. It may only be around 580ft high but after spending most of the walk picking my way through soft ground this came as a shock, tired legs groaned as I crested the summit. The pain was instantly forgotten, the views although hazy were staggering, I stopped and contemplated waiting for sun set, in the end hunger got the better of me. So for a change I ignored the summit ridge, many paths climb the hill, I chose one descending to the west, steep but not as steep as my ascent, it deposited me on the main road at Helm Gate in sight of home.

view route map.


From Underhelm Lane views to Beehive.

Daffodils in Underhelm Wood.

The coat of arms of Manchester Corporation Water Works....

....adorns the side of this syphon well.

View taken up the valley of Strickley Beck.

The rolling landscape of South Cumbria seen from near Strickley.

Traditional skills, hedgelaying a country craft practiced in these parts for hundreds of years.

Footbridge over St Sunday's Beck.

Blease Hall with it's mullioned windows probably dates back to the 16th century.

Rising from flat pastures, Lowblease Hill.

Looking back towards Blease Hall tucked away in the folds of the hills to the left.

St Sunday's Beck.

Flooded field at Stang, the slopes of The Helm rise on the left.

Looking towards Underhelm Farm from sheep pastures near Stang.

The Helm viewed from the east.

Narrow paths guide me up Helm End, the summit's just there but it's steeper than it looks.

The summit, Trig Point, Iron Age Hill Fort and staggering views.

Kendal fills the valley below.

To the south melting into the late afternoon haze Morecambe Bay.

Grey on the horizon Farleton Fell.

The Helm's summit ridge, just over half a mile of stunning walking and exquisite views.

Reaching across the horizon to the west Scout Scar.

Many paths cling to the slopes of The Helm.

Before vanishing into the trees a quick look to Kendal Fell.

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