Crooklands from Oxenholme return via the Lancaster Canal.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Underhelm Lane - Stang - St Sunday's Beck - Halfpenny - Birkrigg Park - Low Park Lane - Gatebeck Road - Endmoor - Enyeat Road - Peasey Back - Crooklands - Lancaster Canal - Stainton - Dreamland Farm - Crosscrake - Low Barrows Green - Middle Barrows Green - Barrows Green Oxenholme.

Notes. Coronavirus is turning me into a rambler (walking without breaking into a sweat), I've continued exploring the farm land, woodland and secret ways around my home, this walk turned out to be a stunner, far better than I expected, made more so by a lovely blue sky day. Field paths linked by quiet lanes, I wandered in the company of crystal clear streams and a bite sized chunk of not so clear canal. As we're social distancing I made an early start, the noisy dawn chorus accompanied me out of Oxenholme, when the bird song is so loud you just know there's a good morning ahead.

There was a distinct nip in the air this morning, I rambled out of Oxenholme with hands in pockets and coat on, fortunately that was soon discarded as the shadows shortened and sun gained a little height. On reaching the tarmac lane that runs across the slopes of The Helm I joined a bridleway that guided me south in the company of a dry stone wall, this crossed Underhelm Lane before ushering me through sheep pastures, along the edge of mature hedgerows to Stang. At this cluster of houses I turned left, a few yards over tarmac followed before a welcome finger-post greeted me, public footpath, that will do. Over a faint path I rambled, half way across the meadow a narrow footbridge tilted into view, my guide over St Sunday's Beck. After fording the beck I crossed a ladder stile into the next field, with the song of running water for company I rambled on to a field gate allowing access to Halfpenny.

I passed through said gate, turned right then continued to the next junction where I turned sharp left into Low Park Lane, the start of just over a mile of tarmac walking. I had intended to break up the tedium by looping over Crow Hill but was so enthralled by the scenery I missed the path junction, needless to say the walk over tarmac was far from tedious. The tarmac ended at Low Park, the junction with Gatebeck Lane to be precise, to my right a welcome finger-post promised passage to Moss Cottage, the name eluded me, erased from the map, I followed the path regardless. Through sheep pastured this green trod guided me, I eventually re-surfaced in Endmoor next to a small fishery, I then turned right. Via Gatebeck Road and Woodside Road and Woodbank I rambled before turning down Enyeat Road, Enyeat Road in turn guided me to Challonhall Bridge and the banks of Peasey Beck, I entered sheep pastures once more, the beck then guided me through a number of fields depositing me at Crooklands.

If you intend to wander through these pastures, take a look away from the beck, the level line running parallel to your route is what remains of a tramway, built to transport gunpowder from the works at Gatebeck to Wakefield's Wharf on the Lancaster Canal. Just a small snippet of useless information I thought worth mentioning. I crossed Crooklands Bridge to access the canal at Wakefield's Wharf, the start of a picturesque two mile stretch of canal side rambling, two miles of stunning walking. I had intended to show you Stainton Aqueduct, unfortunately a major repair project was underway, the paths were closed, we'll save it for another time.

Not too disappointed I rambled to Stainton Lane, followed the tarmac surface to the village centre, a tiny round village green dwarfed by a mighty oak and, a quaint pack horse bridge. I crossed said bridge then continued up the lane to Crosscrake. Tarmac continued to guide me to Low Barrows Green followed by Middle Barrows Green then Barrows Green where I stepped onto Burton Road the road I walked out on earlier, all that remained a short walk along the pavement back to Oxenholme and an afternoon sitting in the sun relaxing.

view route map.


The foot-path under The Helm on a stunning morning of blue sky and bird song.

As seen from the drive to Helm End, Farleton Fell.

The Helm viewed from field paths between Helm End and Stang.

A friendly bridge and stile.

Leaving Halfpenny the tarmac of Low Park Lane under foot.

Views over Birkrigg Park.

Peasey Beck near Crooklands.

The remains of the tram way mentioned in the text above, built in the nineteenth century to serve the gunpowder manufactory of C.W.H. Wakefield, the company was founded at Gatebeck in 1852.... conveyed gunpowder and not so volatile products to Wakefield's Wharf, with the closure of the works in 1937 Wakefield's Wharf became derelict, the tramway was lifted and nature took over. The wharf was cleared in the 1990s by Lancaster Canal Trust whom still maintain it to this day.

The Lancaster Canal north of Wakefield's Wharf.

Pleasant walking on a beautiful day, not a soul in sight.

All the bridges on the canal have names, I believe we're looking towards Field End Bridge, far more interesting, in the reeds to the right a swan sits on it's nest carefully watched by a heron standing on the bank.

Looking to The Helm from the narrow tarmac lane leaving Stainton.

All good things come in threes.

Near Low Barrows Green looking to Whitbarrow.

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