Grize Dale and Nicky Nook.

Start. Scorton.

Route. Scorton - Cleveley Bridge - Lea Green - Cliftons Farm - Syke's Farm - Fell End Farm - Grize Dale - Nicky Nook - Grize Dale - Higher Lane - Tithe Barn Lane - Scorton.

Notes. I've slipped my chains, escaped my lair in the Lake District, a stealth mission into Lancashire, I've snook over the border, come to rest in Scorton on the western fringe of the Forest of Bowland. A strange name on an OS Map caught my eye, as good an excuse as any to climb a hill. The hill in question was Nicky Nook, at a moderate 696ft not very high but gifts the walker with magical views for little effort, so I decided to walk in the long way, make a morning of it before retiring to the pub.

They tell me there's an excellent café at Scorton, they being every walker I passed, the best cakes in the world one woman described them, unfortunately it was off my route, a good excuse to return. The road side opposite the bowling green provided a handy parking space, my route took me north through the village, leaving the houses behind, a finger-post invited me to Cleveley Bridge. I left the road, the path guided me along the edge of rough pastures through wild flower meadows before depositing me at the promised bridge, I turned right to head up the road. With tarmac under foot country lanes guided me to Lea Green where field paths then ushered me on to Cliftons Farm. From Cliftons pastoral walking continued, field paths shepherded me along the edge of an ancient boundary marked by the odd oak tree, way-marked arrows kept me on track. I soon reached Syke's Farm, the path steered me to the left of the farm buildings depositing me in a tarmac lane. I turned right, south, letting the lane guide me to a ford next to Yew Tree Cottage then on to Fell End Farm. I followed the gravel farm lane, just before the farm a permissive path skirted the farm buildings, it guided me passed the farm through cow pastures then on to the head of Grize Dale.

No more farms to navigate, no more farm dogs don't you just love them and no more cows, bovine lawn mowers of various breeds, nosy creatures, you never know how they'll react when you step into the field. A welcome finger post at the head of the Grize Dale pointed the way, into woodland I walked, board walk paths carried me above boggy ground, I wandered into a stunning sylvan gorge home to Grisedale Reservoir. The path swung north around an arm of the reservoir, I continued north on a signed path, Fell End Farm (yes the one I'd just navigated around), on leaving the woods I crossed a stile to start the short ascent of Nicky Nook.

Wind and rain greeted me, the flat lands of the Fylde do little to halt weather fronts, the Bowland Hills are the first high ground and I was getting the lot, never mind the skin's waterproof, by the time I reached the summit it was a good job. I turned to re-trace my steps to a wall I crossed on the ascent, a good path descended steep ground to the right, I descended with it back into the tree cover of Grize Dale. I continued down the dale, on reaching a foot-bridge a finger-post invited me to Higher Lane, I obliged wandering over an ancient track to access said lane at Slean End. With tarmac under foot I wandered up the hill, it had stopped raining, there was some good views to be had over the flatlands of the Fylde. Field paths were soon under foot again guiding me to the grey ribbon of tarmac that is Tithe Barn Lane, on accessing said lane I turned down hill to start the short walk back to Scorton.

view route map.


A slice of Scorton.

Viewing the hills of Bowland from rough pastures to the north of Scorton.

Wetlands passed en route.

The detritus of a past way of life.

Scorton Lake.

Seen from near the rusty old barn, rising above the tree line Nicky Nook.

Wandering through sheep pastures above Cliftons with this view to Clougha Pike for company.

The row of trees marks an old boundary line in the fields above Cliftons, the view, Syke's Farm backed by Grizedale Fell.

The ford near Yew Tree Cottage.

Seen from cow pastures above Fell End the Irish Sea, to the left the lower slopes of Nicky Nook....

....but first a wonderful trod through Grize Dale.

Ascending Nicky Nook in the rain, with the weather at my back views to Bleasdale Moor.

The summit Nicky Nook.

Even in driving rain the views west from this moderate little hill are stunning, the Fylde coastal plane.

Grizedale Lea Reservoir backed by a grey Bleasdale Moor.

I've been washed from the summit, literally, from the start of my descent views to Grizedale Reservoir.

Grizedale Reservoir.

Striding out over the surface of an ancient track leading from Grize Dale to Higher Lane.

In sheep pastures off Higher Lane viewing the Irish Sea coast.

Poor old "mowdies" hanging from a wire, they serve not as a warning to other moles but to show the farmer the mole catcher's work is done.

A beacon to guide me home, the spire of St Peter's Church seen from Tithe Barn Lane.

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