Helsington Barrows.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Natland - Hawes Lane - Hawes Bridge - River Kent - Scroggs Wood - Helsington Laithes - Lane Head - Brigsteer Road - Helsington Barrows - Windy Howe - Helsington Church - Briggs House Farm - A6 - Prizet - Prizet Farm - River Kent - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. Helsington Barrows the southern end of the Scout Scar plateau, a landscape of shattered limestone and thin top soil, the bones of the land break through the surface creating many scars and scarps. Flora fights for a foot hold in these poor limestone soils, bright yellow gorse, hawthorn, ash and yew, birch and oak plus fir, today I wandered through a liberal scattering of wild orchids. Again I was forced to walk from home, distancing myself from as many people as possible, hence I gave the main Scout Scar summit a miss, I'm glad I did this turned out to be a stunning walk through equally stunning scenery, come along just keep your distance.

From Oxenholme I wandered down the lane into Natland, as I have so many times before, I left the village via Hawes Lane, this time joining the west bank of the river at Hawes Bridge. I wandered North through sheep pastures, stiles and gates aided my crossing of field boundaries, the final stile allowed access to Scroggs Lane, the tarmac surface deposited me on the main road into town. Not a car in sight, I slowly wandered across to be met by a finger-post inviting me to Helsington Laithes, I obliged turning right at the next junction, the track I now followed guided me passed Drovers Croft then under the by-pass to Lane Head. As I passed the farm a number of signs kept me on track, once through a paddock I turned left, an unsigned path, an obvious route on the ground and on the map a row of small green dashes. It guided me into stunning views before ejecting me onto Brigsteer Road, after turning left I walked to a gate allowing access to Helsington Barrows

The ascent that followed guided me through rough scrub, a scattering of trees, over limestone scars into stunning views. On this section of the walk a limestone wall was my companion, always keeping me on track, never leaving my side. I eventually abandoned it to descend to Brigsteer Road near the lane that leads to Helsington Church. To the left of the church a bridleway climbs over easy ground, I followed this through a couple of fields before descending to Briggs House Farm. Next to the farm buildings I faced what could possibly be a life or death decision, ether follow a signed path for Prizet or the path I took the other day descending through fields to Helsington Laithes, this would add a mile to my outing but avoid crossing the A591, the main artery into the Lake District, a fast duel carriageway. I opted for Prizet, after all we're not supposed to be making unnecessary journeys, in theory the road should be quiet.

The start of this section of path went through somebody's back garden, it felt a bit intrusive following tiny arrows across manicured lawns, field walking soon took over. Gates, stiles and tiny arrows helped guide me through sheep pastures, the final stile deposited me on the grass verge of what is usually a busy road. Not a car, van or motorcycle in sight, not a sound, I wandered across to join another path next to Prizet Lodge. This path followed a wire fence and old boundary line, it ejected me into Prizet, a scattering of modern houses with a manor house at the top of the hill. A welcome finger-post confronted me, a promise to guide me to Hawes Bridge. A narrow path ushered me passed Prizet Farm into sheep pastures which in turn deposited me on the banks of the River Kent, I strolled down stream to access Hawes Bridge and the tarmac lane I'd walked in on earlier, all that remained to re-trace my steps.

Dear reader I think we ought to finish on a word of warning, when lock down ends and, it will, walk the extra mile to Helsington Laithes, when I say the A591 is a busy road I mean bloody busy, stay safe and enjoy.

view route map.


Viewing Helsington Barrows and Scout Scar from Hawes Lane.

Hawes Gorge near Natland.

Wild Garlic or Ramsons to mention two of its many names, lines the verges in Scroggs Wood.

Stunning views from field paths above Lane Head, on the far horizon Clougha Pike above Lancaster.

Nearing Brigsteer Road looking across the Kent valley to The Helm, reaching across the skyline blue/grey the Middleton and Barbon Fells.

I've just stepped from Brigsteer Road into Helsington Barrows, a complete contrast to what I walked through to get here.

A stunning view to Kendal Fell backed by the Shap Fells.

The Whinfell Ridge as viewed from Helsington Barrows.

Ascending Helsington Barrows with this view to look back on, over Kendal Wainwright's herd of sleeping Elephants, the Howgill Fells.

Benson Knott, a walk for another day.

Across the divide of upper Morecambe Bay and the mouth of Lyth Valley Arnside Knott.

This wonderfull view bursts upon the senses as I crested the ridge, the Coniston massif across Lyth Valley and....

....the familiar silhouette of the Langdale Pikes.

Dropping into Lyth Valley the limestone cliffs of Scout Scar.

Timeless views over Lyth Valley.

This was actually a picture of that tree catching the sun, as I haven't a clue what kind of tree it is I'll just settle for Gummers How on the far horizon.

Alluring sky over Windy Howe.

From near Briggs House Farm impressive views over Kentdale, across the horizon The Middleton and Barbon High Fells.

After walking through someone's back garden narrow field paths guided me towards the A591, with this view to The Helm for company.

The main artery into the Lake District looks like its got a blood clot, one car I think I can dodge the traffic today, directly across the valley The Helm and home.

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