Helsington Vistas.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Burton Road - Oxenholme Lane - Natland - Hawes Lane - River Kent - Scroggs - Helsington Laithes - High House - Whetstone Lane - Briggs House Farm - Helsington Church - Sizergh Castle - Sizergh - Nannypie Lane - Wilson Place Footbridge - Larkrigg Hall Bridge - Cracalt - Helm Lane - High House - Burton Road - Oxenholme.

Notes. Come take a wander with me through the parish of Helsington, a rural township sandwiched between Lyth Valley and the River Kent. We'll be wandering through a landscape of contrasts, extensive woodland, lush green pastoral land, a jigsaw of perfectly divided fields, rough hill pastures and limestone scars, we'll also start and end strolling along the banks of the River Kent.

This outing starts with a short wander down Burton Road, I avoided field paths and narrow stiles opting to let Oxenholme Lane guide me into Natland, passed the post office I walked then onto the tarmac surface of Hawes Lane. Hawes Lane then guided me to the River Kent where I joined the west bank, I then following well trod foot-paths north. Through sheep and cow pastures I wandered, gates and stiles aided my crossing of field boundaries, to my right the River Kent my constant companion until reaching Scroggs.

At Scroggs I turned my back on the river, ascending Scroggs Lane to access one of the main roads into Kendal, with everyone on lock down the road was eerily quiet, I crossed to join a lane leading to Helsington Laithes. Two yellow arrows greeted me, the right lane I've wandered many times, the left my boot soles have never set foot on, I turned left.

The lane ushered me under the by-pass to access field paths climbing through Helsington, pastoral rambling for the next few miles then. Through fields I climbed, through gates and over stiles, a green trod guiding me into stunning vistas. After passing a lime kiln at High House I stepped onto a narrow tarmac lane, I swung left, descended to Briggs House Farm, the start of a bridleway that was to guide me to Helsington Church. Leaving lush green fields behind this bridleway guided me through rough hill pasture, the bones of the landscape breaking through the fragile top soil, limestone scars and scrub a real contrast to what I'd walked through earlier. Suddenly a grey limestone church tilted into view followed by staggering vistas over Lyth Valley and the much longed for hills of the Lake District.

I sat a while drinking in the view, drunk on staggering views I turned south, a stoney lane guided me to a field gate, I passed through stepping into the park land of Sizergh Castle. Now the castle is closed due to this bloody virus, I hadn't seen a soul since leaving the banks of the River Kent, that left me wondering if the foot-paths through the grounds would be open. I'd chance it, I descended to a stoney track then headed towards the castle. The foot-paths and bridleways were open, it was quite eerie walking through an empty car park, usually busy, the cafe and gift shop in darkness devoid of life.

At the south end of the car park I re-joined field paths, these guided me to Sizergh and the tarmac of Nannypie Lane. Down the lane I wandered to access the banks of the River Kent once more. I then walked north to reach Wilson Place Footbridge. After crossing, a bridleway traversing the field guided me to a field gate allowing access to a narrow lane (usually muddy, not today). The lane in turn guided me to another field gate, I passed through said gate before ascending to the Lancaster Canal at Larkrigg Hall Bridge. Still guided by the bridleway I walked on to Cracalt, a scattering of farm buildings, some converted into smart homes some not. The access lane to Cracalt ushered me to a stile allowing access to sheep pastures, this field path shepherded me to Helm Lane, up said lane I wandered passed High House, under the West Coast Main Line, tired legs then carried me up hill depositing me on Burton Road just south of Oxenholme.

view route map.


On the banks of the River Kent near Prizet, this race once carried water to power the machinery of a Bobbin Mill.

River Kent reflections.

The Helm seen from Helsington Laithes.

In fields en route to High House looking over Kentdale to the Whinfell Ridge.

High Wood with the woodland of Helsington Barrows across the skyline.

Viewing Benson Knott with Whinfell Common and the masts of it's Repeater Station.

Lime Kiln at High House.

The incredible view towards The Helm and the distant Middleton and Barbon Fells, viewed from near Windy Howe.

Approaching the end of this path this stunning view bursts on the senses, across Lyth Valley the longed for hills of the Lake District.

The vast expanse of Lyth Valley.

Looking over Lord's Lot to the hazy hills of Langdale.

The limestone cliffs and woodland of Whitbarrow guards the mouth of Lyth Valley.

Over the tree tops, dwarfed by the landscape Sizergh Castle, stretching across the horizon the hills of the Yorkshire Dales, Middleton Fell and the Barbon High Fells.

Blossom in Nannypie Lane.

The River Kent near Wilson Place.

Wilson Place Footbridge.

Normally a muddy track, today a dusty bridleway guiding me to Larkrigg Hall Bridge then on to Cracalt.

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