Levens Park from Oxenholme.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Helm Lane - Natland - Cracalt - Lancaster Canal - Larkrigg Spring Wood - Sedgwick - Wellheads Plantation - Hincaster Road - Levens Park - Levens Bridge - Levens Park - Park Head - Force Gorge - Nannypie Lane - Low Park Wood - Hawes Wood - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. Welcome to a place of peace and tranquility, Levens Park is a very special place to visit, initially laid out by Guillaume Beaumont between 1694-1710 it has a timeless beauty all of its own. Bisected by the River Kent, the park has an abundance of fine trees including a mile long avenue of oaks, once the original carriage drive to the hall and gardens. Under normal circumstances you could drive to the park, there's a lovely three mile loop, an easy walk for children and grandparents. As we're still locked down, with good reason I was forced to walk from home and, as the idea is to get some exercise I shan't be complaining.

As has become the norm I set out from home, south along the edge of Burton Road to access Helm Lane, this I descended into Natland. From the village green I turned left then left again, this lane leads to Sedgwick but I've already had enough road walking for one day, I left it at Cracalt, a finger-post promised access to Force Bridge. With a bridleway under foot I wandered on leaving the bridleway for the canal tow path on reaching Larkrigg Hall Bridge.

Through woodland and grassland I walked, above Sedgwick on a fine aqueduct, at Sedgwick Hall Bridge I entered Wellheads Plantation. Here the main road into the lakes severs the canal in two, that mattered not a jot this path deposited me on the Hincaster Road at the north entrance to Levens Park. What followed was a wonderful mile long ramble guided by a splendid oak avenue, the original carriage drive to Levens Hall, the drive deposited me at Levens Bridge I crossed the river before re-entering the park to start the walk back.

Parkland walking continued until a stile allowed access to sheep pastures, the path then guided me to Park Head, a tiny hamlet in a almost perfect setting. The lane through Park Head as also been severed by the main road, an underpass ushered me beneath the road, I continued to Force Gorge. Still on the east bank of the river I let tarmac guide me to a narrow lane which in turn lead to Low Park Wood, home to a caravan park and the remains of the New Sedgwick Gunpowder Works. I continued with the river to my right, for a change I ignored the gunpowder works, I even ignored the path running along the old mill leat, this time I opted for the left hand path. This guided me through coppice woodland alive with bluebells and wild garlic, it ejected me into cow pastures which I traversed to enter Hawes Wood. Just a word of warning, the field I've just crossed and Hawes Wood are private, although a path and stiles exist there is no public right of way, on a lighter note I have been walking this way since I was a spotty teenager and never been questioned.

Once out of Hawes Wood I turned right letting Hawes Lane usher me out of the valley, over Hawes Bridge then the canal at Crow Park back to Natland, I left the village via Oxenholme Lane, the reason for not wandering back through fields, I was carrying a back pack and the stiles are so narrow it would mean removing it at each field boundary, nothing to do with beady eyed cows guarding the entrance to their field.

view route map.


Wild Garlic at the junction of Burton Road and Helm Lane.

Scout Scar as seen from near Cracalt.

Larkrigg Hall Bridge.

En route through Larkrigg Spring Wood.

I've escaped the confines of the canal, strolling through Wellheads Plantation looking the the limestone cliffs of Whitbarrow.

Sunlight kisses the summit of Sizergh Fell.

Viewing The Helm over Wellheads Plantation.

Rambling through Levens Park guided by this splendid avenue of oaks.

Looking down on the River Kent.

The River Kent dissects Levens Park, two contrasting half's but both attractive to ramble through.

Marking the entrance to Low Park Wood an old Cooperage and saw mill.

Wild Garlic lines the foot-path through Low Park Wood.

This is a stunning place to walk in Spring, I'd normally be on the other side of the mill leat admiring the river, a good choice today I think.

As well as Wild Garlic we even have Bluebells.

The twin arches of Hawes Bridge span the River Kent as Hawes Gorge.

Forced into this narrow gorge this is a noisy spot, spectacular after heavy weather.

Talking of heavy weather it looks like rain sweeping over Benson Knott, the banking to the right is the Lancaster Canal.

back to top

back to list