Silverdale, Warton Crag and Summerhouse Hill.

Start. Silverdale (Shore Road).

Route. Silverdale (Shore Road) - Lindeth Road - Woodwell Lane - Woodwell - Woodwell Cliff - Heald Brow - Quaker's Stang - Crag Foot - Crag Road - Warton Crag - Occupation Road - Coach Road - Peter Lane - Summerhouse Hill - Leighton Hall - Grisedale - Leighton Moss - Storr's Lane - Red Bridge Lane - Silverdale Golf Course - The Row - Lambert's meadow - Burton Well - Silverdale Green - Silverdale - Stankelt Road - Shore Road.

Notes. A lazy morning was had by all, it wasn’t until nearly mid day we got itchy feet, to scratch that itch we drove to Silverdale, planning the route as the miles ticked by. In the event it turned out to be a cracker of a ramble taking in everything this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty had on offer, well everything except airy coastal walking, maybe next time.

Almost mid day saw us stepping from the car in Silverdale, on Shore Road to be precise next to the Silverdale Hotel. We walked the few yards to the junction of Shore Road and Lindeth Road, the latter then guided us to a finger post promising passage to Woodwell. At Woodwell water drips from the roof of a small recess in the base of the limestone cliff, it’s collected in a small trough which flows into a large basin originally used to water the villagers cattle.

To the left of the trough a path ascends the cliff, hands on but easy, once on the cliff top woodland paths guided us over gnarly old tree roots and moss covered limestone to Hollins Lane, directly across the lane another finger-post, etched on it’s surface Heald Brow and Quaker’s Stang. This path guided us between hedge rows and dry stone walls, through a small cops then across the cow pastures and scrub land of Heald Brow, when we finally descended to the salt marsh it was to join a path traversing an embankment, passing Quaker’s Stang depositing us on the road at the edge of Crag Foot.

Crag Foot a small scattering of houses and farm buildings dominated by a tall chimney, unlike the one across the marsh at Jenny Brown’s Point this is all that remains of a coal powered pump house, once used to drain the wetlands of Leighton Moss. Rising coal prices during the First World War lead to the discontinuation of pumping, pristine farmland once again turned to wetlands, as it is today.

Crag Foot also marked the start of our ascent of Warton Crag, first over the tarmac surface of Crag Road then between the dry stone walls of the Occupation Road, this ancient track cutting over the shoulder of Warton Crag was once the main Winter route north, it now makes an excellent path. We left this ancient highway at the first gate and stile, the narrow path guided us south through scrub land beneath limestone scars, after passing through a gate the crags marking the summit of Warton Crag tilted into view, all we had to do was find a path beneath all the bracken that would safely guide us there. Path located, we soon found ourselves scrambling onto the summit.

At mere 535ft Warton Crag is not a giant, the summit a mix of scrub, woodland and bare limestone, the views are limited but what you do get is stunning, we sat a while drinking in views over the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay before moving on. We left the summit heading north, the left hand path guided us to a path junction, we swung left again, after passing through a gate we turned right. The descent continued to a gate allowing access to the Occupation Road, with the stoney surface of this old road again under foot we descended through mature woodland between moss covered dry stone walls, the old road soon ejected us onto the tarmac of the Coach Road, another route of old but still in use today.

The boring bit next, we had intended to leave Warton Crag via the Three Brothers, three glacial erratic's but the path was closed, hence we descended to the Coach Road. With tarmac under foot we wandered north, as we crossed the old county boundary we stepped into Peter Lane, same road different name, Peter Lane ushered us passed the entrance to the Gothic pile of Leighton Hall and on to a gate and stile allowing access to Summerhouse Hill. The hill takes it’s name from a Gothic summer house, built on the east edge of the hill overlooking Yealand, all that remains is a foundation and a pile of stones, marked on the OS map as a cairn.

There’s a number of benches on the hill, we sat ages drinking in fantastic vistas over Leighton Park, watched Buzzards diving and soaring over Warton Crag. When the cold wind started to bite we descended towards Leighton Hall taking the tarmac track to the right, this descended through Grisedale depositing us between the reed beds of Leighton Moss. The main trod follows a causeway, this guided us across the moss, tall reeds limit the views, the place was busy with twitchers, if you’re not toting binoculars you draw strange looks.

We ignored the strange looks continuing to Storr's Lane, on stepping onto the tarmac surface we turned left then wandered on passed the Leighton Moss Visitors Centre to access Red Bridge Lane, this time we turned right, walked passed Silverdale Railway Station to access a path traversing Silverdale Golf Course, it was quiet, safe from stray golf balls, we casually strolled across exiting via a kissing gate accessing The Row. From The Row a number of paths lead to Silverdale, we took the first signed Burton Well and The Village, this trod ushered us along the side of a bungalow through woodland before descending a flight of steps to a wicket gate, we passed through said gate to access the National Trust owned Lambert’s Meadow, a sea of flowers in Summer. A green trod guided us across, after fording a narrow beck via a small bridge we swung left then continued on to Burton Well. The well once supplied water for the villagers of Silverdale Green, in times of drought it was delivered in a horse drawn water cart, hence a decent track leads from the well. This we followed into Silverdale Green, all that remained a short walk down Stankelt Road to it’s junction with Shore Road, followed by an even shorter walk down Shore Road.

view route map.

home.

Heading to Woodwell the tarmac of Woodwell Lane under foot.

Fungi in Woodwell Lane.

The spring at Woodwell.

Sue ascends Woodwell Cliff.

Traversing the path above Woodwell Cliff.

Viewing the scree and woodland of Arnside Knott from the cow pastures on Heald Brow.

Sue descends through scrub land with stolen views across Warton Marsh to sylvan Warton Crag.

From the embankment guiding us to Crag Foot views to the limestone scars of Farleton Fell.

Across the salt marsh Jenny Brown's Point with the Browns Houses and Smelt Mill Chimney clearly visible.

Seen from near Crag Foot Fleagarth Wood.

The dominant feature at Crag Foot, the remains of a coal powered pump house, once used to drain the wetlands of Leighton Moss.

Warton Crag woodland.

A splash of Autumn with views to a distant Arnside Knott.

Stunning views from near the summit, Jenny Brown's Point backed by the Furness Peninsula.

Drinking in wonderful views down the Lancashire coast from the summit of Warton Crag....

....and towards the Cumbria coast taking in Arnside Knott with Arnside Park spilling into Morecambe Bay backed by Hampsfell above Grange-over-Sands.

Between the dry stone walls of the Occupation Road.

Traversing Summerhouse Hill into awesome views like this one....

....Gothic Leighton Hall with Leighton Moss to the right and....

....Leighton Park with views to a tide filled Morecambe Bay.

A stolen view between the reed beds of Leighton Moss, across the horizon afforested Yealand Hall Allotment with Cringlebarrow Wood rising out of shot to the right.

Once used to supply the villagers and their animals of Silverdale Green with water Burton Well.

 

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