The Kendal Scars.

Start. Kendal (Little Aynam).

Route. Kendal (Little Aynam) - Gooseholme Park - Stramongate - Market Place - Wainwright's Yard - Low Fell Side - Serpentine Wood - Kendal Fell - Kettlewell Crag - Cunswick Fell - Underbarrow Road - Scout Scar - Hodgson's Leap - Bradleyfield - Kendal Race Course - Brigsteer Road - Lane Head - Helsington Laiths - Scroggs Wood - River Kent - Romney Bridge - Abbot Hall Park - Miller Bridge - Bridge Lane - Little Aynam.

Notes. Time was against me, I was playing taxi driver, Sue my better half was at work and there's no buses on a Sunday, I had five hours from dropping off and picking up, now where to go? I pondered the problem, to my mind time spent on the road meant less time on the trail, deep in thought the words of the late Harry Griffin came to mind, “This (Scout Scar) must surely be one of the finest viewpoints in England, for you can see at least 120 hills and mountains in the Lake District, Yorkshire and Lancashire from it, as well as less interesting features such as Blackpool Tower, far away across Morecambe Bay”, that was it, I was already in Kendal, all I had to do was find some free parking (no restrictions on Sundays), and hit the trail.

Scout Scar and it's lesser known neighbour Cunswick Scar (or Fell if you're not local), two carboniferous limestone up thrusts separating the valleys of Kentdale and Lyth. With scars gently sloping to the east and scarps plunging into Lyth Valley to the west, it makes for some superb walking, consequently its a popular local beauty spot and gets very busy.

My day started on Little Aynam on the east bank of the River Kent, through Gooseholme Park I strolled to access Stramongate, Stramongate in turn lead to Market Place where I entered the appropriate named Wainwright's Yard (named after the famous guide book writer who adopted Kendal as his home town), the yard deposited me on Low Fell Side. I climbed the many steps of Fountains Brow before a narrow cobbled alleyway ejected me onto Queens Road apposite the entrance to Serpentine Woods. The woodland walk that followed was an absolute delight, it deposited me onto Kendal Fell in the middle of a heavy shower. I ignored the cold wet stuff continuing north west across the fell, above Kettlewell Crag I wandered before descending to a foot-bridge spanning Kendal Bypass, I crossed to start the short easy ascent of Cunswick Scar. The summit adorned by a fine cairn backed by equally fine views, I soaked them up before moving on.

Moving on meant, walking south following a green trod along the edge of Scar Wood, this well walked path guided me into the Scout Scar car parks (yes you don't have to walk from town, you can drive up the hill). I crossed Underbarrow Road to access Scout Scar, the short climb that followed deposited me in yet more stunning scenery. I continued south stopping for a brew at the Mushroom, a four way shelter built in 1912 as a memorial to George V. From the Mushroom it was a short walk to a dry stone wall and trig point, this marked the spot I turned to head back into the Kent valley. With the wall for company I descended through wonderful limestone scenery, passed through a metal kissing gate to access Bradleyfield then another onto what was once Kendal Race Course, a good trod then guided me to Brigsteer Road.

The short walk over tarmac that followed ended at a lone bungalow, next to which a finger-post invited me to Helsington Laithes, I obliged descending a large field again in the company of a dry stone wall. At Lane Head I joined the farm lane, this guided me under the bypass, through Helsington Laithes as far as the main road into Kendal. I crossed to enter Scroggs Wood, a short woodland walk followed over the surface of a tarmac lane, in the company of a tumbling stream. When I reached the River Kent I turned left, riverside paths then guided me back into Kendal, I just stuck to the river all the way into town. Narrow muddy paths soon gave way to concrete and tarmac, followed by manicured lawns and park land, when I reached Miller Bridge I crossed the river to access Little Aynam, journeys end, and what a journey it turned out to be.

view route map.


Stramongate Bridge across the River Kent backed by the Riverside Hotel, seen from the foot-path across Gooseholme.

Foot-path through Serpentine Wood.

Rainbow over the Kent valley.

View taken from near the foot-bridge over Kendal Bypass, The head of Kentmere with sunlight on the cliffs of Crag Quarter.

The scene over Lyth Valley with the Coniston massif across the horizon.

From the summit of Cunswick Scar, Scout Scar with Whitbarrow to the right.

The summit Cunswick Scar with views to the Shap Fells.

Kendal Fell with the grey Middleton Fells in the far horizon.

On the summit of Cunswick Scar with a wonderful panorama across the Kent valley, reaching across the skyline the Middleton and Barbon Fells.

The stunning view across Kentdale to the hills of the Yorkshire Dales.

Ascending Scout Scar with this stunning view to take my mind off all the people behind me.

Across the divide of upper Lyth Valley the hills of Lakeland.

The mouth of Lyth Valley, Arnside Knott and the waters of upper Morecambe Bay, just another fine view from the Kendal Scars.

The high skyline, in shadow Shipman Knotts, Kentmere Pike and Harter Fell with High Street looking imposing under a thick blanket of cloud.

Looking over Benson Knott to the distant drama of the Howgill Fells.

The timeless quality of Lyth Valley.

The Mushroom built in 1912 as a memorial to George V, an excellent shelter.

Wrapped in swirling cloud, as it has been all day, High Street.

The river side path through Scroggs Wood.

Romney Bridge over the River Kent.

A splash of colour on the banks of the river near Abbot Hall.

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