The Kendal Scars.

Start. Kendal (Queen's Road)

Route. Kendal (Queen's Road) - Tram Heights - Kettlewell Crag - Cunswick Fell - Underbarrow Road - Scout Scar - Bradleyfield - Bradley Field Farm - Brigsteer Road - High Tenterfell - Queen's Road.

Notes. Just south of the volcanic chaos that is the English Lake District, rising between the valleys of Lyth and Kent is a stunning limestone escarpment, Scout Scar and it’s lesser known neighbour Cunswick Scar. To the east a patchwork of limestone pastures rise from the Kent valley, to the west sheer cliffs plunge into Lyth Valley. It’s a very special place this plateau above the scars, a Site of Special Scenic Interest, in 2005 it was included in the Special Area of Conservation, Morecambe Bay Pavements which includes other limestone escarpments in Cumbria.

Old Wainwright described it as “a walk above others, a pleasure every step of the way”, the late A Harry Griffin announced “this (Scout Scar) must surly be one of the finest view points in England”. So come along on this wet and windy day, the forecast promised sunshine and showers, I got the showers the sunshine was over Morecambe Bay not so many miles to the south.

After parking on a small car park just off Queen’s Road I followed a tarmac lane up the hill, this is locally known as The Tram Heights, the track bed of a tram way that carried limestone from the small quarry under Kettlewell Crag to be used in the building of Kendal Prison (long gone). Tarmac soon gave way to a muddy path and to take my mind off the clag stunning views. After passing a small cops I turned sharp left, good paths then ushered me over Kendal Golf Course to a fine footbridge spanning Kendal By-pass, I crossed then continued following an obvious path to a large cairn, the summit of Cunswick Fell.

The summit wasn't a place to hang around today, with heavy rain blowing in from the south west I turned into the deluge, I headed south hoping Scar Wood would provide some mediocre of shelter. After just over a mile of wet walking I emerged at the Scout Scar car parks (such is the popularity of the place it has two), directly across the road the path that would guide me to the summit of Scout Scar.

With a wide well trod path under foot I climbed the hill, the edge of the cliffs then guided me passed the Mushroom a popular local landmark, above Hodgson’s Leap to a dry stone wall, here I turned my back on the dizzy drops and wet vistas. Keeping the wall to my right I climbed towards the trig point to join another wall running north along the escarpment, this in turn guided me to a metal kissing gate, I passed through to enter Bradleyfield.

The descent that followed passed through rough pastures and scrub, with a dry stone wall to my left a muddy path under foot I soon reached Bradley Field Farm, the path guided me passed the farm buildings depositing me on the access drive, this in turn lead to Brigsteer Road and the start of the descent back into Kendal. Via Brigsteer Road, Bankfield, and High Tenterfell Road I made my way to Queen’s Road and the small car park where I’d left the car.

view route map.


Views over Kendal with Whinfell Common under cloud.

Seen beyond the green fields of Kentdale the mouth of Longsleddale.

Seen from Kendal Fell, Hayclose and Windy Hill with sunlight on Armistead Windfarm far right.

Farleton Fell through diffused light, seen from near the summit of Cunswick Fell.

Rising from the flatlands of Lyth the limestone escarpment of Whitbarrow.

Looking back to Cunswick Fell from the ascent of Scout Scar.

Wild skies with dancing showers washing the landforms of South Lakeland.

The timeless beauty of Lyth Valley.

Taking in the view from above the Scout Scar cliffs, Arnside Knott and the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay.

Drinking in views to the North, Staveley and the mouth of the Kentmere valley.

Laying under a dark cloud, Whitbarrow.

Showers sweeping across the mouth of Lyth Valley.

Descending through Bradleyfield, with this wall and track for company and views to Benson Knott.

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