Tunnel Hill and the Lancaster Canal.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Barrows Green - Crosscrake - Stainton Bridge - Lancaster Canal - Tunnel Hill - Hincaster - Hincaster Road - Wellheads - Sedgwick - Larkrigg - Cracalt - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. It’s been a funny old year, a can I or can't I go year, trips further afield have been cancelled. I’ve spent the last few weeks finishing jobs I started during lock down, my walking boots redundant, so today after finishing what should be the final job I gave them a waterproofing, the fields in the Kent valley are nearly always muddy this time of year. Come along it’s not the most exciting walk, no airy ridge lines of grand vistas but it will get the lungs working and the heart pumping, ready for the hill days that will surely return.

I’ve got Sue for company today, we left Oxenholme via the busy Burton Road, a short walk to Barrows Green saw us step onto a narrow ribbon of tarmac next to the Punch Bowl (closed at the time of writing), guided by hedge rows and dry stone walls we wandered towards Crosscrake via Low Barrows Green. This lane followed a high ridge gifting us with some splendid views over the Kent valley, the hills of Lakeland stood out dressed in the first white coats of Winter.

On the descent to Crosscrake it was noted the fields we intended to traverse were somewhat wet, the obvious thing to do was continue over tarmac to Stainton, this we did joining the canal at Stainton Bridge. West we walked the canal path guiding us, we soon reached Hincaster Tunnel, to the left a smaller arch, the entrance to the horse path, our route over the hill.

Safely over we wandered behind a row of cottages at Hincaster re-joining the canal at the west entrance to the tunnel, our route then went north the canal still our guide. Unfortunately the A590 the main artery into the Lake District and the Furness Peninsula carves the canal in half just north of Hincaster, walkers are forced to brave the tarmac surface of the Hincaster Road, passing the rear entrance to Levens Park before crossing the busy A590 (bridge) to access a flight of steps leading into the pastures of Wellheads, once in these sheep pastures rolling down to the banks of the River Kent we picked up the line of the canal.

Canal walking continued, under long abandoned service bridges we wandered, over the aqueduct at Sedgwick then through sheep pastures and woodland. We bid farewell to the canal at Larkrigg, here we followed a well trod bridleway to Natland, crossed a couple of fields to join Helm Lane, a short walk up said lane and we were back on Burton Road a few hundred yards from home.

view route map.


Mature tree, one of many passed en route to Low Barrows Green.

From near Low Barrows Green looking to Sizergh Fell, with the limestone cliffs of Whitbarrow to the far left.

Seen over the Kent valley Gummer's How.

From the tarmac lane running passed Low Barrows Green stunning views to the hills of Lakeland.

The appealing rolling farmland of South Cumbria and the grey ribbon that's guiding us to Stainton.

A glimpse of Farleton Fell over the buildings of Stainton.

The canal at Stainton, unfortunately this is also where the water ends.

The Hincaster Tunnel, to the left our route over the hill, the horse path.

The horse path, this is a scheduled ancient monument as is the canal tunnel, the path is a hollow way and was probably in use before the construction of the canal.

Farleton Fell as seen from Tunnel Hill.

Viewing The Helm from the pastures of Wellheads.

Across the Kent valley, Sizergh Fell.

The Gothic Revival architecture of Sedgwick House built in 1868 for William Henry Wakefield.

Heading through sheep pastures between Sedgwick and Larkrigg, looking across the Kent valley to Sizergh Fell.

Near Cracalt enjoying views to Scout Scar.

On view from Helm Lane, Kendal Town backed by Kendal Fell.

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