Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Barrows Green - Low Barrows Green - Crosscrake - Well Heads Lane - Wellheads - Sedgwick Hall Bridge - Back Lane - Force Bridge - Nannypie Lane - Low Park - Hawes Wood - Hawes Bridge - Hawes Lane - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. Wellheads Hill an inconspicuous grassy hill I'd never set foot on, I reckoned if I had never trod it's turf few other people would, it should be quiet. The Simpson family obviously have, probably many times, a memorial bench bears their name, from this carefully placed perch the views over the Kent valley are stunning, I shall be visiting again shortly.

Unfortunately this walk starts with a section of road walking, the pavement running along side the edge of Burton Road guided me out of Oxenholme. I left the busy road at Barrows Green joining a narrow tarmac lane next to the Punch Bowl. Hemmed in on both sides by hedge rows I wandered on, passed Middle Barrows Green and Low Barrows Green. This modest ribbon of tarmac sticks to high ground, a route of old avoiding the valleys, which at that time would have been wet, boggy and unsafe to travel, Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire had winter and summer routes, high roads and low roads depending on conditions.

This high road guided me to Crosscrake, next to the small primary school a finger-post announced the start of a public foot-path, my route to Wellheads. Through crop fields and sheep pastures I walked, stiles some quite rickety aided my crossing of field boundaries, a fine foot-bridge safely ushered me over the West Coast Main Railway Line. A short sharp climb followed before an equally short sharp descent deposited me in Well Heads Lane, I crossed to join the foot-path ascending Wellheads Hill. The path traverses the northern slopes of the hill, avoiding the summit, but that matters not a jot, the views are staggering, I sat on the memorial bench just soaking them up.

Absorbed and invigorated I descended to Sedgwick Hall Bridge, crossed the dry canal then descended fields on way-marked paths to where Force Bridge spans a spectacular river gorge. After scanning the gorge up stream and down I crossed the road bridge then continued walking north to access a narrow lane running parallel to the river, this quiet lane guided me to Low Park Wood, home to a caravan park, better than most also home to the New Sedgwick Gunpowder Works. Many of the old buildings remain, well worth a quick dig around.

I wandered around the haunting remains, when I first walked this way many years ago interpretation boards told the story of the works. How gunpowder was made, what all the buildings once were, how many people had lost their lives working in this dangerous industry, which parts were haunted, these places always are. They've all been removed I guess the campers will get a better nights sleep kept in the dark.

My route continued along the edge of a wide leat that once carried water to power a number of waterwheels, sandwiched between the river and the race, this is a spectacular stretch of foot-path, it ejected me into cow pastures. After traversing the small field I entered Hawes Wood, the woodland floor was alive with spring flora, but to the right another spectacular limestone gorge, in front of me the twin arched Hawes Bridge spanned the ravine, my route back across the river. Now in Hawes Lane all that was left to wander back to Natland then follow the same field paths I used on my last two outings.

view route map.


Approaching Barrows Green, looking over the Kent valley, to the right Kendal Fell.

The Punch Bowl at Barrows Green, next to which is the lane that guided me away from the main road.

Between the hedge rows of an ancient highway, looking back to Low Barrows Green.

Wandering through crop fields behind Crosscrake School, looking towards Raines Hall with The Helm dominating the horizon, just out of interest the two trees on the skyline are the same two in the shot above.

Foot-bridge over the West Coast Main Line.

The familiar hump of The Helm.

From Wellheads Hill stunning views to Kendal, reaching across the horizon the longed for hills of Lakeland.

The Kent valley as seen from the memorial bench on Wellheads Hill, reaching across the skyline Helsington Barrows with Scout Scar to the right.

Adventures for another day, maybe marking the end of lock down, Whitbarrow just daring me to walk it's limestone plateau.

Sizergh Fell seen from my descent from Wellheads.

Distant vistas to Potter Fell and Brunt Knott, backed by the lit ridge linking Whiteside and Capplebarrow and Bannisdale.

The River Kent and Force Gorge.

In Low Park Wood history springs from the map, a wheel pit part of the New Sedgwick Gunpowder Works.

Part of the incorporating mill, one of two built ether side of the wheel pit.

The leat that once carried water to power the mill.

The River Kent in a never ending hurry to reach the Irish Sea at Morecambe Bay.

En route through Hawes Wood.

The twin arches of Hawes Bridge.

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