Whitbarrow from Mill Side.

Start. Mill Side.

Route. Mill Side - Beck Head - Oversands School - Whitbarrow Scar - Flodder Allotment - Lord's Seat (summit) - Farrer's Allotment - Fell End - Buckhouse Wood - Low Fell End - Mill Side.

Notes. Whitbarrow wears a number of caps, Site of Special Scientific Interest for one, National Nature Reserve another, and part of the Morecambe Bay Pavements Area of Conservation, I’m sure in the years to come the powers that be will place another on it’s polished limestone brow. Christened “white barrow” by our Norse forefathers, they sailed into upper Morecambe Bay looking for land to settle and local girls to bear them sons, the white cliffs of Whitbarrow acted as a beacon, they obviously knew a good place when they saw one.

This is a short but stunning walk, I wandered through mixed woodland, grassland, marveled at the low crags and limestone pavements, stood in awe trying to trace a route up Whitbarrow’s sheer cliff face. But first an easy stroll from Mill Side through Beck Head, from the low limestone cliff with a beck emitting from it’s base. A stoney track ushered me through coppice woodland then sheep pastures ejecting me onto a narrow tarmac lane, I turned right. An easy few hundred yards over tarmac followed before reaching Oversands School, here a finger-post invited me to Whitbarrow.

If you’ve never walked this way before the lump in your throat and the fluttering in your stomach is to be expected, the feeling of doubt welling up inside, no way is there a route up there, but there is. I followed the path passed some old kennels and a football pitch, crossed a ladder stile then turned left, this narrow trod through mature woodland guided me into the promised land. When the path swung right the climbing begun, a narrow path honed from the cliff face by our Victorian forefathers guided me, steep, narrow but quite safe, it deposited me in Flodder Allotment where the climbing eased, I was soon at the large cairn on Lord’s Seat the summit.

The ice cold wind ripping across the summit forced me to wander south seeking shelter, once below the summit, out of the wind I sat drinking coffee just soaking up the scenery. Brew over I continued south, under low limestone cliffs I strolled, over a stile into Farrer’s Allotment where the views back over my route were just stunning. Across a couple of satellite tops I walked, large cairns marked exceptional view points, the path soon started descending into birch woods.

The views weren't over just yet, after passing through a wicket gate the path turned left, I went right, the muddy path that guided me ended on the grassy nose of the hill, gifting me with stunning views across Morecambe Bay, time for another brew. Once I’d run out of coffee I slung my bag across my back and doubled back to the path I’d just left, another path honed from the cliff face. This trod guided me safely through mixed woodland, with each step I got closer to the old mettled road running under the southern cliffs of Whitbarrow, this splendid track was once the main road west, built above the flood plane. Before the advent of drainage all land to the south and north into Lyth Valley would have been inundated with salt water at high tide.

I followed this old road east to be greeted by a finger post (no destination), this path I followed through Low Fell End Farm then down the access lane back to Mill Side. Just to prove a point when I arrived there was me and a camper van parked on the old Barrow Turnpike, I counted thirty cars and the camper van thus is the popularity of this low limestone hill.

view route map.


The cottages at Beck Head backed by Whitbarrow.

A curtain of limestone cliffs, the Chapel Head Scar face of Whitbarrow.

Rising sheer from High Crag Wood, Chapel Head Scar.

Ascending Whitbarrow, a gap in the trees gifts me with stunning views over green fields to sylvan Yewbarrow.

Catching the sun the silver bark of the birch wood in Flodder Allotment.

Escaping the tree cover into stunning views, Arnside Knott across upper Morecambe Bay with the Forest of Bowland grey across the horizon.

Wonderful views from Whitbarrow, the high tops of Lakeland in dappled light.

Un comparable views north to the Grey hills of the Lake District.

Drinking in the view from near the summit of Whitbarrow, across Lyth Valley to the distant beauty of the Middleton and Howgill Fells.

This fine cairn with equally fine views marks the summit.

Scraped, shattered and scooped, a landscape born at the bottom of a warm tropical ocean over 350 million years ago.

One of many wonderful views to be had on this limestone plateau, looking over Lyth Valley to Scout Scar, across the horizon the Howgill Fells.

Arnside Knott and the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay.

Adventures through an extraordinary landscape, looking back to the summit.

The bewildering beauty of Whitbarrows limestone scars.

Age old scenery and dancing shadows.

Taking a breather, immersed in the views from Whitbarrow.

A wonderful play of light across the extraordinary landscape of Whitbarrow.

Gummer's How seen across the Winster Valley.

The prospect east, over the valleys of Lyth, Kentdale and Lunesdale the Middleton and Barbon High Fells.

Viewing Arnside Knott and the Kent Viaduct.

Racing moody shadows dance across the flatlands bordering Morecambe Bay, watching the display from Fell End.

The Newton Fells as seen from Fell End.

Still on Fell End letting the busy A590 carry my eye to a distant Humphrey Head.

Not quite the A590 but this is the original road west, it once echoed to the sound of horse drawn carriages, how times have changed.

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