WW06: Shap Abbey to Knipe

Saturday 5th June 2010

People look at you askance if you tell them that you are gong to Shap for a walk, such is its reputation.  Yet within a very short distance of the village is some delightful countryside. 

I hadn't noticed the car park at Shap Abbey when we were there on Tuesday (WW05). However, the Harvey's map was insistent and I have to concede that when arriving by car it was perfectly obvious.

We set off north along the eastern side of the River Lowther, starting immediately with a good show of washing!   The scenery was further enhanced by a magnificent display of  May and other blossom.

Shap Abbey washing

May blossom

River Lowther

As we passed through the hamlet of Rosgill we noticed a sign for the Miller's Way- one that I had come across sometime before but I couldn't remember where (actually it was on BB0820).  A lady who lived opposite asked if she could help us.  We asked her about the Miller's Way but she hadn't a clue.  To repeat what I find I wrote for BB0820, it was created by Carrs Breadmaker to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Carrs.  It is a 51 mile walk from Kendal to the centre of Carlisle, inspired by the original journey made by Quaker miller Jonathan Dodgson Carr - who founded the Carr's flour, bread and biscuit dynasty in Carlisle on June 29 1831 after leaving his home town of Kendal.

Perhaps he travelled on the small shire-like horses we saw stood stock still in the field there?  Rather more active was the cock ushering up his harem!

Rutland shire?

Cock and harem

Across the river we could see the lakeland hills and a hint of Mardale.

Lakleand hills with Mardale just visible

River Lowther with blossom

Meadow flowers

The fields nearing Bampton Grange were full of wild flowers.

Approching Bampton Grange

St Patrick's Church

Bampton Grange is a nice little village with a church, St Patrick's, with a very melodious chime.  We could hearing it adding to the tune each quarter hour as we progressed along the Wway.

Margaret had tried to lead me astray at the Crown and Mitre.  I must admit it was tempting but I knew that if we went in, the rest of the Wway would be in dire jeopardy. The problem was that she was hungry; we both were.  Her blood sugars were getting low and she was in danger of turning into Mrs Grumpy.

Indeed, there was nearly a rebellion in the next field when she sat down and demanded feeding.  It was only when I suggested that the drain pipe over which she sat could well be rat infested that she reluctantly moved on.  Fortunately for us both, on emerging from the field onto a lane, there was a convenient coronation bench with a fine view back to Bampton Grange.  Fuel was taken on board and equanimity quickly restored!

Refuelling station

The view back to Bampton Grange

The entrance to Knipe Moor has one of those signs that I have seen somewhere before on the Lowther estate which I don't know if they are aimed at Brits or Americans, given their different useage of the word "dumping".

No Dumping Permitted

Vanilla or Coconut?

Crossing Knipe Moor led to a more good natured dispute.  It was full of gorse in blossom, a glorious sight.  I like the smell of gorse blossom and remarked on how it reminded me of vanilla.  This was denounced as nonsensical although Margaret couldn't quite capture what the powerful scent meant to her.  Eventually she said candles to which I agreed- vanilla scented candles, of course.  Later on the internet I discovered a comment that three out of four people associate gorse blossom perfume with coconut and the remaining quarter with vanilla.  It was claimed that this is genetic and a hereditary trait.  No mention of candles.

More Gorse and the skyline etching the High Street Roman Road

Our turning point was the telephone box at the far end of the moor.  No longer owned by BT, it has no phone but instead it boasts a tomato plant and several items of local information.

The Knipe phone box.....

..... and its explanation

Our Wway then headed down to the river and across on a suspension bridge which, whilst not quite in the Indiana Jones league, was good fun.

The suspension bridge.....

..... in action

We followed the river to Bampton and then took to the road.  

Looking across to Bampton Grange and Knipe Moor

Once again, we were nearly tempted by a pub- this time the Mardale Inn. We passed a Wesleyan Chapel now converted to a dwelling house and for sale, went through the hamlet of Bomby with a commendably tidy farm before leaving the road for the final cross country section.  

From the map, I thought this could be a bit of a challenge.  However, it turned out to be part of the Coast to Coast walk and could not have been more clearly waymarked if there had been great big fluorescent signs.  No danger of getting lost.  The path led us over a pack horse bridge, past some sad derelict farm buildings then safely back to Shap Abbey, nestling in the dip down by the river.

Flourescent signage


Packhorse bridge

Shap Abbey and bridge

On the Wway, we saw three of those small etched bronze mentioned in previous reports. I now know that there are eighty four of these scattered around the Eden area and that they are designed to be used for rubbings.  See Rubbings for more information.

Margaret thought that this section was reminiscent of the Dales Way.  Quite right;  similar countryside and a lovely evening stroll.  Why are people so snotty about Shap and its environs?

Don, 5th June 2010





Distance in miles:



Height climbed in feet:






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 These pages log
the progress of
Don and Margaret
along the
Westmorland Way.


 Click on the photos
for an enlargement or related large picture.








to Rutter Falls



Rutter Falls
to Gaythorne Hall



 Gaythorne Hall
to Maulds Meaburn



Maulds Meaburn
to Hardendale



to Shap Abbey



Shap Abbey
to Knipe



to Askham



to Pooley Bridge












The Washing Lines

and other items

as seen by Margaret:





BOOT boys

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