WW15:  Underbarrow to Natland

Sunday 7th November 2010

What to do when you get up rather early to see off your guests (sob!) after waving them good bye?  

Normally I'd advocate a return to bed but today the sun was shining and, although frosty, it had the makings of a lovely morning.  This good weather won't last so let's do the next section, we decided.

Descending towards Underbarrow

Driving to Underbarrow presented superb views over to the Lake District with exceptionally good air quality.

The Coniston Fells round to the Langdales in the distance

Passing a small tarn, we noticed a beautiful fox making its way around.  By the time I stopped and had my camera out, it was in the hedgerow right next to the car.  Sadly, I didn't get a clear photo of it but that is the closest either of us have been to a fox in the wild.

Fox in the undergrowth

The Punchbowl, Underbarrow

We left the car at the village hall in Underbarrow, near the Punchbowl, and made our way south east along lanes and paths.  The Mushroom could be seen clearly on the top of Scout Scar, in due course we would arrive there.  Or would we?

Scout Scar with Mushroom

After passing Henry's Castle (see BB0901) and then a newly minted display of washing, we turned east through the Barrowfield Lot wood with the climb of the Scar looming over us.

Henry's Castle

Barrowfield Lot

Fresh washing!

Out of the woods

Approaching the Scar at Barrowfield Farm

On reaching the brim of the Scar, we stopped for coffee.

Coffee stop panorama

Quite unexpectedly, I had a rebellion on my hands.

"Why are we going into Kendal?" asked Margaret.  

"Because the Westmorland Way goes into Kendal," I gently explained.  

"Yes, I know," she responded tetchily, "but why are WE going into Kendal?  Is that the way you would have taken the Westmorland Way if you were planning it?"

She was right.

I had forgotten that We are the Wway.

Team picture

Had I been planning it without any politico-economic influences such as finding people a bed for the night or showing them Westmorland's largest town, rather than go through Kendal I would have taken the route south along the scars to Helsington Church, then down to Sizergh Castle and maybe on to Levens Park.

So, no visit to the Mushroom today.  In the spirit of enlightenment we took Our Wway. There was one almost immediate benefit.  Into view came the Kent Estuary and Westmorland's only coastal village- Arnside.  The end of the Wway was in sight.

The End of the Wway in sight

From a distance, it looked as if there was a service on at the wonderfully positioned St John's Church- not unreasonable for a Sunday morning.  However, on closer examination it turned out to be a mass of people communing with nature.  We were not the only early risers!

St John's Church, Helsington

Dropping to Holeslack Farm

We resisted the temptation to stop in the café at Sizergh Castle, or to spend money in the gift shop, although Margaret did give it a good going over.  

Sizergh Castle

Today's Wway took us down Nanny Pie Lane to meet up with one of the options of the True Wway, only in reverse as we headed up, rather than down the river.

At the weir, there were canoeists queuing to see if they could negotiate it safely.  Three went down succesfully so then I stopped filming.  Of course, the fourth capsized and I missed the moment!  The poor chap banged his head but fortunately escaped to safety.

After crossing the River Kent suspension bridge we continued in the "wrong" direction before taking the bridle path up to the canal, another option of the True Wway and where we will pick it up next time.

Looking upstream

The True Wway Canal Bridge

Crossing the suspension bridge

Looking downstream

Today, however, we continued up to Natland and home.  Another magnificent walk and all before lunch, too!  There is a lot to be said for early starts!

Don, 7th November 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



Pooley Bridge
to Howtown



to Patterdale



to Grasmere



to Ambleside



to Windermere



to Underbarrow



to Natland



to Holme



Holme To Arnside




The Washing Lines

and other items

as seen by Margaret:





BOOT boys

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