WW16:  Natland To Holme

Sunday 14th November 2010

The gales of the last few days caused Stuart and Gill to postpone their return to the Isle of Man which meant they were able to join us for this penultimate section for the Wway; one which could more snappily have been retitled "From Home To Holme".  Fortunately the wind had virtually ceased and we were on the right side of the edge of the clouds on what would turn out to be an ever improving day.

From Natland, we rejoined the Wway at the Larkrigg canal bridge and followed the old tow path through Sedgwick.  

Sedgwick from the canal bridge

Sedgwick House

The guide book talks of Sedgwick House dating from 1869 and currently being in use as a school.  Really?  I remember going round it in about 1985 when it was vacant and might possibly have been of interest to convert into offices.  It wasn't and, more sensibly, it was converted to apartments, which remains the case today. So when was this guide book written?  It was first published in 1983 and, allegedly, "fully revised" in 1998.  Hmm. Not quite "fully".  To be fair, it is the fate of guide books to be out of date and this one has stood the test of time reasonably well.

Sedgwick panorama

To the surprise of the others (who had not read the book) the Wway leaves the dried-up canal here and heads up the hill and down to the railway, crossing near the Maize Maze, although, now it has been reaped, there is no evidence of what it had been.

Sedgwick Maize Maze demaized

We had a bit of a contretemps with the book, shortly after.  We could see where we ought to be but following what we had taken to be the instructions had left us a couple of fields adrift.  Retracing our steps, we found the right Wway and headed down towards Stainton.  

Sadly the author chose not to take us through middle of this lovely little hamlet with its narrow bridge and ford, but round the outskirts.  I should have overruled him but we had already added unnecessarily to the mileage.

We rejoined the canal near the start of its water filled existence, albeit not yet navigable, on the non-towpath side.  

Stainton washing

Lunch stop

Lunch was taken by Stainton Bridge End Bridge and we crossed over on Commonmire Lane, following the towpath to Crooklands.

The canal now has water....

..... and ducks

Here, the folly of purely cost driven decision making can be witnessed directly.  The canal is culverted under the M6.  Estimates of the cost to reopen the canal are of the order of £60m, yet back in the 1960s, £18,000 is all that was saved by wrecking the waterway.

Culvert under the motorway

Continuing on the other side

Once approaching Farleton Knott, the canal bank opens up and this is a really attractive stretch with its views, swans, goats, specimen trees and bridges. Which is just as well as I had my mind on things other than navigating the Wway.  I think we were debating how well this coalition government was dealing with the aftermath of what I saw referred to in the papers as "The Brown Terror" when we came to another dead end.  The book had warned us to leave the canal at the last bridge, I just wasn't concentrating so we had to retrace our steps over more unnecessary mileage.  It's a good job it wasn't raining!


Once back over the motorway we could rejoin the canal and follow it until the farm lane that led us into the village of Holme and the car to take us to our home village.

Don, 14th November 2010

Final bridge team photo

Holme washing





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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