BB1632 : Sticky Toffee and Other Treats

Wednesday 7th September 2016

Today was different.  Robin had promised to be our tour guide on a circuit featuring the Sticky Toffee capital of the world.  And what a tour guide he turned out to be.  Not just leading us through beautiful countryside but enlightening us about the history of the many features on route. Here is his summary of the day:

The day dawned sunny and bright. The BOOTboys had arranged to meet at The Royal Oak in Lindale, where although the landlord was happy to let us park, the pub would be closed for our return. That and the huge hedge-cutter tractor filling Hollow Lane, the intended opening climb of the day, caused a swift change of plan and a scoot over to the lay-by opposite Broughton Lodge, the Grade 11 listed Georgian Mansion on the road in to Cartmel.

Broughton Lodge

We set off across fields toward Old House Wood pausing to admire the Lodge, built in 1792 by Daye Barker of Low Wood Gunpowder Works fame.

Crossing over the River Ea, Robin was able to assert his right as the current miller of Aynsome to inspect the sluice gate controlling the flow to Aynsome Mill.

Planted enticingly alongside the river is the kitchen garden supplying L’Enclume where the soft fruit was frugally sampled and adjudged ‘très ordinaire’ by the visiting gourmets.

Comitibus: Jonna with sausages

Robin at the sluice wheel

Through the wood was another culinary surprise, but this time meeting more enthusiasm than the raspberries, for at the gate in the field corner stood Jonna holding a foil-wrapped tray of hot sausages, buttered bread and a pot of ketchup!

Even Tony was stunned into silence – albeit momentarily - before tucking into at least three of the porkers.

Having enjoyed our early brunch and thanking Jonna for improvising such an enjoyable pop-up café it was up the hill to Green Bank, stopping briefly to admire four impressive Friesians of the black horse variety, past Professor Donald Pigott’s duck statue, along a grassy lane passing pigs, piglets and what they hoped wasn’t, but we thought appeared to be a large cylindrical bacon smoker to Beck Side.

Black horse Fresians

Piglets and the .....

Pigott's duck

..... the smoke house

From here we trundled up the valley side past Over Ridge and on up to Speel Bank to the old farmstead. A number of old curiosities in the tumble-down sheds drew our attention (but none were recognised as BOOTboys).

Guess where?

Old curiosities

From here we took the right-hand, westerly path to the Ellerside escarpment, climbing the wall stile to be greeted by glorious, far-reaching views across Morecambe Bay with Ulverston perched in the middle distance.

The Leven viaduct to Ulverston

Next, across fields to How Barrow where we were waylaid by the local farmer from Strieber’s on his quad-bike who had ridden over to “enjoy the craic” he said – and so we did, sending him cheerfully on his way with good banter.

Marked by an OS triangulation pillar complete with crow’s foot benchmark giving datum level above the Tide Gauge set in Newlyn Harbour wall (i.e. above Mean Sea Level) and a threaded theodolite mounting brass, How Barrow is known locally as Mount Barnard.

There are a number of myths and legends surrounding the 154m high hill.

The most popular one locally is that Brother Barnard planned to build Cartmel Priory on top of How Barrow but was discouraged by a voice telling him this was a place of the Old Religion – presumably of nature and thus pagan, and that God had prepared a place where the waters flowed north, south, east and west. If you know where to look around the Priory these flows of river, stream and spring are to be found!

The Old Man of Coniston

Descending to the Cumbria Coastal Way we made our way to Holker Hall, ancestral home of the Cavendish Family, allegedly one of the most influential aristocratic families in England since the 16th century.

At the junction with the Cistercian Way we saw the false sheep fold hiding the entry manholes to an underground command bunker, a relic from WW2.

By now it was well past ‘Tony Time’ and we took an unusually comfortable lunch sitting at a picnic table in the manicured grounds of the Hall before making our way via Walton Hall Farm and Cartmel Racecourse into Cartmel Village.

Cartmel racecourse

It was hot and we were getting bothered so Don eased our pain with a cone of the tastiest sticky toffee pudding ice cream from Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding shop, itself a culinary emporium of fine food where Tony declared he could start on one side and eat his way around the shop.

The Priory from the Racecourse

The Sticky Toffee Shop

We sat on the Fishplates in the square and slurped our ice creams, Don chatting to a bearded cyclist from Cark who arrived on a recumbent bicycle looking very pleased with the world. Does meeting the BOOTboys have this effect? Anyway, thank you Don!

Walking past L’Enclume, recently voted Britain’s finest restaurant by the GFG, and Tony treated us to a laugh just as a sous chef emerged from a side door, Tony enquired if this was the local café he had heard about? The chef’s face was a picture…..!

The Priory churchyard was entered from the north side and we walked around to the main South Entrance and stepped inside – see Cartmel Priory.

Working on the clock at the Priory

They fled by night

Out onto Priest Lane through the churchyard kissing gate, past the Old Police Station and Knot House to Pitt Farm and a struggle up the valley side to Hampsfell Hospice to take in the poetry, the stone carved Greek inscription above the hospice door which Don enlightened us was all about Rosy and Dawn, or something very similar, and then climbing up the uneven steps to behold that magnificent 360° view.

The Coniston - Wetherlam range

Stan and Robin on the Hospice

Arnside via the viaduct

Finally, along the Cistercian Way and down to the ancient Hampsfield Hall with its traditional chimneys and priest hole, once the local distribution centre and home to shire horses until the coming of the tractor, and so back to the cars.

In need of refreshment and deciding to chance our luck at finding parking spaces in Cartmel we struck lucky at the Pig & Whistle with two spaces outside the front door. Well, we weren’t going to turn that welcome down and welcome too was the pint that Stan treated us to taken in the beer garden overlooking the sheep grazing quietly in the early evening sun -


Robin, Wednesday 7th September 2016

Tony takes shade

Stan eats his fingers

 Robin spots Blackpool Tower

Don hopes the ram doesn't spot him




Wednesday 7th September 2016

Distance in miles:

13.0 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

1,659 (Memory Map)


Mount Barnard, Cartmel, Hampsfell


Don, Robin, Stan, Tony


Map shown: OS 1:50k

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1632 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of   the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

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boys. Likewise written comment.

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2016


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