CCP04: Grange-over-Sands to Cark

Wednesday 16th September 2009

We decided to let the train take the strain as the old advertising slogan used to say.  Or at least, part of the strain.  We drove to Cark with the intention of catching the train back to Grange-over-Sands in order to reverse the process on foot.  There was little traffic and we arrived half an hour early at Cark.  No problem, time to walk round the village.  Six times if we wanted to!  It really is a tiny place.  Not exactly run down but sufficiently off the holiday trail to be ungentrified.  No wonder the official title of the station is Cark and Cartmel.  It sounds much more impressive.  Although it would be more accurate, if less prosaic, to call it Cark and Flookburgh.

The rather plain Cark station

The rather fine Grange station

The train arrived on time and eight minutes later we alighted at Grange and rejoined the promenade with its helpful notice boards.  All credit to the Town Council, the prom is very attractively lined with all sorts of plants and flowers on the railway side and there were plenty of oldies taking full advantage of the sunshine and the many seats.

The delights of the estuary

The delights of the promenade

Grange Promenadorama

The one blight (ignoring the Japanese grass that is driving out the fine turf on the sea front) is the open-air swimming pool.  Long derelict, Grange has the odd distinction of having two nonfunctional swimming pools now that its replacement has also closed in mysterious circumstances after a remarkably brief life.

The derelict swimming pool

The i-Play

Beyond the pool there is are smart bowling greens, a basketball court and a bmx park but the only item in use was a strange contraption called i-Play where a child hits a button and then responds to the robotic voice by dashing to hit another button.

Shortly afterwards, the official path (not that it had been waymarked anywhere that we had seen) cuts under the railway but we decided to stay on the shore.  We grew to understand why this was not the official route- it became rather boggy and challenging in parts.  We decided not to continue on the shore but rather to rejoin the official route at Kents Bank station where the Cross Bay walk terminates.  There was a surprise climb up the hill through what looked like commuter land with mixed housing, mostly quite smartly maintained.

Cross Bay Walk terminus

Kents Bank station

As we dropped down into Allithwaite, there was a lorry that had got stuck in a very narrow lane- possibly a sat nav problem- and an attempt was being made to tow it out backwards with a JCB.

JCB extricating a lorry

Kirkhead Tower

We then crossed several fields heading south toward Humphrey Head.  On the hill to the left we could see a strange small tower. For once, Visit Cumbria has no information on a historic building.  Perhaps it is not historic enough.  The Francis Firth website describes Kirkhead Tower as a folly that "stands on a headland overlooking the small coastal village of Allithwaite, which takes its name from a Norse settler named Eilifr. To the south lies Humphrey Head, which according to legend was the place where the last wolf in England was killed."

Wyjke Farm in front of Humphrey Head

Wyke Farm washing

For some reason the official route goes neither over nor round Humphrey Head but cuts across above this appendix on the coast line.  

The eastern view from the Humphrey Head shore

True, it adds a couple of miles but the view from the top of Humphrey Head is superb- that 160 feet of height grants an excellent vantage point over both the Kent and the Leven estuaries.

The southern view from Humphrey Head

The western view from Humphrey Head

We took a break above the cliff on the western side, basking in the sun whilst all around seemed to be increasingly grey.

Margaret, as seen by.....

..... Don as seen by Margaret!

....and now together.  Aaah!  Humphrey Head summit, looking north.

Returning to sea level we once again suffered from the plague of long straight roads.  We tried to relieve the boredom by picking brambles, of which there were legion albeit very small.  Then we reverted to I-Spy.


I spy with my little eye something beginning with L.S.R.

Long Straight Road?

Correct; your turn.

I spy with my little eye something beginning with A.L.S.R.

Another Long Straight Road?


You get the idea!

We rounded, but could see little of, Cark "International" Airport but, where the official way turns left, we turned right and headed into the village.  Only it wasn't Cark.  To Margaret's frustration it was Flookburgh and we still had a short distance to go to reach the car.

As we drove back through Allithwaite we noticed that the wedged lorry was gone so presumably the JCB had been successful.

The Coastal Path is proving to be a bit of a proverbial curate's egg.  Good in parts- especially the part that we added today over Humphrey Head but with other stretches that are less fun.  Looking at the map, once we have completed the stretch around Cark Airfield there are no more LSRs for many miles.  Hopefully, no more need for I-Spy!

Don, 16th September 2009

The 7.7 miles covered brings our CCP total to 28.1 miles. 


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  These pages log
the progress of
Don and Margaret
along the
Cumbria Coastal Path.


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



CCP01: Arnside to
Levens Bridge


CCP02: Levens Bridge to
Gilpin Bridge


CCP03: Gilpin Bridge to


CCP04: Grange-over-Sands
to Cark


CCP05: Flookburgh
and back to Cark


CCP06: Cark to Speel Bank
(plus a Cistercian Way sampler)


CCP07: Speel Bank to
Low Wood via Bigland Tarn


CCP08: Low Wood
to Ulverston


Ulverston to Bardsea


Bardsea to Newbiggin


Newbiggin to Roa Island




The Washing Lines

as seen by Margaret:

will appear here!









BOOT boys

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