Along the Kendal Scars.

Start. Kendal.

Route. Kendal (Natland Road) - Romney Bridge - Nether Bridge - Abbot Hall - Lowther Street - Allhallows Lane - Fellside - Sepulchor Lane - Serpentine Road - Serpentine Wood - Kendal Fell - Cunswick Fell - Underbarrow Road - Scout Scar - Helsington Barrows - Bradleyfield - Brigsteer Road - Lane Head - Scroggs Wood - Romney Bridge - Kendal (Natland Road).

Notes. South of the volcanic turbulence of slate Lakeland lies a far more civilized landscape, a kirst landscape born at the bottom of a warm tropical ocean millions of years ago, scarred by ice, sculptured by wind and rain, white cliffs glint in the sun before plunging into alluvial valleys. I'm trying to describe the limestone up thrusts of Scout Scar and Whitbarrow, but it's far better to pop along and explore for yourself, you won't be alone for these lesser heights have been popular with Kendal folk since Victorian times. I opted to wander Scout Scar with it's many dog walkers and joggers, the mushroom a famous local landmark and if you're lucky, or maybe unlucky the spectre of a local man eternally riding to his death over Hodgson's Leap.

My day started on the edge of Kendal far from the Scout Scar car parks most people use as a stepping stone to explore these limestone lesser heights, Natland Road marked my starting point. I crossed the river at Romney Bridge to join the river side path heading north, after crossing the busy road at Nether Bridge I continue my river bank ramble. Passed the Parish Church and Abbot Hall Art Gallery, then on to Miller Bridge where I left the river to ascend Lowther Street. I continued up hill at the crossroads before turning right onto Fellside, almost immediately I joined a steep cobblestone lane. Sepulchre Lane guided me up hill to join a narrow tarmac road, another cobblestone lane emerged from my left, I followed this onto Serpentine Road, directly across the road, accessed by a flight of limestone steps lay Serpentine Wood, another favourite with local folk.

I entered the woods, keeping right at every path junction soon emerging into hazy views over the Kent Valley. Way marked paths guided me over the golf course, a foot-bridge carried me safely over Kendal by-pass then field paths deposited me on the summit of Cunswick Fell. With hazy views in all directions leaving nothing to photograph I turned south, on a good path I traversed Cunswick Fell, passed Scar Wood above the cliffs of Cunswick Scar I wandered, keeping the dry stone wall to my right I soon reached a wooden gate allowing access to a small cops, I passed through said gate and cops to reach Underbarrow Road and the path leading onto Scout Scar. Continuing south my route passed the mushroom, then Hodgson's Leap before reaching a dry stone wall and trig point. I continued south until reaching a large cairn at a path junction, it was time to turn my back on the Scout Scar cliffs. On a good path I traversed Helsington Barrows then Bradleyfield, a short walk over sheep pastures followed to access Brigsteer Road, I turned right away from Kendal. With tarmac under foot I strolled out, soon reaching a smart bungalow, next to which was a finger-post inviting me to Helsington Laithes, I obliged descending through fields, the path lead to Lane Head Farm then followed the farm lane passing Helsington Laithes stopping abruptly at the main road into Kendal. Risking life and limb I legged it across, safe on the other side I entered Scroggs Wood. A tarmac lane guided me to the banks of the River Kent where I turned north (left) to start the short(ish) walk back to town.

view route map.


The River Kent looking north with Serpentine Woods on the skyline.

The three arches of Nether Bridge, Anglo Saxon translation anyone, Nether meaning neothera meaning lower, this would suggest Nether Bridge was the last bridge in town.

Passed en route, the 18th century Parish Church, claimed to be one of the largest churches in England.

Found in Lowther Street, this Turk sign adorns the wall of the Gawith Snuff Works dating back to 1782.

Sepulchre Lane at one time marked the boundary of a medieval chapel built next to a pele tower, sadly neither of which remain.

In Serpentine Wood, nestled atop a low limestone crag a Victorian summer house.

En route through Serpentine Wood.

I've escaped the woodland to be greeted with hazy views over Kendal.

Looking to Cunswick Fell.

Views south along Cunswick Fell.

The summit Cunswick Fell gifts the lucky rambler with wonderful views over the Kent valley, unfortunately not today.

Seen from Cunswick Fell, Kendal Fell backed by the faint outline of Benson Knott.

Ascending Scout Scar looking back to Cunswick Fell.

Seen from Scout Scar, sunburst over upper Morecambe Bay.

Crowning the high point of Scout Scar, the Mushroom, erected in 1912 as a memory to King George V.

Views over the Scout Scar cliffs, catching the sun Potter Fell.

Seen across the wide expanse of the Kent Valley, The Helm.

Views across Helsington Barrows.

The River Kent at Watercrook.

Nearly at journeys end, looking up stream to Romney Bridge.

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