An Icing Sugar Day on Scout Scar.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Natland - Hawes Lane - Hawes Bridge - Scroggs - Helsington Laithes - Lane Head - Brigsteer Road - Bradleyfield - Helsington Barrows - Scout Scar - Underbarrow Road - Cunswick Scar - Kendal Fell - Queens Road - Gillinggate - Kirkland - Natland Road - Natland - Oxenholme.

Notes. “This (Scout Scar) must surely be one of the finest viewpoints in England, for you can see at least 120 hills and mountains in the Lake District, Yorkshire and Lancashire from it, as well as less interesting features such as Blackpool Tower far away across Morecambe Bay”. I think the words of the late A Harry Griffin aptly describe the limestone up-thrust rising above the Kent and Lyth Valleys. I walked from home again, an attempt to avoid traffic chaos caused by the closure of two of the towns bridges due to storm damage. Come for a ramble, it's an icing sugar day, the sun is shining, the sky is blue the views are stunning, what more do you want.

I left Oxenholme and immediately descended the tarmac lane leading to Natland, once in the village I made for Hawes Lane, (still closed to traffic), guided by dry stone walls I descended to Hawes Bridge, which I crossed before following the west bank of the river north. Through sheep pastures I wandered the song of the river accompanying my every step, on reaching Scroggs I turned my back on the river, a tarmac lane guided me to the main road, I tentatively crossed to join a path leading passed Helzington Laithes and on to Lane Head farm, after passing through said farm a gate allowed access to more sheep pastures. Guided by a dry stone wall I made my way to a stile at the top of the field allowing access to Brigsteer Road. Wandering north over the tarmac surface I soon reached a finger-post inviting me to Scout Scar, I obliged and was soon traversing Bradleyfield a well trod path leading me into stunning limestone scenery. After passing through a metal kissing gate I turned right, a less used path then guided me over limestone scars, through stunted flora and on to the trig point overlooking Lyth Valley.

I sat in the lea of the wall out of the wind, drinking coffee and soaking up exceptional views to the hills of Lakeland, the Howgill Fells and the shimmering waters of Morecambe Bay. Drunk on staggering views I headed north, the cliff edge that gives Scout Scar it's name guided me passed Hodgson's Leap and the Mushroom before depositing me on Underbarrow Road. I crossed the grey ribbon of tarmac that links Kentdale and Lyth then continued my journey north. Above the cliffs of Cunswick Scar I wandered, a short climb deposited me at a fine cairn marking the summit, the views from this pile of rocks is jaw- dropping, especially on a day like today, I drooled a while before turning South.

A good path then ushered me over Cunswick Fell, a foot-bridge allowed safe crossing of Kendal By-pass and as it was late and far too cold for golf, the weather and setting sun permitted a safe traverse of Kendal Fell.. After descending Kendal Fell I stepped onto tarmac, via Queen's Road and Gillinggate and Kirkland I made my way to Natland Road, a short stroll along Natland Road brought me to a parting of the ways, a choice to make, follow the river bank path south, stride off down the canal also south or follow the road, as I was on tired legs and it was dark I opted for the latter, tarmac guided me into Natland where I re-traced my steps home.

view route map.


I've just wandered the few miles from Hawes Bridge to Scroggs, the amount of debris clinging to trees, walls and fences was staggering, this is the first place I've found that's litter free. The River Kent looking to Watercrook.

Seen from pastures above Lane Head the Middleton Fells.with the Barbon High Fells to the right.

Ascending Bradleyfield with the snow covered Whinfell ridge behind me.

The stunning view from Bradleyfield, stretched white across the skyline the Middleton and Barbon Fells.

Heading up Helsington Barrows with a wonderful view over Kentdale for company.

Arnside Knott and the waters of Morecambe Bay, as seen from near the trig point on Scout Scar.

Timeless views over Lyth Valley.

Who needs summer when winter brings views like this from Hodgson's Leap, High Street under the first snows of winter.

A winter wonderland on the Langdale Pikes.

The sheer beauty of winter on the Kendal scars.

Viewing a skyline of Lakeland favourites from the plateau above the scars.

Dressed in their winters best, rising above Benson Knott the Howgill Fells.

Looking to Cunswick Scar with the Shap Fells dominating the skyline.

From the northern edge of the Scout Scar plateau, stunning views to a litany of Lakeland mountains.

Approaching Cunswick Scar looking over Kendal Fell to the snow capped summits of the Howgill Fells.

Over Scar Wood an icy High Street guards the head of Kentmere.

The summit of Cunswick Scar gifts the lucky walker with wonderful views to the Howgill Fells....

and the Middleton Fells over Kendal Fell.

Stunning conditions over High Street and the hills that border the Kentmere valley.

From the ascent of Kendal Fell views to the Langdale Pikes and the bulk of the Scafell massif.

A wonderful pallet, the golden hues of autumn, the green of the valley and the cold white cast of winter.

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