Leck Beck.

Start. Cowan Bridge.

Route. Cowan Bridge - Hagg Brow - Leck - Leck Mill - Spring Wood - Anneside - Ease Gill Kirk - Hellor Scales Barn - Bullpot Farm - Fell Road - Brownthwaite Pike - Fell Road - Long Level (Roman Road) - A65 - Cowan Bridge.

Notes. This was a walk hidden in the dark recesses of my hard drive for longer than I care to remember, always cast aside as I was on a quest for the higher. After all these years tramping the high places little did I know, almost on my door step was a tiny pimple of a hill overlooking the Lune Valley about to gift me with the finest views I've ever had, views from the hills of Lakeland, the high ground of the Yorkshire Dales and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland paled into insignificance. The panorama from the western slopes of Brownthwaite Pike! yes Brownthwaite Pike is magnificent, if you doubt me, pick a nice day and take a look for yourself. Sorry while eulogizing over Brownthwaite Pike I forgot Leck Beck. Maybe I should have named this walk In Search of Leck Beck, over half today's climb was spent wandering up the valley of Leck Beck, strolling through green meadows and cow pastures, through cool woodland alive with flora and fauna, all to the sound of tumbling water, it wasn't until I reached high moors did I actually see the said beck.

My day started on the village hall car park at Cowan Bridge, £1 as long as you like. A short walk north along the grass verge of the main road saw me reach a footpath sign directing me up the east bank of Leck Beck. Following field paths with fleeting glimpses of the beck to my left I wandered towards Leck, after crossing Hagg Brow the path swung sharp right, a narrow slit stile allowed access to the tarmac lane running through the village. With tarmac under foot I wandered on stepping into meadows again at Leck Mill, my route took me through fields alive with sheep and pesky insects before entering Spring Wood. After passing through the wood I stepped out into lush green meadows, I guess I was wandering over what was once the flood plane of the beck, easy level walking with the beck hidden behind a banking covered with high vegetation. After passing a wooden chalet then crossing a rather dilapidated ladder stile the path forded a small stream before swinging east up hill, with the short climb behind me another stile lead onto a good path. This path carried me into a real mountain wilderness, passing the once thriving farmstead of Annerside, now a ruin guarded by a beautiful Sycamore. On reaching a large patch of exposed boulders my route plunged down hill into the dry valley of Ease Gill Kirk, (another walk for another day). I exited the kirk via a ladder stile, now in the company of a dry stone wall I passed Hellor Scales Barn before reaching Bullpot Farm.

With no obvious route back I was forced to follow Fell Road, with tarmac under my boots and the OS map in front of me I wandered on hunting for a path traversing Brownthwaite Pike, the only reason, it limited the amount of road walking. An easy ascent on a good path carried me across the eastern slopes of the fell, a rather large cairn caught my eye, I ascended, the views were quite stunning, little did I know this was just a curtain raiser to the main event. I descended, as the path swung right the view stopped me in my tracks, absolutely jaw-dropping, I almost forgot to take photographs of this 270° panorama, from the lower slopes of Pendle Hill to the south my eyes scanned the skyline, southwest across the undulating hills of Bowland, to the west the shifting sand and mud flats of Morecambe Bay, Silverdale and Arnside with the lesser limestone escarpments of Farleton Fell, Hutton Roof and Whitbarrow, on the far horizon clinging to the Irish Sea coast Black Combe marking the start of a litany of Lakeland giants, the saw tooth skyline carried my eye as far as the Shap Fells just stopping short of the Howgill's, I stood drinking in the view for ages, finally I descended to Fell Road. I'm afraid the rest of my route followed tarmac, yes it was a bit boring wandering along the almost straight Roman Road known as Long Level, but all the way, in my minds eye I could still see those wonderful views across several river valleys, the roar of the busy A65 woke me with a start, I now had to dodge the speeding traffic on the short walk back to Cowan Bridge.

view route map.


Leck Beck passes under the now disused Ingleton Branch Line,

Almost two miles of easy walking and I get my first real view of the dark waters of Leck Beck.

Seen from near Anneside, Barbon Low Fell.

The sad remains of Anneside once the last outpost of civilization in this lonely valley.

The lonely view north to the valley head.

Looking to Barbon Low Fell.

This jumble of exposed boulders looks like a small disused quarry, it marks the start of my descent into Ease Gill Kirk.

Leck Fell seen over Lower Ease Gill Kirk.

Viewing Gragareth from near Hellor Scales Barn.

Seen from the lower slopes of Casterton Fell, the hills of Bowland over the valley of Leck Beck.

Approaching Bullpot Farm with the shadowed slopes of Calf Top rising above Barbondale.

Seen over Bullpot Farm, Crag Hill.

Views taken from Fell Road, the valley of Leck Beck backed by a Bowland skyline.

Views over Bullpot Farm taking in Crag Hill, Gatty Pike and the slopes of Green Hill.

In sunlight and shade, Gragareth.

On the slopes of Brownthwaite Pike and the views begin to open out, here we have Arnside Knott and the Irish Sea.

The summit Brownthwaite Pike with views across the Lune Valley to the Irish Sea coast.

Stunning views across a patchwork of green fields to the Lake District skyline.

Stretched across the skyline for all to see, the hills of Bowland.

Looking to Calf Top with the summit of Brownthwaite marked with a trig point to the right.

Wonderful views to a Lakeland skyline seen from the descent of Brownthwaite Pike.

The hills of Bowland seen over the Ribble Valley.

There it is seen from Long Level (Roman Road) through a gap in the hedge row, Brownthwaite Pike, a must return.

back to top

back to list