The Beetham Trail.

Start. Heron Corn Mill.

Route. Heron Corn Mill - Beetham - Stanley Street - Hale Fell - Deepdale Wood - Marble Quarry - Beetham Road - Slack Head - Dolly Wood Lane - Storth Road - Hazelslack - Underlaid Wood - Fairy Steps - Beetham Fell - Church Street - Heron Corn Mill.

Notes. A short Saturday afternoon wander, what better way to kill a few hours, far better than the job I'd planned, concreting. I took a short walk through the woodland above Hale and Beetham, visited a marble quarry (actually limestone, a cheep Victorian alternative), paid a visit to the Fairy Steps, well you can't wander in the woods above Beetham without visiting them can you. Come on it's a short walk you'll enjoy it, I did.

After leaving the car in the Heron Corn Mill car park (£2 if you're honest) I wandered back along the access road, turning right to enter the village, a few paces passed the Wheatsheaf Inn next to the village stocks (they don't tar and feather people in these parts any more) I joined Stanley Street, next to the cottages on the right a finger post invited me to Hale, I obliged entering a large sheep pasture. This path guided me diagonally across the field to join a narrow trod passing along the edge of a wood just uphill from the medieval pile of Beetham Hall, a fine example of a 13th century tower house with tower, chapel, hall and out buildings surviving. After passing through the next field I was invited to wander the path to the Marble Quarry amongst other places, I obliged letting yellow arrows guide me through the woods on Hale Fell, after visiting the quarry I wandered on to a tarmac lane turning right towards Slack Head.

Once at the top of the hill I swung sharp left, I'm afraid this section is unavoidable, half a mile of road walking with only the exclusive properties of Slack Head to admire, half a mile later I reached the start of Dolly Wood Lane. Through mature woodland between hedge rows and dry stone walls I wandered, passed Tarn Close Wood and Dolly Wood to emerge at Hazelslack, home to another medieval tower, the Arnside to Beetham corpse road also passes through this small hamlet, my guide over Beetham Fell. In the footsteps of many a funereal party I wandered, through sheep pastures before entering Underlaid Wood, the corpse road guided me up the Whin Scar cliffs then on over Beetham Fell, I passed a spooky old cottage before descending through another pasture to reach Church Street. A short walk north over tarmac followed before a foot-path on the right carried me back to the Heron Corn Mill.

view route map.


From the Heron Corn Mill car park views to the woodland on Beetham Fell.

Twelfth century St Michael's and all Angels, Beetham.

The remains of Beetham Hall.

Farleton Fell seen from the pastures above Beetham Hall.

En route to Hale Fell.

The woodland on Hale Fell is criss crossed with many paths, my route followed the line of the wall.

The geology of a limestone pavement, clints and grikes, this particular pavement is part of the Slack Head Marble Quarry.

Dolly Wood Lane....

....considerably narrower further along, I presume the hedge will get a trim when the birds have finished nesting.

Another lane this one is not so obvious, the corpse road linking Arnside and Beetham.

Looking back to Hazelslack from Underlaid Wood.

The first tier of the Whin Scar cliffs, a jumble of limestone boulders and a Yew cops, how about a snippet of useless information, did you know it's believed the humble Yew Tree can live up to 4,000 years, many ancient people have associated it with immortality and rebirth, regeneration and transformation, a most potent tree giving protection from all evils, maybe that's the reason for so many along the line of corpse roads and in church yards, then there's the bit I like, in hot weather the tree gives off a resinous vapour, which Sharman inhaled to gain visions, play your cards right if we ever have a hot balmy summer again you could be wandering these woods on a permanent high.

The path up the first tier of the Whin Scar cliffs....

....and if you're slim enough the route up the second tier, the Fairy Steps.

Above the Fairy Steps a great place to sit and have a brew, and many do.

From Whin Scar views to Arnside Knott.

En route over Beetham Fell.

Views taken from near Wood Edge, Beetham.

The final path and I'm striding out, have you seen the colour of the sky.

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