The Kendal Scars and Sizergh.

Start. Kendal (Little Aynam).

Route. Little Aynam - Gooseholme - Finkle Street - Wainwright's Yard - Fountains Brow - Serpentine Woods - Kendal Fell - Cunswick Fell - Cunswick Scar - Scout Scar - Helsington Barrows - Brigsteer Road - Helsington Church - Holeslack Farm - Sizergh Castle - Nannypie Lane - Wilson Place - Hawes Bridge - Watercrook - Kendal/Lancaster canal - Little Aynam.

Notes. After spending much of yesterday (Saturday) stuck in traffic I opted to stay close to home today, unfortunately Sue was working, after dropping her off (no buses on Sundays) Carlos taxi was abandoned on Little Aynam (no parking restrictions on Sundays). From Kendal I'd ascend the high ground to the west of the town then stay high as long as possible. The high ground in question is Cunswick and Scout Scars, a carboniferous limestone up thrust to the south east of the volcanic turmoil of the Lake District.

I left Little Aynam via Gooseholme foot-bridge, up Finkle Street and down Wainwright's Yard I walked, the many steps of Fountain Brow guided me to Serpentine Woods. With forest paths under foot I wandered through woodland emerging into stunning views over Kendal and the Kent valley. Way marked paths then guided me over the golf course before field paths carried me to the summit of Cunswick Fell. Locally known as Cunswick Scar, the scar's to the west with wonderful views over alluvial Lyth Valley. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, included in the Morecambe Bay Pavements Special Area of Conservation. With all that praise laundered on them, plus handy car parks they do tend to attract the crowds, today was business as usual.

I headed south passed the car parks and crowds onto Scout Scar, almost four miles of stunning walking. The high ground ended just after the little church at Helsington, a finger-post invited me to Sizergh, I obliged descending the lane to Holeslack Farm before entering crop fields, with discreet arrows to guide me I wandered on to Sizergh Castle, I expected it to be busy, it certainly was, extremely. With the access drive to the castle under foot I wandered on emerging onto the old A6 road next to the Strickland Arms. From the inn Nannypie Lane descends to the banks of the River Kent, I followed it's tarmac surface under the new A6 then between hedge rows alive with wild flowers and bird life. On reaching the river a finger-post invited me to Wilson Place, I obliged, a short walk south lead to a foot-bridge, I crossed said bridge to access Wilson Place, I continue following the river up stream. To the ever present sound of rushing water I wandered through woodland and sheep pastures emerging at Hawes Bridge, without crossing the gorge I continued following the east bank. Through a small copse, cow pastures and crop fields I strolled, passed the Roman fort at Watercrook and a large burial mound, the access drive to Watercrook Farm marked the end of field and riverside rambling, the tarmac drive in turn guided me to the Kendal/Lancaster canal. Bereft of water it's now a superb footpath come cycleway, how convenient it terminates at Little Aynam exactly where the car patiently waited.

view route map.


In the 1870s T & E Rhodes, the jewellers in Highgate, had charge of the official time in Kendal, but after an unpleasant incident at the General Post Office, Edward Rhodes contacted the local Member of Parliament and the upshot was a suggestion that Kendal should have a time gun and that it should be fired at 1 o’clock. The first gun, loaned by the War Office, arrived in May 1873 and was mounted in Serpentine Woods on this plinth in which the gunpowder and fuses were stored. It was fired by electricity through a telegraph wire.

Iv'e escaped the tree cover into views to Potter Fell across the Kent valley.

Kendal with Benson Knott rising to the east.

As seen from Kendal Fell, Cunswick Fell.

Views to Staveley guarding the mouth of the Kentmere valley.

Lords Seat backed by Gummer's How seen over the timeless landscape of Lyth Valley.

Whitbarrow seen across alluvial Lyth Valley.

Walkers head for the summit of Cunswick Fell.

The cliffs of Cunswick Scar seen from the ascent of Scout Scar.

From the plateau above the scar views to Whitbarrow and upper Morecambe Bay.

Stunning views over Lyth Valley....

....and north to a cloud capped Lake District.

A splash of colour on an otherwise grey day.

The high skyline is Arnside Knott with Whitbarrow to the right.

Crop fields near Sizergh Castle.

Sizergh Castle, home to the Strickland family for more than 750 years, it remains their home today.

The foot-bridge at Wilson Place.

The River Kent north of Hawes Bridge.

Castle Bridge one of three passed under on the short walk back to Little Aynam.

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