Warton Crag, Bluebells and Ramsons.

Start. Leighton Moss Visitors Centre.

Route. Leighton Moss Visitors Centre - Leighton Moss - Grisedale - Leighton Hall - Summer House Hill - Peter Lane - Occupation Road - Warton Crag - Occupation Road - Crag Road - Crag Foot - Fleagarth Wood - Hollins Lane - Slackwood Lane - Leighton Moss Visitors Centre.

Notes. It's that time of year, spring the woodland's alive with a spectacular botanical display, gone are the delicate snowdrops, gone the tiny daffodils with their yellow cups dancing in the breeze, to be replaced by carpets in masses of blue, Common Bluebell an inhabitant of ancient woodlands. Did you know Britain is home to over half the worlds population of this delicate blue flower. Then we have Ramsons, wild garlic a relative of chives, rivers of green and white flowing through damp woodland, all around that distinct aroma.

It was raining, a lot, I'd promised myself a walk whatever the weather so there I was donning waterproofs in the car park at Leighton Moss, my plan to ascend Warton Crag, usually painted in blues and greens this time of year. Clad in gortex I wandered up the road to access the causeway traversing the mosses, last time I was here I'd had the pleasure of encountering an otter, no such luck today. Through Grisedale I wandered before ascending Summer House Hill, the views were poor, a strong wind blew horizontal rain across the summit, the camera stayed in the bag. South through rain washed woodland I walked a good path under foot, this woodland trod ejected me onto the tarmac of Peter Lane, with a grey ribbon under foot I wandered on, passed the entrance to Leighton Hall. Ignoring the path to Crag Foot I continuing over tarmac to reach the Occupation Road, this old coach road traverses the shoulder of Warton Crag. I was soon ascending between dry stone walls hunting for the path that would guide me to the summit.

It was whilst making my summit bid, climbing through dripping woodland the sun broke through the cloud cover, someone turned the temperature up, with sweat running into my eyes I reached the summit to be greeted by a mass of blue, taking second place today spectacular views over the bay. On the summit, amidst carpets of blue a lone finger-post invited me to Crag Foot, I obliged descending through woodland to access the Occupation Road once more. Down hill between dry stone walls I continued alighting onto Crag Road, after a short descent over tarmac Crag Foot greeted me. A couple of hundred yards to the west a track leads under the railway lines, I followed this, after passing under the bridge I turned right, a field gate allowed access to the embankment, a man made barrier to halt the incoming tides, this ribbon of high ground guided me to the foot of Heald Brow, it was there assessing my route I realised I'd seen very little wild garlic, I knew just the place, Fleagarth Wood, the finger-post I was leaning against gave a hint to which direction to walk.

Along the edge of sheep pastures I strolled, when the path started climbing a stile allowed access to Fleagarth Wood, I continuing uphill scanning the woodland as I went, not a single hint of the illusive white flower, disappointed I wandered on. As I reached the top of the hill the odd clump of these white blooms came into view, as did a dry stone wall that was to guide me out of the wood. I crested the next rise to be greeted by a dazzling display of shimmering white, blankets of white flowers sweeping through the trees, disappearing out of sight, the smell was overpowering, good old Silverdale always save the best till last. After a while I left the woods via Hollins Lane turning right onto Slackwood Lane to begin the short road walk back over tarmac.

view route map.


Viewing Grisedale Wood over the reed beds of Leighton Moss.

Leighton Moss in the rain.

The fresh greens of spring in rain washed woodland above Leighton Hall.

En route to Warton Crag.

Locally christened the Split Rock, passed en route.

Coppice woodland with a delicate hint of blue near the summit of Warton Crag.

Carpeted in masses of blue, the summit Warton Crag.

From the summit of Warton Crag spectacular views over Morecambe Bay....

....taking in Morecambe, Heysham and the Lancashire coast....

....and to the north west, Jenny Brown's Point, Grange-over-Sands and the Furness Peninsula.

Gait Barrows as seen from Crag Foot.

Jenny Brown's Point seen from the Lancashire Coastal Way between Crag Foot and Heald Brow.

Looking north to the limestone face of Farleton Fell.

Walking through Fleagarth Wood on paths edged with wild garlic....

....shimmering in dappled light, stretching as far as the eye can see....

....all we need now is smelly vision, the aroma is impossible to describe.

Views taken from Slackwood Lane, Leighton Moss, Grisedale Wood catching the sun and Summer House Hill looking somewhat benign compared to earlier.

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