It was going to be difficult today to stay within the kilometre of our self-imposed straight line from my house in Longridge to Sir Hugh’s in Arnside. To get this far, as the crow flies, we had employed dubious means and been lucky with the positioning of important bridges. Another footpathless zone faced us this morning. Simple, said Sir Hugh just ask the farmer if we can tramp across his fields and walls, I wasn’t convinced. In the mist we ghosted through the farmyard, not a dog barked or a cow stirred but there ahead was our adversary. A burly farmer, I pushed Sir High forward with his simple proposition. Please sir… ” Yes just go down that field , through a gate and onwards. But why didn’t you just follow the road?” Our explanation seem to baffle him, as I thought it would. Rejoicing we ploughed on, the magic straight line was becoming our mantra.
The day had started back at Halton station, a few dog walkers were gathering. The bridge across the Lune was strange, it looked like a railway bridge but carried a single lane highway. The history here explains all…
Safely across we wandered through Halton, a mixture of old and new housing. As soon as we could field paths were followed on surprisingly undulating terrain, Both of us, recovering from chesty coughs, wheezed up hill. The forecast was wrong and we found ourselves in that miserable and annoyingly wetting mizzle. Before long the track to Stub Hall Farm was reached and our fate for the day in the farmer’s hands. A big thank you.
Once on the public footpath we relaxed into Nether Kellet and were soon going out on the wrong lane, a short cut was spotted across the recreational ground. Here was a war memorial to the Second World War from some distant benefactor.
Our next barrier, the M6, was easily crossed and some interesting paths taken through fields, woods and quarries.
We were intrigued by this standing water pipe curiosity.
The Lancaster Canal was reached and the adjacent A6 highway, a convenient seat for lunch next to a bus stop had locals peering at us through the condensed bus windows. I felt quite tramp like under their gaze. Although this was officially Carnforth we walked out through Crag Bank which seemed to have lots of old stone cottages, origins unknown. We were now in the drained marshlands of Morecambe Bay, today a little eerie with the mist. Getting off the road proved difficult, a gate fell apart in my hands and we encountered impenetrable stiles in the march. Nobody uses the paths past Galley Hall. Another fortuitous bridge took us across the muddy River Keer and we were in the outskirts of Warton, the gloom preventing any views of the limestone crags above us. Hopefully the weather will be better for our last stretch into Arnside.