The good weather had to end – it had been raining all night and I was half expecting a ring from Sir Hugh to call off today’s walk. No, not really, he is far more resolute than that. And anyhow it would be drier by late morning, I do miss Dianne Oxberry giving us the NW forecast but there are some interesting successors.
The River Wenning in Hornby was probably running a good two feet higher than when I finished my last walk.
Hornby was short-lived and we were on a lane passing the motte and bailey of Castle Stede, C10th, somewhat obscured by trees and rain. Down below was our first view of the River Lune which we crossed on the graceful Loyn Bridge. Wainwright sketched thsese in his Lune edition. It was here we left Bowland which has provided some excellent walking in a thankfully relatively unknown backwater.
We splashed our way through soggy fields, struggled over slippy awkward stiles, jumped or waded through little temporary rivers; all the time the rain came steadily down. Everywhere was drowning. After the Gothic style Storrs Hall a tarmacked lane gave some respite although it was more like a river in parts [damp heading photo]. It climbed over pleasant hills but the views were minimal, vaguely ahead was Hutton Roof an area of limestone outcrops which we regularly climbed on. My camera was safely stashed most of the time.
I’d never heard of the River Keer before although I must have crossed it many times by road, rail and canal as it winds its short way onwards through Carnforth to Morecambe Bay. Today it was a raging stream barring our progress but hidden in the trees was a small bridge. Unfortunately, a sign stated it was closed as it had been partially washed away in floods, we had no option but to trust it as we couldn’t have waded the fast-flowing water. I sent Sir Hugh across first.
Pleased with ourselves for overcoming that problem we were nearly run down by a train whilst crossing the Morecambe to Leeds line.
Oh! and it was still raining into the early afternoon. More importantly, we had just left Lancashire and entered Cumbria, formerly Westmorland. Westmorland was a county of the Lake District until in 1974 it along with Cumberland and bits of Lancashire became Cumbria. Wainwright must have had a soft spot for Westmorland because he brought out an academic book on its history and villages – Westmorland Heritage, 1975, now out of print and expensive second hand.
More ups and downs followed on paths that receive very little usage. Eventually, there was a glimmer of blue sky as we reached a better path on a ridge, it was nearly two before we found somewhere dry to sit and eat a spot of lunch. Here our topic of conversation turned from Brexit to Sir Hugh’s flask which he was convinced was not his, maybe the top was but certainly not the body. It seemed to pray on his mind as he was still debating it as we started on our way.
My camera had not been used much in the wet weather but now as things cleared we had views of Morecambe Bay, Arnside Knott and the southern Lakes. When I use the term ‘Lakes’ I am really referring to the Lake District and particularly its hills, odd that we use such a contraction.
Arriving at a familiar road leading out of Burton up to Hutton Roof, we are less than a mile from the former but WW climbed a wall and took us on a circular tour of the land around Dalton Hall [which we never glimpsed]. There didn’t seem to any logic for this but I suspect Nick Burton is taking us on a voyage of discovery based on AW’s Westmorland book. No complaints, except the extra mile, as the estate was quintessential English parkland of a certain era. A wonderful selection of trees planted way back when.
We eventually arrived in Burton-in-Kendal, to give it its full name. People drive, too quickly, through its narrow main street, I’ve probably been guilty of that, but on foot you realise the wealth of architectural buildings in the village. At one time Burton was an important stopping off point on the Lancaster to Kendal carriageway. It became an important corn market in the C17-18 and its wealth is reflected in its houses. The canal and then the railway took all its trade to Kendal and it has not really improved since then. I was sorry to see the Royal Hotel, in the centre next to the market cross, looking closed and derelict, we used to drink a pint or two here after a climbing evening on Hutton Roof or Farlerton.
Our next objective was to join the Lancaster Canal for a mile or so into Holme. We followed a lane signed from when Burton had a station, the mainline trains just fly through now……as does the motorway with Farleton Crag above.
We took to the more sedate towpath of the Lancaster Canal for our final mile into Holme. I have walked this stretch before and the towpath was just as muddy. No boats use this northern section which has been cut off from the rest of the system by the motorway. Below us at one point is Holme Mill with its lake, at one time a flourishing C19 linen mill with flax grown locally. On the other side of the canal are some well-preserved coke ovens.
At bridge 149 we climbed out into Holme which we will have more time to explore on our next stage of WW. Apart from some dampness of my socks I had coped with the day’s rain and floods which had given us an extra perspective to a simple walk.
Brilliant. I had forgotten about the train – shudders!
I see you did take a motorway photo after all.
I think I’m in the dog-house at home about the flask after accusing everybody.
Can’t resist a motorway.
FLASK-GATE:- 05/10/19 18;00 ZULU.
After a heavy session of interogation by the flak stazi infomation has been given that i did ONCE and only ONCE used said flask for a trip out over 12 months ago and was returned straight away after being politely told it had sentimental value to The Big Chief.This is decoded as “That flask best rock up or there will be dissapointment in my eyes looking your way,there is no bigger punishment that the piercing look of a flaskless hill walker…the flask was duley returned and to my knowledge had not mooved from the cupboard in the old boys kitchen for some time..
FLASK-GATE:- 06/10/19 15:52 ZULU.
A black mission has been sent to inspect the flask has been sent to the kitchen and new intel now suggests that the body and the cup are actully the same and original flask that has been such a stalwart by Hugh’s side all these years..
The teachings of this story as i have learnt is… Buy yer own flask if you need one…so i did.
I have just been out shopping and came back to a news flash – Flask-Gate has hit the headlines. My initial reaction in support of the main character is ‘fake news’.
We need photographic evidence from the kitchen.
But I agree there is a moral to this story and that is why I’ve name labels sewn into my underpants and other sentimental garments.
The comments here are just too amusing!
Yes, I’ve some strange friends.
I have just had another look at the item in my cupboard and am convinced that the perpetrator has made a clever substitution since I placed the fake back in the cupboard after its outing on Friday -it seems the original has mysteriously reappeared. The Flask Stazi have now been redeployed on a cold case involving the disappearance of a walking pole somewhere on the Cheshire Ring over a year ago.
I need that pole, it has sentimental attachments to me since completing the Munros with it in 1994. Substantial award available.
Just seen the Johnny Cash which I missed when looking on my phone unless you have put it in since. Pure nostalgia – it is so difficult to define that extra quality iconic performers have but he’s got it big time.