Feeling generous, I paid a pound to park all day at ‘The Crook of Lune Car Park and Picnic Site’.
I’ve a walk planned up the Lune to Aughton and then back on higher ground. I have to give Sir Hugh credit for suggesting this route and I’m doing it while he is ‘hors de combat’.
I pass a weir and in some places there is a rushing of water round eddy pools.
Ahead is the bridge carrying the Thirlmere Aqueduct in giant pipes on its way to Manchester, unusually for waterboard bridges it also provides a foot crossing. Next I’m in an ancient forest; oaks, beeches, birches and ash. It once provided charcoal for iron smelting but is now a nature reserve managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. The path does a roller coaster through the trees before depositing me on a green beach. There is a gulch ahead which I don’t fancy jumping. Sir Hugh had already said the large loop of the Lune here was boring, so I decide to go straight across the neck of the isthmus. That works OK although I don’t see much more of the river. Ingleborough is just coming out of the mist. Across the Lune is smoke from the Claughton brick factory which I wrote about a few weeks ago. As I’m keeping fairly local my walks all seem to be linking up with each other. I’m soon at the large agricultural barn marked on the map. More interesting is the cottage being upgraded a little further on before the steep hill up into Aughton. It is steep and brings me out at a miniature village green with a few cottages. The next steep stretch brings me to the higher part of the village where I go in search of the church marked on the map with the old school house next door. A bench in the sun is perfect for lunch. Walking up the minor lanes is a joy with Ingleborough behind, distant Lakes across the bay and closer at hand across the Lune are Caton Moor wind turbines with the Bowland Hills behind. I seem to be on a cycle route judging from the number of cyclists passing by, all with a cheery wave. A local dog walker passes the time of day and explains the different pronunciations of Aughton – orton. ayton, eighton. Take your choice.
The lane steepens heading back down towards the Lune. A herd of sheep are being brought up the road by sheep dogs, as soon as their job is done they can’t wait to jump on the back of the quad bike. The large house at Halton Park was a surprise. From here I can see the C18th cotton mill at Caton, originally powered by the Lune and later steam driven, now converted for residential use. The bridges on the Lune where my car is parked show up well, the surrounding trees taking on Autumn colours. Part two to follow.