At 10 o’clock this morning I was stood in a queue waiting for my latest, I’ve lost count of how many, Covid booster. Nervous pleasantries were passed with the vaccinator nurse. I was thankfully not as old as most of the other customers. Never felt a thing. So back out into the Lidl car park on a beautiful sunny morning, no time for shopping, Soon I was home for a delayed breakfast. Despite warnings of possible side effects, take paracetamol and rest, let’s get out and enjoy the Spring weather.
At the back of my mind was a short walk from Sizergh Castle highlighted recently by fellow blogger John Bainbridge and others. Native daffodils in the woods aroused my curiosity. Noon found me parked in the grounds of Sizergh Castle, along with many more. My NT card saved me £9 in parking fees. Not for me the delights of the garden or castle, I strode purposefully upwards. The National Trust here have been at work creating a serviceable path to Holeslack Farm, under scaffolding but with its original orchard attached. Not many followed me. Wild garlic in profusion.
A quiet lane took me up to the church of St. John the Evangelist. Thankfully it was open, and I was able to get a good view of the stained-glass windows and the painted mural, a memorial to the lost from the WW1.
Outside there was a view over the Kent Estuary with Arnside Knott on one side and Whitbarrow the other. The main event however, the Lakeland Hills, was a hazy distant blur though the plaques showed me what should be seen on a clear day. Worth returning for.
Out onto Scout Scar all was blue sky, the limestone ridge dotted with low growing trees. One can wander at will up here, but I stuck to a path along the edge of the escarpment watching the line of cliffs unfold with the Lyth Valley down below. I didn’t know the path dropping off this western side, but the map indicated a cairn. The cairn appeared and what a fine one. The track off was clear, but first I sat on the edge for a break whilst I had the views, though the far hills still hazy. I ate the last of my Xmas cake and topped up on water, a buzzard flew majestically below me.
The way down was steep and stony through the trees. All of a sudden you are into pastures full of sheep belonging to Barrowfield a wonderfully situated homestead. The farmer was sorting out his lambs, an age-old routine not changed for generations.
Back into woods a narrow path threaded its way down the valley. New growth was appearing on the trees, the young beech leaves the brightest green. Continuing on a lane I bypassed Brigsteer and stayed high to the remote cottages at Well Garth. Then down through fields to Park End a picturesque C17 farm.
A couple of fields, and I was into Brigsteer Woods. I just followed whichever path seemed to be in the right direction. These woods were traditionally coppiced, so light gets through to the forest floor. Everywhere were woodland flowers – primrose, cowslip, celandine, dog violet, dandelion, bluebell, wood anemone, wood sorrel, wild strawberries the list goes on. But I was too late for the native daffodils, they were well past their best.
Out of the woods there was a short stretch through what had been an ancient deer park presumably connected with the castle estate. Back at the Castle the café was doing a roaring trade in ice creams, I was surprised by the number of children about – some must have longer holidays than others. I couldn’t resist a wander around the grounds and gardens before leaving.
A varied area worth more exploration. I should visit Brigsteer village and maybe have a look at the bird hide on the edge of the mosses. Even a trip around the castle.
Pleased you enjoyed it, and several walks too. Up to Sizergh Fell is a good alternative and has some prehistoric interest. Thank you for the mention.
What a pleasant walk and superb pictures too.
Thanks, Alan. All very accessible.
Cracking walk that on a good day. The views over the Lakeland fells have been superb when I’ve been up that way. I’ll have to have a look inside that little church next time I’m up thee – the mural looks interesting
Splendid walking, full of variety.
The church has an interesting history. I eventually bought some leaflets explaining it after struggling with the in situ card payment machine. Sign of the times.
The mural was painted, early 1920s, in oils on a stretched canvas affixed to battens on the wall. It depicts a rural scene with twelve angels facing Christ in the stained-glass remembering in prayer the departed from WW1.
That was a treat. Definitely going onto my “to do” list. I notice you flaunted the NT membership card though. 🙂👍
I find £9 to park for the day excessive, sign of the times I’m sure. As I said that is one of the reasons I subscribe to the NT – for their carparks. Not sure how much I pay for an annual subscription these days – rolling direct debits accumulate without you noticing.
A great area for short walks.
That does look a beautiful walk. 😊
You would love it.
We’ve done a bit of it I think when we went to Sizegh a couple of years ago. It’s a lovely area for walks.
Looks amazing. I have never been to Sizergh Castle it is on my list.
So many places worth a visit in your area.
The church was built by a nearby wealthy farmer in the middle of nowhere, except convenient for himself. A curious mixture of philanthropy and selfishness.
1726 John Jackson of Holeslack Farm just to the south.