It is good to meet up with Sir Hugh again. He has been out of action but keen to get going once more, I plot a fairly easy level route from Levens of about 4.5 miles, characteristically he promptly suggests extending it farther. We made the wise decision to cancel on Friday, it rained non-stop. We will take our chances today.
He knows where to park and off we go through Levens Hall Deer Park above the River Kent. I’ve been this way before but struggle to remember when. Just found it here and guess what it was with Sir Hugh, his memory is no better than mine. That day we had good views of the Bagot Goats and the Black Fallow Deer, not so successful today. We admire the ancient trees as we slowly gain height, there is no such thing as a level walk, Sir Hugh doesn’t seem to notice or let on, (re the height not the trees)
Soon we are on the Lancaster Canal though no boats come this far. It is level now for the next couple of miles as we pass under the landlocked bridges. We look across to Sedgwick House and the nearby skew bridge below us, marvelling at the canal builders’ skills.
And who is this coming towards us? My cleaner and friend with dog. Pleasantries are exchanged , she has a caravan near here to escape to.
Some time is spent trying to capture on film young martins being fed. This is the best I can do.
Leaving the canal we go down the lane to Hawes Bridge and admire the limestone geology in the river bed.
A seat under a spreading oak is taken for lunch, we are sheltered from the only passing shower of the day. A delightful stretch of the Kent is followed, we spot a perfect pitch for a backpacking tent. Perhaps those days are over for us.
We change sides courtesy of a swinging suspension bridge. Along this lane there are tantalising views of some waterfalls through the limestone. And then under the motorway close up on the river, there appears to be access from the opposite bank, worth further exploration.
Here is the hill I was concerned about, Sir Hugh cruised up it, but he did stop talking for a while. Now back into Levens Park and soon back at the car.
Almost a picturesque walk in the Victorian sense.
Here is Sir Hugh’s alternative report.
Statistics. A good 6.4 miles and on my reckoning 260ft of ascent according to the OS app, his Memory Map app gave 550ft. So much for modern technology. I manually counted the contours and came back to the lesser figure. The debate goes on, but there is definitely no such thing as a level walk. The advantages of modern technology are that I can write this whilst listening to the BBC Test Match commentary (Duckett’s just out for 83), picking up emails and keeping an eye on the British Bouldering Competition in Sheffield. Who says men cannot multitask?