A Whale of a Walk 19/11/2023

Led by Andy

This was the walk and AGM that was postponed from October 15th unlike that day when it was a bright sunny winters day the weather forecast for this day was RAIN two spots most of the day!

Undeterred nine of us assembled in the car park adjacent to the venue for the AGM later, that being the Lowther Castle pub at Hackthorpe, waterproofs on and away at 09-02, not actually raining ,but more of a question of “when not if”.

Quickly onto the path as it is also adjacent to the car park, into Lowther Park following rights of way passing site of Kendal calling when it is on, does that mean free entry?

Slight pause at first lime kiln then under the M6 and across the WCML railway over Bessie Ghyll quickly followed by the crossing of the River Leith. Slight rise up to Sheriff Park then headed towards Little Strickland, to our amazement we had not had any rain yet!

South to crossroads then right and once again crossing over the motorway and railway, at T junction of the A6 left the tarmac and into a couple of muddy fields leaving these into a short section of woodland where we used old tree stumps to sit and have a break after which we skirted Shapbeck Quarry and Inscar Plantation. After this a slight diversion as path of my choice no longer passible as overgrown by the gorse, skirted round the gorse and picked up route again down to Low Scarside.

Down towards Bampton Grange but turning right just before the road and following path to come out onto the road opposite Risebarrow, followed this road to junction for High Knipe where we some of us utilised an old milk churn stand for our lunch break.

Still no rain and sun even trying to get out, I was beginning to feel optimistic about completing the walk with no rain!

Suitably refreshed down to Howgate Foot and up to High Knipe continuing along the bridleway through Hill Plantation to road where a left turn took us to Whale, from there it was basically a case of heading North along a good track to Lowther Castle  (the real one, not the pub), as we where in good time we went into the castle courtyard and some refreshments were had from the café, the time being 15-00 and the meeting not starting until 17-00 so no hurry.

Exited via the car park route passing the locked gates of the route of which I had hoped to get permission to use but never heard back from the landowner so a no go.

Along the road towards Hackthorpe cutting of a corner by using a permissible path for a few hundred yards after which a short distance to the A6 another right turn and a few more hundred yards took us to the Lowther Castle (pub) and finish at approx. 15-40 the mileage being just short of 15 at 14.8.

We were extremely lucky with the weather as I have never known the forecast to be as wrong as it was as it was showing two spots most of the day and yet we got round not encountering any rain!