Barbondale Round Anytime Challenge


 

Set in pleasant rural scenery and close to, but away from the hustle and bustle of the Lake District and the busier Dales, Barbon is situated in the Lune valley, some 3 miles north of the historic town of Kirkby Lonsdale and close to the point where Barbon Beck joins the River Lune. There are now few signs of the Roman Road just to the west or of the railway line that once passed through the village, making it once a thriving little community. Now a sleepy place with its 17th. century coaching inn and attractive church it is a perfect starting point for your walk.

The route takes you almost immediately into Barbon Park, whose tranquillity is rudely transformed, once or twice a year, as motor sport enthusiasts test their driving skills, up the drive to Barbon Manor, in the Barbon Hill Climb.

Built in 1862 Barbon Manor is of the French Renaissance style and was used as a shooting lodge for Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth, famous for having set up the first teacher’s training college in Britain and as a social reforming doctor who had treated cholera in Manchester.

You soon leave the open parkland behind and a well constructed path now enters woodland. Once clear of the trees a very different aspect of Barbondale unfolds as you enter an upland landscape and cross Barbon Beck. After a short section of quiet road, a bridlepath takes you up to Bullpot Farm. No longer used for agricultural purposes, Bullpot Farm is now the hub of Red Rose Caving and Potholing Club and is well situated for the Ease Gill cave system, the longest in Great Britain.

Above the farm and a short length of track, a faint rising path ascends the ridge to Great Coum. As you climb, over the valley to your right is Gragareth and the highest point in Lancashire. While to your left you are looking over Barbondale to Calf Top and the splendid ridge you will be passing along later in the day. Standing at 687 metres above sea level, Great Coum is your high point of the day.

You must not let the fine views down into Dentdale and across to the Howgills, distract you too much, as the descent from here is quite steep and rough in places, before levelling out on a track leading to what is shown on the map as ‘Green Lane’. Known locally as the Old Occupation Road or ‘Occy Road’ this lane was an old drove road and rebuilt in 1859 at the time of the Enclosures Act. It is at its junction with Barbondale Road where the short route heads left back down the valley to the finish. However, the long route turns right towards Dentdale.

On the long route the path ahead steepens and heads towards Combe House and the grade 2 listed building at Tofts, making its way down hill to join the quiet country lane on the south side of the River Dee and a section of the Dales Way. You pass Rash Bridge, which in itself is another grade 2 listed ‘building. In 1587 a corn mill was built close by, only to be torn down in 1590 by jealous rivals in trade and was thought to be the inspiration behind the folk song ‘The Jolly Miller of Dee’.

The next point is on the west side of Middleton Fell, just below Fellside.

The demanding long route now takes an ascending line on the fine ridge of Middleton Fell. Being independent of its neighbouring fells, the high point of 609 metres at Calf Top is an outstanding viewpoint with Lake District, Howgills and Bowland Fells all visible on a clear day. With most of the hard work now over, apart from a very short wet section and a short steep rise onto Castle Knotts, the descent back to the finish, with fine views down the Lune Valley, even for those with weary legs, is pure pleasure.

 

The 2021 event will take place between Saturday 10th July to Sunday 29th August.

 

Entry is via SiEntries 

 

The long route description can be found 'here'

The long route map can be found 'here'

 

 

The short route description can be found 'here'

The short route map can be found 'here'