This unusually local walk of the week recently appeared in the Lancaster Guardian. We’d never ventured on its drab looking slopes in 29 years of viewing, so decided to look anew, luckily the day before a brief “blackthorn winter” – 3rd April. From Stoops Bridge Abbeystead go south on the road and turn right on a signed path, then left up an unsigned path just past the first stream. This leads up through the wood to Hawthornthwaite Farm, where join the minor road and keep on this south till a track left crosses the Cam Brook and leads up the Fell in Catshaw Greave. At the end of this shooters’ track, find any path you can leading up the left side of the valley to the ridge fence, and follow this north-east. Over the fence you will see hundreds of upset gulls, living and breeding here. The “top” is near the fallen trig point with a long, long base: a guide book of 2005 states that this was upright then with the cemented stone base exposed. More Planet of the Apes beach than Bowland bog. Continue east in a wide sunken peat hollow to a fence junction, where you take an east-north-east bearing to find a broad spur, on which a good path appears, marked by posts, some with white near the top. This leads down to the very pleasant wooded Black Clough, with the Shooting Butts above it curiously protected from fauna by complete encircling fences. The track leads to the Trough road, and at the first cattle grid a permissive path allows progress through fields alongside the road for nearly half a mile. At a right angle bend in the road carry straight on, now on the Wyre Way path, signed as such, which leads back via fields, with a good view near the end of Duc Le Gros Veneur’s some time shooting residence, Abbeystead House. This makes 8.25 miles and only just over 1400 ft of ascent, and gives good views of the Bowland Fells and total solitude.
Leave a Reply