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Friday, 25 January 2013

A BOGOF - Claife Heights plus Lancaster Canal

For some time I have only occasionally walked in the Lake District, having objections to overcrowding, and parking difficulties. Perhaps that’s all a bit of overreaction. 

Having a fresh look, motivated by the Marilyns list, I find there are 55 of these hills in Area 34 which covers The Lakes and a few hills further afield.

On “discovering” the Ms I found I had climbed 32, and have now done two more (Lambrigg Fell, subject of my last post), and on Monday, dare I say it, I ticked off Claife Heights?

Contrary to my petty Lake District prejudices, the village hall car park (£2 voluntary contribution) at Sawrey was empty, and my walk to Claife Heights and back may well have been located in the Antarctic for its dearth of humans.

Well, that now leaves 21 in this area. Scrutiny reveals interesting prospects and mini peaks that would not likely be visited otherwise. I wonder if fellow Marilyn baggers will become ubiquitous? There was one line of footprints in the snow going up to Claife Heights which looked fresh enough to have been made that day.

The skull and crossbones is the Memory Map marker I have used to denote Marilyns.I drove up on the minor roads on the western side of Windermere, and returned across the ferry. My last crossing a few years ago cost around £1- On Sunday- £4.30

The views from the ascent of Claife Heights are generally poor

This was the best I could achieve on the summit


Thursday - 24th January

Lancaster Canal - Cabus Nook to Garstang

My journey south down the Lancaster Canal with Pete is now entering more familiar territory for me. I lived in Preston until 1999 and we are now only about 16 miles away. Because of our commitment to undertake walks of around six miles each Thursday we are only making good three miles or so each time south on the canal as we have to return, usually via minor roads and tracks to our car and starting point.

The most notable feature on this section was the great increase in numbers of boats moored canal-side, and also in several large marinas. Connection to the Leeds Liverpool Canal is now possible since the opening of The Ribble Link connecting the canal to the River Ribble, which then has to be crossed to Tarleton, and thereby connecting to the Leeds Liverpool. Researching some of this stuff I gleaned that: 
"...crossing of the River Ribble is not for the faint hearted and a pilot is available at Tarleton". I can well believe that especially in a flat bottomed narrow boat. I was also amused to find that narrow boat owners refer to any other kind of boat on the canal as a "noddy boat".

A bit of noisy trudging through Garstang on our return leg dodging the traffic, until quieter country lanes were reached
This and pic below show a large static caravan park with moorings - there is still ice on the water.

Despite extensive searching on the Internet I couldn't learn anything about this unique bridge near Garstang. The inscription in the centre of the arch reads "FWB - 1927". I would have thought it was a listed or scheduled construction of some note

Another large marina across the canal

More radical architecture!

Aqueduct over the River Wyre

This was a zoom shot right across the canal, and has not been enhanced or enlarged in any way

Looking south-west down the Wyre from the aqueduct
The marina at Garstang - quite an elaborate development here
Taken from where our return route on the road crossed the canal again at Snape Wood. The snow plastered Fair Snape Fell in the Bowland Hills can be seen on the distant horizon


welshpaddler said...

It's a good way to get out and about to have lists. I take your point about the lakes, but we make an annual pilgrimage most Octobers for a week of walking. Usually find that NT car parks are fine if you are a member, but really expensive if not.

Anonymous said...

$4.30 - ouch!
Hate to tell you this now Conrad, when it's too late, but you missed a trick on Claife Heights - the path which climbs from near the ferry terminus passes an old viewing station built for tourists which is well worth a visit - you'll just have to go back!
Where does the canal finish? How far will you be going in your journey south? Haven't been to Garstang for a while, the marina looks very swish.

Sir Hugh said...

Welshpaddler - At a minimum of £40 subscription I would need to use a lot of NT's parking facilities to make it worthwhile - I know you also get the benefit of entrance fee subsidies, but I am rarely attracted to visiting their houses.

Beating the bounds - Thanks for that, but I don't think I'll be making a return visit any time soon.

I'm not sure exactly where the canal finishes. It sounds daft, but I would rather keep it as a surprise for when I get there. I have been warned by some typical doom and gloom merchant not to venture through the low-ife sections in Preston for fear of being mugged.

In reply to your comment on my previous post, I am eagerly awaiting delivery of: Animals Tracks, Trails and Signs (Hamlyn Guide) [Paperback]
R.W. Brown (Author), M.J. Lawrence (Author), J. Pope (Author). There was not much to choose from when I scoured Amazon and Abe books, especially if you wanted to restrict it to UK coverage.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that muggers generally frequent canal tow-paths - I can't imagine they would bring rich pickings. I used to wander along the canals in inner city Manchester and never see a soul.
Hope the field guide is good. Mine is by Bang and Dahlstrom and is European, in translation is suppose. I bought it second-hand somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Two good walks and the weather was good. Snowed in now.
The distant view of a snowy Fairsnape is interesting as at that day [the Thursday] I was actually walking along its flanks [As in my post]- not picked up on the zoom though.
You will find some fine architectural walking on the canal in the Barton area.
The canal has two finishes! so will be even more of a surprise for you.I wouldn't worry about walking through Preston, but let me know if you need a bodyguard.

Sir Hugh said...

Beating the Bounds -The book arrived. It does cover Europe as well. It looks almost academic, except that perhaps it attempts to cover too many subjects in one hit, but it is 320 pages long with many colour illustrations. There are sections on Bird Tracks,, Tracks and Trails, Pathways and Runs, Feeding Activity, Grooming and Marking signs, Homes and Nurseries, and Skulls and several others. Looks like very good value at a reduced price of of £4.99.


BowlandClimber - I thought I saw something familiar on that distant view of Fair Snape, but my eyes are not as good as they were.

Maybe I'll have a couple of carabiners round my fingers as I walk through the supposedly infamous part of Preston. Realistically, I am well tuned to these Jeremiahs one often meets along the way, warning of approaching bad weather, potentially booked up camp sites, and unfordable rivers, and tend to ignore them.

Phreerunner said...

Pleased to see you enjoying life. We are up your way on 20 Feb, if not before.

Sir Hugh said...

Phreerunner - I wouldn't want to intrude, but if you don't mind I would like to join you for a walk if that's possible.

Phreerunner said...

Conrad - details are at, the 20/2 walk is: "Meet at 10.30am for The Wells of Silverdale, and Arnside Knott - 18km (12 miles) with 380 metres ascent from Leighton Moss RSPB Centre at SD 476 750." I'll be trying to get to Leighton Moss early for a coffee before we start. See my latest posting for a report on the first of the series of four 'Here and There' walks (also Alan R's report). Arnside Knott could be optional and we could rejoin you at the Silverdale Hotel if you want a shorter walk missing the Knott.
Some time may be spent bumbling around looking for wells!
Hope to see you then.