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My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 13 October 2019

Wainwright's Way - Hawes Bridge to near Crook

Saturday 12th October 2019 - Hawes Bridge to near Crook - 12.3miles

All too often I find myself reminded of Rum Doodle in my own context.  The cliché about men not being able to multi-task was well demonstrated as I was driving us back to our start at Hawes Bridge after depositing BC's car at our destination. I was relating one of my anecdotes to BC, for the umpteenth time I suspect, and drove straight past the turn off down the narrow lane to Hawes Bridge and had to proceed on the dual carriageway to return via a roundabout thus loosing us ten minutes. Even so we were off to a good walking start at 9:15 am.

A combination of the River Kent in full flow and the pathway of the filled in Lancaster Canal took us into Kendal. Nick Burton, creator of Wainwright's Way obviously had to take us on a stiff ascent to Kendal Castle. We had splendid panoramic views of Kendal below and the castle with its formidable moat, albeit waterless, The castle still has structure to see and stands unassailable on top of its hill. We chatted to a couple of dog walkers amongst a scattering of other visitors and made our way down into the town through Abbotts Park and into the high street. The town hall where Wainwright was borough treasurer was sighted as we turned off to climb endlessly, first by road and then by steep limestone terrain to gain the ridge of Scout Scar.

Halfway up the road part there was a mock Norman arch gate in a high wall between stone buildings with a stonemason's plaque proclaiming "SCOTCH BURIAL GROUND - 1760 - 1855." The door was locked so our curiosity was un-satiated but I at least was left to my imagination, and dare I say it thought again about the potential excavation the size of an Olympic swimming pool filled with bottles of whisky, but would they be full or empty? Unfortunately I reckon the stonemason would not have had access to Mind the Gaffe - the Penguin guide to common errors in English by E. L. Trask, but there again that book does seem to refer to English and not Scottish.

Sod's Law prevailed as a violent rainstorm hit us during the comparatively short time we were on the most exposed part of our walk. We hoped for shelter at the Scout Scar gazebo structure towards the other end but it was well occupied and not offering much protection so we plodded off to cross the road onto the start of Cunswick Scar, and then a descent to the lower undulating levels for the rest of our day.

Worth clicking first photo to see all as slideshow

River Kent in fine form shortly after our start

Strange earthworks. I'm sure the archaeologists would have a fine time speculating about the  raison d'être,

Believe it or not that was a canal bridge in its day

Kendal on the way to the castle

Kendal castle and moat

Main street in Kendal. Wainwright's town hall prominent in distance

The mysterious entrance to an alcoholic treasure trove? See plaque below

Heavy shower on the way atop Scout Scar...

...and it's getting nearer as we approach the trig

Looking back - we declined to compete for shelter with other rain soaked visitors.
I converted photo to b and w for a bit of drama

Descending to the undulating plains for the rest of our walk

BC teeters round a tricky patch, I teetered even more - both of us ended the day with dry feet

As we approached this sorry sight I recognised it immediately even though It had succumbed even more since my previous visit in May 2010 - see next photo.

As at May 2010

St. Catherine's church  see plaque below and its replacement in following photo

The new St. Catherine's church. Shap fells and possibly to left part of Kentmere

AW's Way green - we took riverside footpath

AW's Way - green


  1. Further information on the Scotch Burial ground to debunk your fanciful whisky theory.
    "The Burial Ground is marked by an inscription on the wall above a nondescript wooden door close to the top of Beast Banks in Kendal. There is no public access but it's distinctive enough to arouse curiosity. Behind the door is the burial place of members of a Calvinistic sect founded by Benjamin Ingham and known as Inghamites. They were unpopular and the town's notables decreed that they were not allowed a place of burial in the town of Kendal. However, the sect managed to purchase a small plot of land on Beast Banks which they were able to use as a burial ground."
    That caravan has deteriorated in 9 years, what about us?

  2. BC - I did unearth that history but it would have spoiled my post if I'd included it and I was fairly sure somebody else would pick up on it and thanks for the info. Re the caravan - let's hope, "going forward" that we are around in another nine years to go and check on it's state.

  3. The only part of Rum Doodle I recall is the phrase 'going high' or 'he could go high' - Scout Scar ? East Anglia must have blunted your ambition ! I found myself driving around there at dusk last week - other than the glorious 'Ship of the Fens', no landmarks seem visible for more than a mile or two - quite disorientating for men of the mountains

  4. gimmer - loins are being girded. Our next section gets us to Troutbeck, then it's a grand tour through the Lake District hills to finish on Haystacks where AW's ashes were scattered.

  5. Hi Conrad, I've just caught up! This Wainwright route looks excellent - must try it sometime. Let me know if you'd like some additional company on the last section...

  6. Well, I always thought that that was Gideon's admonishment to his final 'few' before the last battle ! Not Jericho, but still quite appropriate for your final assault - bonne chance !
    Sounds a really good walk - varied, interesting culturally and scenically - a competitor to your favourite Dales Way, perhaps.

  7. Phreerunner - Thanks for the comment. I will keep your suggestion in mind as we get into the hills. We do tend to go off at the spur of the moment, but no matter.


    gimmer - In AW's Pennine Way when one arrives at Byrness, the last outpost before embarking on the long lonely toil over the Cheviots, AW says "now gird up your loins as you have never girded them up before." With reference to Jericho I assure you that no walls have been knocked down (so far.)

  8. Once again the map snippets alone would not have given me a certain preconception of the nature/enjoyment-likelihood of this route. However, with the exception of the too-busy-looking Kendal High Street there is nothing in your photos that I wouldn't like to visit.

  9. gayle - see my reply to your comment on the previous section.