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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

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


Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Following the coast (4)

Tuesday 4th February 2020 - Overton to Lancaster Lune railway bridge

I thought this would be mostly on a busy B road with no walkway and was not particularly enthusiastic. One and a half kilometres from Overton a track lead to Heaton Hall Farm not shown on the OS 1:50 map. I looked at the 1:25 and the track was marked and shown as going past the farm but then terminating before continuing after a couple of hundred yards on the way to Richmond Farm where the track continued back to the B road further north. That looked more pleasant, but this was not marked as a public footpath and there was the question of the gap in the road which from experience I knew more than likely would indicate some impassable obstruction. This is a dilemma one is faced with from time to time on such walks - if you proceed and access is forbidden or the obstacle appears you have to eat humble-pie and retrace your steps - it is just a gamble. I gambled.

I met a friendly girl as I walked into the farmyard and she told me that the tarmac road continued all the way. I'm pretty sure that was the case at the date of my OS map from what I saw so they are not always perfect.

That tarmac lane with its views and no traffic made this walk into something much more enjoyable than I had hoped for, especially as I had won my bet.

A little used road took me past the Golden Ball Inn nicknamed Snatchems. The navy in the 1700s sent the press gangs here to forcibly recruit sailors. Just imagine having a quiet pint on a sunny afternoon when some bully boys turn up, bundle you into a van and you spend the rest of your short life working on a cocaine farm in Peru.

Just before arriving at the inn there was a disgusting pile of fly-tipping on the road. It can't be just a matter of dumping the stuff - it could just as easily have been put on the grass verge but I reckon there is some kind of demonstration or act of defiance here as well - one wonders who these people are - I have my own ideas but not to be published here.

Earlier I had been nearly mown down by  a two horse trotting trap.

Another track lead off alongside the River Lune and this again turned out to be tarmac but closed to traffic. A massive landfill site on the left was being added to by a continuous relay of wagons and there were signs warning of "inflammable gas" on the fencing - good job I hadn't taken my stove for a brew - headlines:  "Arnside pensioner blown to bits on Lancaster cycleway."

More and more as I walk I criss-cross with previous adventures. I had a distant view of the Ashton Memorial above Kendal where I passed through with BC on the Lancashire Witches Walk - the witches were hanged there. Looking across the River Lune I could see the new housing developments I walked past recently with Pete on our way to Glasson Dock, another venue where I have walked around often. I passed under the pylons made oversize to take the electricity from Heysham Power Station over the river which reminded me of the similar arrangement over the River Wyre when I walked the Wyre Way. - I will be connecting up with that route later with this project I hope. Whilst all that is pleasurable I am looking forward to getting onto less familiar ground. Seeing "what is round the next corner" satisfies my nosy-parker instinct -  one of my main motivations for walking.

Ever since that walk with Pete along the other side of the Lune I have been itching to cross the walkway on the bridge taking the main line railway over the river Lune. The steps up and down at each end came as a shock after all the level walking.

I sat on a bench after that and had my refreshments and then retraced my way back to Overton.

Ashton Memorial above Lancaster (zoom)

Why are these swans playing in in the fields? They should be on the water - for some reason I found this quite irritating


Upstream on the R. Lune. My objective railway bridge is a bit beyond the furthest you can see here

The Golden Ball Inn - "Snatchems"

One for my "signs" collection

New housing across the Lune

The Lune railway bridge

Looking back after I had crossed

Giant pylons taking the power over the wide river

Ignore other than green route - south to north and back

Track from road to Richmond Farm peters out after farm. It was actually a continuous tarmac road


  1. That looks more satisfying.
    What's happening to our trusty OS maps?
    Did you look to see what was happening on the Cycle Racing Track - sounds intriguing.
    I'm sure you could start and use bus transport down the coast to save all that backtracking, ie the next stretch to Glasson if that is on your itinerary.

  2. BC - There were one or two pedalo type multi person cycles pondering around with families aboard - looks like they might have been hired from some point not on my route. I have previously walked all the next section as far as Cokersand Abbey but am not sure of the bit between there and Cockerham so I will go and do that back and forth. After that I have had a look at buses etc. and it looks as though public transport can be used for a long way further south after that. I have of course walked the bit from Knott End to Rossall School as part of the Wyre Way. If I get stranded you may get a call!

  3. Regarding motivations for walking, you would have enjoyed being party to a conversation Mick had with a neighbour (coincidentally the day you were walking this walk). She couldn't see the point in walking. Couldn't see the point in sailing either (both pastimes of her husband). Couldn't abide art or books. Hates reading. Couldn't be doing with knitting. Goodness, I thought, when Mick recounted this to me - what does she do with her time?! Needless to say, it was one of Mick's shorter neighbourly chats.

  4. My son W suggests she could be a big Brookside fan?

    Reminds me of one of my recent encounters:

    "Next we encountered a farmer digging a drainage ditch with a tractor from which he dismounted eager for conversation. He got my prize for "Biggest Moaner of the Year'" Everything was wrong and denigrated in an irritating whiny voice: off-comers buying local land, The Duchy Estate, Chris Packham, the decline of sheep farming, previous occupiers of his farm, and other subjects I can't remember - once he got going he was on a roll and it took us a while to get away and find a spot to munch, drink, and recover."

  5. Hi Conrad, about the swans...

    Apparently they have a liking for eating wet grass through shallow water; a habit they share with other varieties of wildfowl. I'm not even sure how I know this, but I do have a capacity for retaining trivia and allowing important stuff to completely slip my mind.

    Nice walk report by the way, as always.

  6. Hi Dave - Thanks for that about the swans - the subject ramps up a notch in my next post. Perhaps you will identify?

  7. about the pile of rubbish - truly it appears to have 'fallen off the back of a . . lorry' - it is hard to fathom such behaviour - 'au guillotine, m'sieur'

  8. gimmer - did you not pick up on the single line paragraph after my description of the rubbish?