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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


Monday, 20 July 2020

Lanes from Highwayman (South. of Kirkby Lonsdale)

Sunday 19th July 2020 - Lanes and paths east of Highwayman - 6 miles

There is something I have tried to explain to others but never quite seem to get across. If I have a concept or notion I want to convey I see that as a sort of composite bubble in my head which contains that entity, but with no specific words. It is like the atom before they discovered there were many other components inside. One then has the problem of trying to translate that bubble into words and some are better at it than others - I try my best and often wrestle.

I have a particular personal example: trying to express the contents of the bubble that contains my motivation, enjoyment, feelings, and satisfaction in solving challenges for a multi-day long distance back packing trip. That bubble also includes hopelessly undefinable ambience. I will call that Bubble One. All of that is totally different from the contents of a bubble that contains the components and specific ambience of a linear or circular day walk. I will call that Bubble Two.  The two  are distinctly different in my head.

The above thoughts were initiated during today's walk which for some reason seemed to relate more closely to Bubble One than many recent day walks. I could analyse that to some extent but suspect that I would not end up with something satisfactory and I question myself as to whether it really matters anyway. Perhaps that will keep for another day when I have marshalled my thoughts more clearly.

I parked on the grass verge of the  A683 a few yards south of Burrow Bridge which spans Leck Beck running in lively fashion from Leck Fell with all its nostalgic potholing associations. My car was in full view on the A 683 and I worried about returning to a scene of broken glass, but all was well when I eventually arrived back.

This Sunday morning at 9:00 am the motor cyclists bent on early morning clear roads were tearing past in groups at suicidal speeds - the roads in this region have sweeping bends one after another that have attracted these aficionados for years - each to their own.

I crossed over Leck Beck and was soon onto farm lanes and footpaths following the line of the beck to Cowan Bridge where the Bronte sisters were at school. The walking had been interesting and varied all on good surfaces. A short walk south-east on the A65 and I branched off to cross three fields to gain a left turn over a stile into a lane. The lane was choked waist and head high with trees, grass, brambles, and nettles. I tried for about ten yards and gave up and climbed over the wall into the adjacent field. At the field boundary the wall was high and protected by barbed wire. I turned right and followed the wall to the next boundary and then right again to the next before I could find a place to climb the wall without ripping my clothing then retraced my route to be able to get back onto the original public footpath after it had emerged from the end of the choked lane.

At the farm marked Collingholme on the map I met a couple in the their garden who are the owners of Castleberg Outdoors, a splendid privately owned, old established, outdoor shop in Settle - worth a visit:

Further varied waking and a feeling of liberation and enjoyment had me arrive at Tunstall Church which provided good seating for my midday snack and coffee and use of the timer on my camera. Here was the grave of one Harold Spencer Churchill (1932-1998.) Of course I thought I had discovered some connection to Winston but subsequent Googling failed to produce any reference to this potential imposter.

I came out onto Woodman Lane where I walked with Pete back in July 2018 and noted the following:

Rest Harrow Equestrian looked impressive - a newly built complex for horsey people with an unbelievable list of facilities including:

  • "A Hot Water Horse wash and shower bay"
  • "Horse Solarium"

and many other features redolent of a luxury spa for ladies.

If I were a horse I would want my owner to have me stabled there.

The strange thing was that despite the vast amount of investment that must have been made here there seemed to be absolutely nothing going on.

Today as I passed there was a large FOR SALE sign on the closed gates.

Woodman Lane emerges at The Highwayman - a favourite good eating pub but sadly closed with a single car on the large carpark.

I had not the slightest feeling of tiredness after six miles of throughly enjoyable walking.

The first farm just off the main road. Much better than the frequent untidy messy farmyards

Barns built to last

A delightful stream (see photo below) crossed the lane here and flowed out to the right underneath the wall halfway down the photo

The stream was flowing speedily through the meadow, sparkling clear  - magical.
It reminded me of people saying these kinds of pure stream are needed for growing watercress

Distant view of the Barbon hills

This is a spritely tributary to Leck Beck with a clapper bridge which I crossed - see next photo

This is my crossing of Leck Beck to turn left into Cowan Bridge. There was a vigorous flow here coming from Leck Fell with all its pot-holing associations

Taken from the A 65 at Cowan Bridge. Three fields lead to the choked lane

Looking back over the wall to the overgrown lane - it was even worse than it looks here

I had crossed that field with the inquisitive cows following me - here they are stumped at my appearance and departure - it would be fascinating to know what they are thinking

Campanula (according to Plant Snap app) in profusion

There was a bridge, just visible in the trees to the left

Tunstall Church

Harold Spencer Churchill. If he wasn't related why did he have those first names?

War memorial in the churchyard. Ordnance survey indicates a "cross" here. I'm not sure if it is this or the one where I am sitting in the photo below with no top snd obviously much older

Ok it's not a tractor but I haven't seen any interesting ones for a while so here is something to be going on with for Alan.

Victorian PO box next door to the Highwayman and only about three hundred yards from my car up the main road.

Note yellow mark indicating impassable lane and my deviations to its left.

My route is the green "circle" near centre.


  1. Just two quick note for now: What is a clapper bridge? I have campanula growing in wild abandon around the edges of my property. I know them as harebells.

    Will return as soon as my new computer is up and running later today (on the office PC at the moment, which is why this is short.)

    Lovely images!

  2. Hi Martha - A clapper bridge is just one slab of stone across a small stream perhaps supported by large stones at each end - they may go back to medieval times.

    We also call them harebell, probably more so than campanula which I think is the posh Latin name.

    You be careful using the office computer, but it's good to hear from you. I hope you are weathering the Big C. From what I read it is a serious and escalating problem over there - a contrast from the prediction that it would all blow away a month or two back. 'Nuff said.