Saturday 2nd April 2022 - Circular from Whasset.
The hamlet of Whasset is less than fifteen minutes drive from home. I have lived in Arnside for 21 years and thought I had walked almost all the footpaths within that kind of radius. I reckon about eighty percent of this 6.25mile circuit was on paths new to me and I'm not sure whether I am criticising myself for the omissions or rejoicing for new discoveries - perhaps a bit of both.
A light chill from the occasional flurries of gentle wind combined with the deep blue sky and masses of giant sized bright white rolling clouds made for perfect walking weather. All was specially enhanced with spring now moving into top gear - blossoms forcing through and lambs frolicking. Yes, this was all sheep pasture country with underlying limestone. Fields traversed were a joy of cropped turf.
There was a good mixture of those field paths, country lanes, a bit of quiet tarmac, a stretch down the Lancaster canal, flirting with the delightful River Bela and crossing the main south north railway line four times.
A long chat with a chap making a stable for his partner's horse proved rewarding. The horse stood by us and seemed to be joining in the conversation. I don't have a well developed affinity with horses, I'm usually a bit wary, but this fella seemed to be uncharacteristically friendly. Mr. Stablebuilder turned out to be a keen fly fisherman and a member of the Milnthorpe Angling Association. MAA have the rights on large stretches of the River Bela. I have looked many times at the map wanting to follow that river but there are few rights of way that coincide but today I crossed it several times and followed it for short distances on a couple of occasions and was highly impressed with its attractions. I was informed that the MAA only have fifty members and there are current vacancies at a modest £100 p.a. The river is not stocked but apparently abounds with wild brown trout and is also home to otters. How I have never gleaned all this in the years I have lived here I do not know. I guess if I had done some years ago I may have taken advantage but for the moment I have more than enough to occupy my time with other interests.
I only took a flask of coffee planning a short diversion in the village of Holme where I knew there was a village shop and post office where I could buy a lunchtime snack. I duly diverted only to find the shop closed own - yet another victim of Covid.
|One of four crossings of the mainline railway|
Crossing the River Bela for the first time, and below
|Quiet country lanes with Farleton Fell. It was just down here that I met the fisherman and the horse.|
|The M6. The Lancaster canal runs along the horizontal hedge line below the horizon but it is blocked by the motorway. What folly|
|The canal blocked by the M6|
|Just look at those clouds|
|Final crossing of the Bela|
|Start/finish at Whasset - clockwise. Note the diversion for the demised village shop in Holme|