Cistercian Way 1 : Grange-over-Sands to Cark

Saturday 29th March 2014

The clue is in the name:

Grange-over Sands.

Once upon a time, that is how you would get there from Lancashire if you were a monk.  

Over the Morecambe Bay sands.

However, they didn't have cars in those days and they did drown a lot of people.

Instead, we arrived by train.  From Cark- the opposite direction.

The initial target was supposed to be the Hampsfell Hospice.  

Waiting for the train to Grange

However, no sooner had we left the station, strolled past the park and into Windermere Road than we were somewhat sidetracked by a yard sale.

Grange Park

Bike in the yard sale

Three purchases later, to be collected on our return with the car, and we were on the Way again. A rather discreet carving of a monk indicated the route to be taken up through the wood.  

The Cistercian Way

Can you see the sign?

It has to be said that it is rather unlikely that any monks climbed this hill as part of their route to Furness Abbey.  It is not without interst, however.  The guide book talks of the wild flowers but they are few at this time of the year.  What could be seen is what appears to be a small and disused old water reservoir.  Holding the water supply for Grange at one time, perhaps?

The old reservvoir

Hampsfell Hospice

It is not that long since we last visited this unusual structure so for more information about it see Rosy Fingered Dawn.

Here the guide book author made a couple of irritating instructions.  Firstly he states that you should leave the Hospice by aiming a little to the right of Heysham nuclear power station and of Humphrey Head.  All very well if you can see them but today it was too hazy.  

Spot the Heysham power station and Humphrey Head!!

Next he refers to bearing right when you come to a dip.  No mention of how far or of how dippy the dip.  Fortunately we chose to ignore the first, small dip and were rewarded shortly by one that is much more significant.

Clints and grikes

Spot Cartmel Priory

From there it was an easy stroll across fell and fields to a very busy Cartmel.  We did think about visiting the Priory but we have been there before so the Cartmel Coffee shop won out. Great pastries!


Cartmel Priory


Cartmel Coffee

The Way offers two routes to Cark, the longer one seemingly intended to entice folk to Holker Hall.  As it doesn't open until tomorrow, that was a no-brainer!  We took the direct route to Cark, via the race-course.

Cartmel Race Course

In the village we passed a very old house that Margaret had painted on the Cumbria Coastal Path, picture reproduced on the right hand column.  This time I did photograph the fine old frontage.

The painted house

The day finished more or less where we started- at the yard sale where we picked up the spoils.

Verdict on the first day of the Cistercian Way?  

So far so good.  

We would probably have disappointed Mr Brodie with our lack of curiosity concerning the Priory and Holker Hall but neither seems to have been relevant to the Cistercians so I don't feel too bad about it!

Don, 29th March 2014

Distance:  5.7 miles


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