The Black and White Canal
18th June 2012
evening stroll and another little dip into
Graham Dugdale's Curious
although this time I have devised my own
title rather than copy his walk:
Royal Welcome for the Mail - the village
that time forgot
directed, we parked at Burton in Kendal
but had an exploration along the main street
before starting the walk.
is a strange little village, one of contrast
which I have no recollection of ever having
is an historic mixture of once grand Georgian houses
and small old cottages.
Sadly, it is also a modern
day mixture of gentrified and near abandoned properties.
One closed pub, The Royal, and one still
in business, King's Arms.
We came to the conclusion that, for many, the
attractions of scenery and proximity to Lancaster and
Kendal were outweighed by the fact that it is essentially
a linear village and, despite not being on the A6, it
is close to junction 36 of the M6 and accordingly remains
busy with traffic.
It needs a by-pass to rejuvenate
followed the book's route up round the back of Burton
and along a very leafy lane. Apart from the rather muddy
section, it reminded me a bit of Bavarian Alpine walking,
albeit on a smaller scale. Long stretches of not
seeing very much interspersed with sudden openings with
one stage the instructions threw me until I realised
the author had suffered from a problem that I sometimes
have. I have no difficulty with left and right
because I view them as rotations, not directions. Nor
do I have any issues with North and South. But
for some strange reason it is not unknown for me to
confuse east and west. When the author talked
here of pursuing a north-westerly course, he really
meant one that is north-easterly.
little further on, after passing through the hamlet
of Clawthorpe, various inhabitants not being unknown
to certain of our friends, Mr Dugdale has another hiccup.
He refers to seeing Clawthorpe Hall on your right.
I thought at first that he had had another of
his lateral transferals as Clawthorpe Hall was certainly
on our left, but I could not see it.
Then I realised
that his direction was correct but his naming of the
property was not.
It was, in fact, Curwen Woods
to which he had intended to refer- an imposing residence
owned until recently by the late and sadly missed Richard
crossing the A6070, the Holme sign, some horse and the motorway, I made a mistake
and turned left down a narrow lane which I presumed
would be the one mentioned in the book "serving
a canalside row of terraced houses known as Sheernest".
The lane, which could appropriately be called
Dogpoo Avenue, failed to serve any such cottages. Looking
at the OS map, I realised that we had turned left a
little too soon. Mr Dugdale might have made that
clearer. No harm done, we were soon able to cross
the canal. From the bridge, not only did we have
a fine view of the Lakeland hills, we could also see
the large mill pond at Holme Mills. From my occasional
trips down that road, I had not realised how big it
stretch of the canal is really very pleasant, quite
elevated with good views all round, particularly of
Farleton Knott and the distant Lakeland hills. Tonight
a hot air balloon could be seen in the direction of Coniston
Old Man and another in the opposite direction.
information board informed us that this waterway used
to be known as the Black and White Canal as it was used
by barges travellling northwards full of coal then returning
south with limestone.
at Moss Bridge we turned left (i.e. East - I think),
over the strangely named Hanging Hill and back to Burton-in-Kendal.
Mr Dugdale had again produced a very enjoyable
short walk, especially suited to a rare fine June evening.
18th June 2012
5.0 miles; Height climbed:
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