CCP02: Levens Bridge to Gilpin Bridge

Wednesday 9th September 2009

It was always going to be a bit of a challenge but it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.  The Yaris had to go in to the Toyota garage in Grange-over-Sands for a factory recall and that happened to be the logical end point of the next stage of the Cumbria Coastal Path.  So two cars went to Grange, one came back and we intended to walk back to collect the other.  However this stage would be a good 10 miles and by the time Margaret had finished her chores, it would need a steady pace to get there before the garage closed.  Nonetheless she was game to try.

We parked up at Levens Bridge and as she was putting on her boots there was an ominous shriek.  Too much weeding had affected her back and in twisting around at the back of the car, Margaret felt something give.  Would she be able to cope with the demands of a 10 mile route march?

She wanted to give it ago and so we set off.  The first part was a bit of a jungle through the wood by the edge of the River Kent.  This changed to a narrow footpath between a hedge and a fence that was overgrown with nettles.  

From  jungle.....

..... to nettles

How glad I was that I had put my thick trousers on.  Unfortunately, Margaret was wearing her peddle pushers with exposed calves and, coupled with the lack of flexibility caused by her back, she found this long stretch hard going.

The River Kent

Once out on the minor road, things were much easier.

The lower reaches of the Kent were looking good although, sadly, Levens Hall could not be seen.

However we could admire Low Levens Farm, a very old building with its full complement of massive Westmorland chimneys.

It seemed to have been built alongside, if not within the curtilage of, an even older building.

"If only it had some washing out," said Margaret.  

And then, on rounding the corner, her wish came true.  

Hard to spot in the photo but no doubt it will be much clearer once painted!

We could see Whitbarrow Scar ahead and the village of Levens across the fields with the distant lakeland hills beyond.

Low Levens Farm

Low Levens Washing

Whitbarrow Scar

Levens and the distant lakeland hills

Near Sampool we met a man and his rather large and unusual dog. It transpired that I had misread the map (I blame it on using the 1:50k rather than the much clearer 1:25k which, for this area, I don't have on my computer) and we were heading the wrong way.  It also transpired that he was involved with the caravan site and the windsock in the field was for travelling between their five sites by helicopter.  The dog, Paco, was a Spanish Deer Hound that had a penchant for marijuana!

On reaching Gilpin Bridge (which is what the pub is called but the map says Sampool Bridge) we had a decision to make.  We had completed just over two of our ten miles and were behind schedule.  One option was to take an easy return route across the land reclaimed from the sea back to Levens and the car.  Alternatively we could press on but there would be no escape if Margaret's back problems increased.

I was relieved when she chose the return.  With all time pressures removed we could stop to examine the sluice gates, find the path marked by the totem pole and then enjoy a leisurely and sunny lunch by the River Gilpin with open views to the Lake District Hills up the Lyth Valley.

Sampool Bridge sluice gates

Totem pole makrs the way

I don't know what went wrong with the team photo.  Somehow the exposure worked much better without us!

Badly exposed team photo.....

.....properly exposed background

A dyke with Levens behind

 It was a pleasant stroll across the reclaimed land, through the one-time seaside village of Levens where St John's Church has a most unusual outside ground level opensided bell house.  Or is there a proper name for this arrangement?

St John's Church

The bell house

Once across the bridge over the A591 there was a good view of the distinctive Lawrence House Farm before reaching the car at Levens Bridge.  

Lawrence House Farm....

..... with driveway shadows

True, out of our 4.7 miles walked, we had only completed 2 miles or so of the Coastal Path but that makes the next section to Grange so much easier, once Margaret's back has recovered.

Don, 9th September 2009


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 These pages log
the progress of
Don and Margaret
along the
Cumbria Coastal Path.


 Click on the photos
for an enlargement or related large picture.



CCP01: Arnside to
Levens Bridge


CCP02: Levens Bridge to
Gilpin Bridge


CCP03: Gilpin Bridge to


CCP04: Grange-over-Sands
to Cark


CCP05: Flookburgh
and back to Cark


CCP06: Cark to Speel Bank
(plus a Cistercian Way sampler)


CCP07: Speel Bank to
Low Wood via Bigland Tarn


CCP08: Low Wood
to Ulverston


Ulverston to Bardsea


Bardsea to Newbiggin


Newbiggin to Roa Island




The Washing Lines

as seen by Margaret:

will appear here!









BOOT boys

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