CCP03: Levens Bridge to Grange-over-Sands

Saturday 12th September 2009

"Why have you gone so far inland?" asked one of my friends on reading CCP02.  

"What do you mean?" I replied, "We had to get round the Kent Estuary."

"Why didn't you just get hold of Queen's Guide Cedric Robinson and ask him to take you across the bay?"  

Several reasons:

  • Cedric doesn't do individual trips to order at short notice.  Other than for royalty, of course!
  • We did the Cross Bay Walk with him (and hundreds of other non-royals) three years ago.
  • We're doing the Coastal Path not the Cross Bay Walk.

Cross Bay Walk 2006

Anyway, having completed the inward bit and made inroads into the outward bit of the Kent Estuary, there was no going back.  And now Margaret's back was much improved (thanks to all who have sympathised) and given a glorious day, it was time to complete the trip to Grange-over-Sands.

We left one vehicle in the car park in Grange and retraced our way in the other to park over the dyke behind the Gilpin Bridge Inn.

The A590 can be a fearsome road to cross but we had no problems and headed off south down the very straight minor road to High Foulshaw.  Very straight was to be a theme of the day- a consequence of reclaimed land. Very straight and at times, it must be said, rather boring and hard on the feet!  

Whitbarrow Scar

This first straightness was enlivened by good views of Whitbarrow Scar and an early supply of some washing but it wasn't until we left the road to climb up the embankment at High Foulshaw that the route started to live up to its billing as a coastal path.  

Early washing!

The lane with no view

Actually the official path does not climb the embankment but continues along a lane with no views.  Don't understand why.  We followed the embankment as far as we could and it provided excellent views all around.

The estuary from the embankment

Particularly noticeable was the quarry behind Sandside, of which you are hardly aware from the other side of the estuary.  Less obvious was Ingleborough, just peeping round the side of The Knott.

Sandside with quarry

On the embankment

The lone chair

Someone had left a lone chair on the moss.  

That will be gone in the next high tide!

Indeed, the embankment, some fifteen to twenty feet high, must be a fun place to be in mid winter with a full tide and a driving wind- the debris on the side showed that its potential lay only a couple of feet below the top and were it to be breached there are hundreds of acres of land that would vanish.

Looking across to Arnside, the viaduct and The Knott

We left the embankment at Crag Cottage (more washing) and headed inland across fields.

Crag Cottage.....

..... and its washing

Margaret found some friends on the way!

Margaret and friends!

Margaret and friend

Meathop proved to be hamlet with a curious cow and some very interesting buildings plus a surprise hill, up to Meathop Grange- once a hospital but now converted to dwellings.

Kendal House Farm, Meathop

Meathop Hall

On the other side of the hill we crossed what I thought was a canal that had been used for the first experiments with iron boats.

The curious cow

The Iron Master's test track?

I was partly, possibly right!

It was actually the River Winster but it was straight like a canal with the water held back by sluice gates.  It came down from Castle Head.  Now a field centre, this used to be owned by John Wilkinson, the Iron Master, who first developed the concept of the iron boat.  

Attempts have been made elsewhere to find traces of his prototypes but I am sure I was once told that this was where he tested the concept.

Beyond lay another very straight road, made worse by the curse of the Victorians- the embankment was used by the railway and effectively blocked all view seaward.  We played I-Spy to relieve the tedium.  Once past the golf course, we briefly joined the main road before being able to take the footbridge over the railway where we could see what we had missed and enjoy the start of the Grange-over-Sands promenade.

The missing view

Across the bay, in the distance, we could see the two huge buildings of Heysham Nuclear Power Station.  I posed the question of what to do if you saw the buildings explode?  Assuming the light was not sufficient to blind you, there would be just about a minute before the sound wave blasted your eardrums and the fall out started to cover you. Put like that, I start to wonder why I am strongly in favour of nuclear energy and vehemently opposed to on-shore wind farms!

Grange comes into view

Feeding the birds

We left the prom at the station and fed the remains of a carrot and pumpkin seed bun to the birds in the Oriental Gardens before picking up the cars. The embankment part of the walk is definitely worth remembering for another time and other conditions!

The 8.7 miles covered brings our CCP total to 20.4 miles.

Don, 12th September 2009



Roger B points out that It is not actually necessary to cross the A590(T) to get from Gilpin Bridge to the Foulshaw lane. There is a new path and cycle track leading from Gilpin Bridge towards Witherslack and this crosses the Levens Main Drain to enable you to get onto the old A590. If you then turn left there is a short underpass which sneaks under the new A590 and takes you into the lane. A small detour, but worth it!


E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  


 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

Home Page

The Cumbria Way