CCP07:  Speel Bank to Low Wood via Bigland Tarn

Too boring!

That was Margaret's damning indictment of the first draft introduction to this report.  So out with the red pen, away with the babble and straight into the account.

It must be said at the outset that this section of the Cumbria Coastal Path is not at all boring.  I have moaned previously about long straight stretches with little to see and, indeed, arguably the best part todate was when we went off-piste up Humphrey Head in CCP05.  Height is the secret for views.  Today's on-piste section was never dull.  It did feel for a while that the Coastal part of the description was a misnomer but then, with height gained, there was a fine view of the Leven Estuary and the bonus of the discovery of Bigland Tarn.

We parked under the pylons at Outley Mosses, near Grassgarth in order to pick up the CCP at Speel Bank Farm..  A little way along a very wet road is a bridle path that heads south through the prosaically named Great Allotment, actually a very boggy and at times dark wood, emerging about half a mile east of the farm.

A very wet road

Emerging from the wood

Rejoining the Cumbria Coastal Path, we passed through more woods to emerge on the pleasant Speel Bank fellside.  We searched for the pond shown on the map in order to take lunch by it but all we found was a rather boggy area distinguished only by two wheely bins.  Instead, we sheltered behind a rock, in the sun but out of the cold north wind.

Speel Bank fell, Barrow Wood behind


After eating, we dropped down to Grassgarth and crossed over to climb through Barrow Wood which has tantalising glimpses of the Leven estuary.  It began to feel like a Coastal Path again.

The Leven Estuary

Rounding a corner, Bigland Tarn came into view.  This is quite a find- a lovely little tarn with views over to the Coniston fells.  

Bigland Tarn comes into view

Same view, different interpretation

Bigland Tarn

The path down to Low Wood was more like a stream.  It was long and quite steep and the thought kept crossing my mind that height lost would need to become height regained. In the distance the silence was being disturbed by what sounded like a radio being played unconscionably loud.  

At Low Wood we left the Coastal Path where it turns left along the river.  We turned right past the Clock Tower, which at one time must have been a mill but is now, seemingly, a discount electrical store.  Outside a cottage was a rug airing- the nearest thing we saw to washing, even though it was certainly a good drying day.

The Clock Tower

Not quite washing

We headed east up the minor road and all that height we had lost now had to be regained.  

The noise was much louder and I could make out the words "Well done, Thomas."


Thomas the Tank Engine?

Of course; it was Thomas the Tank Engine Day at the Lakeside Railway's Haverthwaite station.  

But did they have to be so loud about it?

Nearing the top of the climb

The Coniston Fells

On reaching the gate to Bigland Hall we entered the grounds and soon rediscovered Bigland Tarn with its cute little boat house.  We rejoined the Coastal Path, heading southwards this time.  

Bigland Tarn

Bigland Tarn boat house

The weather, whish looked at one stage is if it was deteriorating, had recovered and it was becoming a brilliant late afternoon with superb contra-sun views of the estuary.

Afternoon tea was taken in the edge of the woods above Grassgarth.  On reaching the property we noticed that the footpath had been re-routed in 1995- presumably it had previously gone past the house and the owners had objected when the Cumbria Coastal Path was mooted, not wanting the thousands of walkers going past their door.  I can't altogether blame them although today we only passed one other person.

Afternoon tea stop

Footbpath diverted at Grassgarth

This section of the Cumbria Coastal Path is a little gem and potentially could make a Great Little Walk if combined with an excuse to finish at the White Hart at Bouth!

Another gem is the recently opened High Newton bypass.  Not only must it have made life much more tolerable for the inhabitants of the lovely little village, the view from the bypass is one of the great approaches to the lake district.

The view from the High Newton bypass

To those whom it annoys, my apologies for the amount of fiddling going on with some of the photos in this report. Here are some more solarized examples from today's outing:

Glimpse of the Leven estuary

Looking back to Speel Bank fell

The River Leven at Low Wood

Leven Estuary

The Coniston Fells

Don, 8th November 2009

The 6.5 miles covered brings our CCP total to 46.5 miles. 
There was also a surprising 1,248 feet of climbing.

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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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