Speel Bank to Low Wood via Bigland Tarn
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.
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.
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.
very wet road
from the wood
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.
Bank fell, Barrow Wood behind
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.
a corner, Bigland Tarn came into view. This is
quite a find- a lovely little tarn with views over to
the Coniston fells.
Tarn comes into view
view, different interpretation
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
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
headed east up the minor road and all that
height we had lost now had to be regained.
noise was much louder and I could make out
the words "Well done, Thomas."
the Tank Engine?
course; it was Thomas the Tank Engine Day
at the Lakeside
did they have to be so loud about it?
the top of the climb
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.
Tarn boat house
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.
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.
diverted at Grassgarth
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!
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
view from the High Newton bypass
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:
of the Leven estuary
back to Speel Bank fell
River Leven at Low Wood
8th November 2009
6.5 miles covered brings our CCP total to 46.5 miles.
was also a surprising 1,248 feet of climbing.
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