Ulverston to Bardsea
a three month winter break, thoughts returned to the
Cumbria Coastal Path. It was a beautiful winter's
day- bright sun but bitterly cold easterly wind. Refreshed
by a week's skiing in my case, worn out by a morning's
hoovering in Margaret's, we headed off to Great Urswick
with a cunning plan to use the local transport.
don't recall ever having been to Great Urswick before
but Margaret remembers it well as her cousin Ian lived
there until he tragically met his doom falling from
Lingmell. It is easy to see why Ian loved it there.
It is a lovely village, clustered around quite
a large tarn.
bus arrived on time at 13:04 and took us to the Ulverston
terminus. Here my plan was to catch the Kendal
bus and hope that it would stop for us at Newland where
the Cumbria Coastal Path leaves the A590 and heads down
to the estuary.
however, didn't fancy the prospect of standing around
getting cold waiting for the bus and preferred to walk.
I was quite happy to concur, as I didn't fancy
the prospect of standing around waiting for the bus
with about twenty teenage oiks.
there was a purity about starting here as it was where
we had finished our last section CCP08
(apart from the post-bus walk in the dark).
set off at a good pace. Ulverston, like Kendal,
was having its roads dug up and the lighthouse was still
wrapped in its protective shroud for renovation.
was a bit of a blow to see the bus overtake us as we
passed the Canal Head, but had we caught it, we could
not have enjoyed Margaret's inspirational diversion.
After the grand total of 0.4 miles she called
for a lunch break- at Booth's café. An
Hoad Monument Lighthouse
we took a sneaky short cut under the disused railway,
through the intriguingly titled hamlet of Next Ness
to rejoin the official path at the ancient looking Plumpton
Hall, right by the railway viaduct. The Path now
headed south, with excellent views in all directions,
including our old friend(?), Heysham nuclear power station!
the Leven Estuary
Foot was a revelation. Once upon a time it must
have been a tiny fishing village. Later it became
more important as the mouth of the canal into Ulverston.
Now the wide canal is not navigable and the houses
and Bay Horse pub form a pleasant little hamlet which
must get rather busy in summer. The houses have
superb views at the front. Less so at the rears-
Glaxo!!! Note the view behind one of the less
successful washing photos.
Foot washing with Glaxo
took our team photo on the little pier and then gazed
down at the wading birds, disagreeing about what they
walkers following the footpath sign will
find themselves at best rather wet and,
more likely, rather dead.
some reason that I cannot fathom, some idiot
somewhere must have decreed that all the
public rights of way must be signposted
even if they go directly across a very dangerous
sort of brain is it that wastes public money
with that sort of nonsense?
be fair there is a tiny sign on the post
saying "This Route Has Natural Hazards".
idiot that ordered that the sign be put
up is the biggest hazard.
fact, although unmarked, The Path turns inland, between
the huge Glaxo factory and the rather fine playing fields
and the playing fields!
through a field of horses, that was a bizarre looking
outcrop. We passed a farm with a huge old brick
chimney that served no apparent purpose plus a self
build bungalow that looked as if it was halfway through
a twelve year build plan.
strange outcrop, with horses
strange chimney, with lighthouse
the cost again we could look back and get quite a different
perspective on the outcrop and the Leven estuary.
Leven estuary with outcrop
the distance we could see the spires and chimneys of
the Victorian gothic structure that is Conishead
sheep thought it was the subject of the picture. Then
a friendly robin encouraged me to take its photograph!
Priory and friendly sheep
we stopped for a coffee near Bardsea we started talking
to a lady from Connecticut who was walking her dachshund
which had a fetching pink sweater. She told
us that it was ok to walk round the grounds of the Priory
and that it was open regularly to visitors. It sounds
original Augustinian Priory building dated back to 1160.
Henry VIII seized it and it remained in private
hands for generations. Colonel Braddyll rebuilt
it in 1821/36 with the profits from Durham Coal mines
but when they went bust it was sold and eventually became
a hotel. Later it was the Durham Miner's convalescent
home, being used as a military hospital in World War
II. In 1976 it once again became a religious establishment
but this time for Buddhists and it remains the Manjushri
Kadampa Meditation Centre.
a shame we were unable to see anymore of this building
on our walk.
Trinity Church, Bardsea
now, the sun was getting low in the sky and there was
less than an hour of daylight left. We decided
to cut up into Bardsea, another lovely little village,
the distant view of which is dominated by its fine Holy
standing like a rocket ready for takeoff.. This left
us with a 2¼ mile road trek back to Great Urswick.
Climbing up the hill, we had the day's best washing
back over Bardsea to the estuary
the hill to the right, we could see a monument but had
no idea what it was. A google search later established
that it is a mausoleum for the members of a family named
long walk back to Great Urswick
with Lakeland hills behind in the evening sun
sun set as we climbed the hill, although it briefly
reappeared as we crossed Birkrigg Common. A surprise
was the quarry which looked a good rock climbing training
sun reappears, briefly
final stretch to the car was in much better light than
but it was a relief when Urswick tarn came into view
followed by some really attractive old property.
clouds over Great Urswick
I have a confession to make. When we were in Bardsea,
we spotted a bus stop. If only I had done my homework
properly and checked if busses ran along the coast,
I would have discovered that only five minutes after
we caught the bus at Great Urswick, there was one at
Bardsea also on its way to Ulverston.
Margaret, I could have saved you that last, cold, 2¼
miles. But then we wouldn't have had the pleasure
of getting to know that lovely little village, Great
Urswick, would we?
10th February 2010
8.3 miles covered brings our CCP total to 63.4 miles.
was also 510 feet of climbing.
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We seem to have missed Chapel
I remember seeing it when taking the photo of
Canal Foot- when blown up you can see it between the
end of the pier and Heysham Power Station- after which
we paid it no attention. Yet it has an interesting
quote from Wapaedia:
Chapel Island, known as Harlesyde Isle in 1593, got
its present name in 1795. The name was coined by Mrs.
Radcliffe in her book "Tour of the Lakes".
In the 14th century Cistercian monks from nearby
Conishead Priory built a small chapel on the island
to serve the needs of travellers and fishermen working
in the Leven fisheries. The Island lies on the path
of the ancient crossing from Cartmel to Conishead and
would have been a place of haven to travelers caught
out by the tide. Tradition describes its purpose to
be the meeting for prayers with the travellers who cross
Nothing remains of the original chapel. In 1821 Colonel Thomas Richard Gale Braddyll
commenced building the modern-day Conishead Priory and
to enhance the view from the priory he had a mock pseudo-classical
ruin built on the island. This chapel ruin is now
sometimes mistaken for the remains of the original
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