A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Scout Scar

You may have noticed that the Solitary Walker has not done much solitary walking this year — being involved in matters more literary, culinary and horticultural. I aim to put that right. This is a walk I did a few weeks ago on a visit to my mother-in-law in the Lake District. It's a walk I devised myself, with a little help from the Ordnance Survey's Outdoor Leisure Map No 7: The English Lakes: South Eastern Area: Windermere, Kendal & Silverdale. I took the map with me and worked out the route en route, so to speak. It's nice to do that sometimes, rather than planning everything beforehand — there's a happy freedom in it. The walk was exactly 5 miles long.  

There's a handy car park at the col between Cunswick Scar and Scout Scar on the Underbarrow road just west of Kendal. From here I set off southwards up the limestone scar. It wasn't long before the landscape opened up: scattered woods, lumpy hills, tiny settlements and a patchwork of green fields full of sheep and buttercups.

A clear path followed the edge of the escarpment. The view west across the Lyth Valley towards Morecambe Bay was tremendous.

Although I wasn't that high, it felt very airy up there, and I bowled along as if I were on top of the world.

This shelter, known as 'The Mushroom', stands on the summit of Scout Scar (764 ft). It was built in 1912 as a memorial to King George V, and has twice been restored.

The path descended gently to the Brigsteer road. Just before the village a track led northwards through woods to Barrowfield Farm. And from the farm another path struck through more woodland . . . 

. . . which was deciduous, but with isolated pockets of pine.

After passing this remote smallholding I lost the way for a while, but soon found it again — eventually emerging on a quiet minor road called Garth Row Lane. This took me to Scar Foot, and a slightly scary trek uphill along a bendy, busier road back to the car park. 


Ruth Mowry said...

Magnificent scenery, and that cottage at the end!

So now perhaps you can sell maps of scenic treks.

Susan Scheid said...

So beautiful! Here is to more such "happy freedom." (Love that phrase.)

Anonymous said...

It's so easy to get seduced into the mountains round there. After all, if you travel all the way to Cumbria, it seems reasonable to do something "big". But there's so much else to do - like this.

I've been on a few small scale excursions around the Lake District (Tarn Hows, Beacon Tarn and Peel Island on Coniston Water spring to mind) but you've whetted my apetite for them lumpy hills.

am said...

Interesting to learn that there are pockets of pine in that lovely landscape. Glad to know that you have been out walking (-:

dritanje said...

wonderful views and oh so green! I like the idea that there may one day be signs saying 'Solitary Walker Way'. But Ruth's idea sounds very practical - maps, pamphlets, whole books by the Solitary Walker could be on sale in all those shops where walkers go??

George said...

What a lovely walk! And I'm with Ruth on that last photo of the cottage. Stunningly beautiful to my eye.

The Solitary Walker said...

Ruth and Dritanje — I did once start writing a book on Northamptonshire walks, and even found a publisher who was interested, but I abandoned it when I moved from the area. I might consider the idea again!

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for visiting, Susan, Am and George.

Sackerson: I absolutely agree with you, Dominic. When you've made the effort to get to the Lakes, there's a great temptation to do the big ones (as I did the time before this — when I walked half the Kentmere Horseshoe). But the views from some of the smaller hills can sometimes be even better. Like you, I've circled Tarn Hows — though I did find this walk a little tame and touristy. I'm not a serious peak bagger — though I do keep a list!