Choosing to end this circular walk with an ice cream or tea shop may dictate your starting point!
Setting out from Melling and heading up The Green, the slope of grass edged broadly by daffodils planted by previous residents and more recently, to celebrate the birth of a child, you will see the old pump. Continuing up through several gates you are quickly at a point where pausing to draw breath, you can see Ingleborough, The Lake District hills and The Trough of Bowland. At this time of year there are boisterous lambs. In Winter you may have been met by hopeful sheep, almost daring to nuzzle you with their furred noses and “Grandma’s Breath.”
As you dip down before reascending to the farm with the communications mast, take care as it is almost always boggy at the bottom.
Turning left at this farm would take you back to Melling, so carry on and you are soon heading towards Tatham and will see Wennington and beyond.
Just before Tatham Church, where there is a welcome seat for contemplation or snack from your pocket, you may find a public footpath sign with half a stile marking where once there was a hedge or fence.
Crossing over the B6480 in a “dog leg” you are soon up a steep and eroded track banked with hedges full of red campion, primroses and bluebells. I am usually escorted by a robin on this stretch of the walk, eyeing me from the hawthorn.
After passing through the gate it is possible to head off left over to Wennington and back along the old road, the vinegar stone or via Wrayton, but for Wray carry on and right. (In general, this walk is well marked and I am glad for those who maintain the paths and attach the yellow arrows, however, I sometimes need my OS map here!!)
Once you reach Agnes Ing Lane, you can follow it down to the B6480 or use the footpath through the farm – this path is steep towards the road.
From here you can cross over and with the River Hindburn on your right, continue to Hornby, or take a detour to Bridge House Tea Rooms and Greenfoot Garden Centre in Wray, with the river on your left. You will cross The River Roeburn via the road bridge just before the Tea Rooms.
After refreshment you can track back or enjoy walking through Wray http://www.wrayvillage.co.uk/scarecrows/scarecrows.htm and take one of several paths across the fields to Hornby. I love to see the castle and emerge by the river close to the weir.
The Post Office in Hornby prides itself on their choice of ice creams and is popular for tasty meals. If you are new to the village, glance to the left to see the rat and cat at the water trough. Also food at The Castle Inn or Royal Oak, depending on the time of day. 21/22 May is the next open garden weekend at Hornby Castle. http://www.hornbycastle.com/hornby-castle-gardens/
There is a “pay with an honesty box” toilet, at Hornby Institute.
Unless you have chosen to return to Melling by bus, enjoy walking through Hornby, passing the award winning butcher with Maggy Howarth mosaics and on towards the River Lune.
This last stretch, to Melling with The Lune on your left, affords splendid open views often strewn with branches and other debris after flooding.
If you are returning to Melling to collect your car from Lune View Garage after a service, you will pass St Wilfrid’s – partially restored by Lancaster architects Paley, Austin and Paley. There is a welcome seat to rest in the quiet graveyard.
I hope you will enjoy this walk as much as we do. Take care and remember to pause to look behind you as well as in front. The gentle Lune Valley is a tranquil joy.
By Leah Dalby – Local Physiotherapist