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Four Winter Walks around the District

BETTER THAN SUMMER

Walking in the winter time can often be better than walking in summer. The bright light of a lovely winter’s day is hard to beat. And, if you make sure you’re well equipped and prepared, then you can enjoy a day out enjoying lots of fresh air, unbeatable views and the health benefits of a lovely winter walk. 

WHITTINGTON WITHOUT A CAT

This curiously named walk starts and finishes in Kirkby Lonsdale and part of the time you get to walk along the banks of the beautiful River Lune. It is 4.8 miles long, on relatively easy terrain and takes around 2hrs 30min.

From the west bank of the river, a few paces downstream from Devil’s Bridge, take the path signposted ‘Whittington’ across the small park with picnic tables to the A65. Cross over the A65, go through a narrow meadow and between houses and almost immediately cross the B6254. As you enter another field, go uphill, keeping the walled wooded area on your left. Yellow markers and a sign to Wood End help you find the route. 

From Wood End Cottages head south to Sellet Hall and then south again along Hosticle Lane towards Whittington village. Go through this pretty village, which has a pub, and along Burrow Mill Lane towards the Lune.  Bear left to pick up the riverside walk – the Lune Valley Ramble – and back to the A65 bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale.

HEYSHAM TOWERS TO HEST BANK

This six and half mile bay side ramble features a beach walk, promenade and heathland and some interesting landmarks. It starts at Heysham Towers bus stop and finishes at Hest Bank foreshore car park (so if you park up here you can use public transport to get down to the start at Heysham).

From Heysham Towers bus stop you will see the Old Hall pub across the road, formerly an Elizabethan manor house which has been a pub since 1958. From the bus stop turn to walk away from the main road and follow the short, narrow path towards the row of terraced houses on Middleton Road. When you reach Middleton Road turn left and then after a short while turn onto Smithy Lane.

At Half Moon Bay turn right and walk north towards Morecambe. Follow the path through the wooden kissing gate to enter National Trust land. Meander along the beautiful heathland until you approach Whynnysty Lane. Here you can head towards the promenade. From here you can slowly meander up towards Hest Bank, stopping for a cuppa and a cake or fish and chips, the choice is yours.

SILVERDALE LOOP VIA JACK SCOUT AND LINDETH TOWER

This two hour, one-and-three-quarter-mile circular walk has easy walking conditions but some of the best views of Morecambe Bay. Starting at Woodwell car park in Silverdale turn to your right and follow the path alongside the field, then climb the steps to cross the road. Follow either of the two waymarked routes which bend to the left and then climb over a stone stile. In the next field, turn left to follow a permissive route through a gate to the top of the hill.

Turn left down the slope towards the salt marsh, then turn right along the shore. On the shoreline, look out for the old ore-smelting chimney. From the chimney, take care over the rocks in front of the houses as you head towards the road as they can be slippery. Continue onwards until you see a gate on the left where you will re-enter National Trust land.

You will now find yourself on the limestone grassland cliffs of Jack Scout which has some of the most stunning views over Morecambe Bay! So why not stop for a cuppa from your flask and enjoy a well- earned rest. At the north end of Jack Scout is a lime kiln. Behind the lime kiln is the gate back on to the road where you turn left.

On your left at the end of the road is the stunning Lindeth Tower. If you have your camera with you why not take a picture of this intriguing building. At the road junction turn left and walk for about 200m, then turn right to return to the start point at Woodwell.

WHERNSIDE FROM RIBBLEHEAD VIADUCT

You will certainly want a calm winter’s day to do this walk because the weather can be very changeable so high up. This eight-mile walk features some very steep gradients and in places can be very challenging, so a good pair of boots is essential plus appropriate clothing and supplies. 

The walk is a circular hike from the Ribblehead Viaduct over one of the ‘Yorkshire Three Peaks’. The walk follows part of the ‘Three Peaks’ walk path for most of its route, but you probably won’t meet too many people doing this marathon in winter! 

Initially follow alongside the Settle to Carlisle railway line, before heading up on the path in the direction of Dent. The path then steepens over Knoutberry Hill before following a wall along to the summit of Whernside. 

The panorama from the summit is breathtaking, and on a clear winter’s day, you can see for miles down to Pendle Hill to the South, round to Morecambe Bay and then the Lakeland Fells and the Howgills. 

The return walk is via a steep drop down to Bruntscar, before leaving the ‘Three Peaks’ path to turn left eventually passing Winterscales to come out through a tunnel under the railway. The outward path is then followed for the short journey back to the parking area.

 

Ribblehead & Jack Scout View by Photo North UK

TOP TIPS: These are just four suggestions for a bracing winter walk in our area. Whichever walk you choose always remember to plan your walk in advance. Check the weather forecast, charge your mobile phone, try and take a hot drink with you and tell someone where you are heading. Get a map, download directions, buy or borrow a book of walks and make sure you are prepared for a day out in winter when the weather can change very quickly. 

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