Sunday, 6 November 2011


Cark → Kents Bank

fells-with-cow.png Distance: 7.72 miles
Ascent: 30 metres
Duration: 2 hours 57 minutes

Meeting the Guide
« Ulverston | Grange-over-Sands »

Today got off to an inauspicious start: on leaving the station at Cark we turned the wrong way into the village, costing us half a mile's walk back to the start. We'd clearly caught a training day for a local cycling club too; we'd passed several groups on the road on the drive to Kent's Bank to catch the train, and narrowly missed being flattened by the peloton as we set off for the second time.

It's another short walk today, chiefly because trains are so hard to come by on a Sunday in south Cumbria and buses are non-existent. A secondary benefit of the plan was to slice a good few miles off an excessively long walk that we'd planned for later in the week.

What a wonderful idea that turned out to be! More gully hopping slowed us down and we took significantly longer than expected to reach Cowpren Point where a firm, wide embankment provided welcome relief.

cark-parachutist.pngAbove we heard the sound of an aeroplane slowly climbing, then the surprisingly loud fluttering of fabric unfurling as parachutes opened and brought their passengers back to earth at the North-West Parachute Centre just outside Flookborough. (Even more exciting - just opposite the airfield - is the bakery for Cartmel sticky toffee puddings.)

kents-bank-marsh.pngEast of Humphrey Head the obvious route is to follow footpaths inland to Allithwaite, then the road to Kents Bank. We instead kept to the shoreline around Kirkhead End. The going was decidedly soft (indeed in one place we seemed to be walking on a thin crust floating on a jelly of mud), but enjoyable. I imagine in the summer this would be a wonderful route.

Beyond the station in Kents Bank we continued walking towards Grange-Over-Sands, to find the place where Jon and I started the thousandth-mile of this coastwalk seven years ago. It turned out to be nearer Grange than Kents Bank, just beyond the home of Grange's most famous resident: Cedric Robinson, the Queen's Guide to the Sands.

guides-farm.pngWe knocked on the door at Guide's Farm to buy a copy of Cedric's autobiography. The man himself answered, so we chatted a while. In his role as the Guide, Cedric leads guided walks across Morecambe Bay on old rights of way between Hest Bank or Arnside and Kents Bank. I had hoped to join such a walk on this coast walk, but all organised routes run south to north while we need to walk north to south.

Cedric implied that we may be able to follow him when he's checking the route one Friday before a guided walk, so we may yet be spared the walk up and down the estuary of the River Kent as far as Levens. Watch this space next year.

Posted by pab at 17:40 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!