North Whitbarrow

A 2ΒΌ hour (5 mile) walk round the northern end of Whitbarrow.

The more difficult option includes a steep scramble up to the plateau but is rewarding for its views.

The easier option has no unavoidable stiles. Bare legs not recommended, as one section has nettles crowding the path.

Start by following the short walk to Crosthwaite Mill. Continue over the bridge and along this minor road crossing the main road (A5074) and continuing uphill as far as the very top of the rise, admiring the views on the way.

[The hedges on either side of the road shelter birds nests. Look carefully before touching and withdraw if the parent bird is sitting on the nest, otherwise she may permanently desert it.]

At the top of the hill look for a Public Bridleway sign next to a lime kiln.

[Lime kilns were built into the side of a hill. A fire in the arch at the bottom heated limestone which was fed in from the top."Quick lime" was produced which, when "slaked" with water, could be used for mortar, whitewash for houses and to improve acid soils.]

The track zig-zags up past the top of the kiln (now fenced and filled in for safety reasons). After it levels off you have a choice:
For the easy walk, turn left and follow this track for about 25 minutes when you will begin to see houses ahead. A kissing gate on the right brings the more difficult walk to join you. The track, which is well made and mainly quite level apart from one uphill section passes through coppice woodland.

[for information about coppicing, see the South Whitbarrow walk]

For the harder walk, turn right. Continue through a gate and along a narrow path beside a wall and then a fence. Note a wicket gate on the right but continue on the same path for another 2 minutes. Where the fence on your right changes to a wall, STOP, look left for a small path uphill between the yew trees. The path climbs steeply beside some scree to more yew trees, then curves to climb the last little cliff where there are beautiful views of the Winster valley and beyond. Your route continues away from the cliffs to a stone stile in the wall ahead. Over the wall look to the left of the highest point on the horizon. The path is slightly greener than the rest of the grass and there is a pile of stones beside it. Continue in the same direction, crossing a grassy farm track and keeping first one and then another solitary sycamore tree 50 yards to your right. As you begin to go downhill you pass between two more sycamores. Now look ahead for a high wall with a ladder stile and head in that direction. Over the stile, follow the wall on your right to a kissing gate.

[Note the damson orchard over the wall.]



This is where you join the easier walk. Turn right.

Both walks: Where the track turns to tarmac, turn left and follow this track past the house, but keep straight on where it turns left into a garden. This narrow path takes you downhill to the road at the Lyth Valley Hotel. Turn right and then left at a footpath sign just past the hotel. Follow this track down to the bridge (beware the low parapets if you have children).

[Look out here for swans, ducks or moorhens on the river, and possibly fish in the water? On the left is a small damson orchard.]

Past the bridge, turn left and then right up a grassy lane which can be rather overgrown in summer. The path drops down to a gate and a concrete bridge - bear left along the track and through three gates in quick succession. Keep to the right of the wall ahead and continue over a bridge with no sign of water. A kissing gate ahead takes you into a grassy lane.

[Note the large"erratic" rock carried by a glacier and dumped on the surface at the end of the Ice Age.]

The lane continues through three small gates, and emerges on a track which bears right to Moss Side farm. Go through the farmyard and onto a tarmac drive that leads to the road where you turn right. Continue to the main road and turn left, passing the Punch Bowl where you may want to halt for refreshment. Continue to your starting point along this road.