Scout Scar

A 3½ hour (8 mile) circular walk with shorter options.

Good views. No stiles on the short walk. Scout Scar is a popular walking place for the people of Kendal and their dogs.

Start from Helsington Church. (Grid Ref. 488889) (Page 25). Alternative starting point from the top of Underbarrow Scar on the Crosthwaite to Kendal Rd (Grid Ref. 489925) - take instructions from ** below.

From the church, go back northwards along the drive to the road. A few yards uphill take the footpath signed Scout Scar. Follow the well trodden path up to a kissing gate and continue. The path takes a sharp right before the next wall then drops down into a hollow and straight on up the other side. Turn left and follow the path along the edge of the Scar. (Don't worry about apparent forks in the path - generally the branches come together again further on, as long as you head towards the Lake District mountains and keep the cliff face to your left, you can't go wrong). In about 1 mile (20mins) you should be able to see your target - a mushroom shaped shelter.

Around the inside of the rim of the roof you will find the names of mountains and other places which you can see from this viewpoint.

[Notice the typical vegetation of the summit of this limestone scar coarse grass with the yellow flowers of Rock-rose and Horseshoe Vetch - not much nourishment for the sheep.]

Short walk (1½ hours total walk time) - return by retracing your steps, enjoying the views of Morecambe Bay and Arnside railway viaduct over the estuary in the southerly direction.

Longer walk: continue northwards, following path down to road. Turn right, and ** follow the road over brow of hill for 200 yards. On the left is a sign: Permissive Path, Cunswick Fell. The track passes through an old quarry area (park here if starting the walk) towards a TV. mast. Bear right, then through a kissing gate. Follow the wall as instructed.

[Notice a square hole in this wall- these are made to allow sheep access between fields and may be blocked with large stones if necessary.]

Continue to a gateway and turn left down Gamblesmire Lane. Where the track bends to the left you will see a lime kiln on the right which has undergone some excavation and restoration. [see North Whitbarrow walk for more about lime kilns]

Down the track you will come to two gates close together. The second has an unusual fastening, which may be a challenge. After two more gates, the track turns right but you continue straight on beside the wall. The next gate leads into woodland.

[Notice the large clumps of elegant grasses here on either side of the path - Wood Brome is one of the species. When you come out of the shade of the wood you may find some Timothy or Cats-Tail and futher on, in the grazed area, Dogs-tail is common.]

The final gate on Gamblesmire Lane leads you on to a very minor unfenced road. Turn left and follow it over two cattle grids until it joins the Crosthwaite to Kendal road.

[On the right at this junction is a stone platform. This is where the farmers used to leave churns of milk to be collected - nowadays the milk is collected from each farm by a tanker]

Turn left up the road for 150 yards. (If you are parked at the TV. mast you can turn this into a shorter walk by continuing up the road and back to your car, but do take the footpath to the right near the top, and visit the "mushroom" for the views.).

Otherwise turn right down a minor road signed to Garth Row. Continue for over ½ mile. After the second house on the right look for a footpath sign on the left to Scout Scar and Kendal. Go to the right of the houses and over a wooden stile. Turn sharp left near a large conifer tree in the corner of the orchard and head for a gate with a yellow arrow, leading you into woodland. Follow the yellow arrows and the electricity poles until you reach a large clearing and a forestry track. Turn right and immediately look for footpath sign up to the left. The path climbs through one sector of woodland, over a stone stile to cross a field, then a wooden stile into woodland again. A stony path takes you to another stile and you come out near Barrowfield Farm. Cross the field towards the house and turn right at the track.

(Feeling tired? You can return to Helsington Church more directly from here by continuing down the farm drive. At the road turn left up the hill and then right to reach the church.)

If you are parked at the TV. mast, or you are still full of energy, turn left across the front of the house to a black farm gate through which you will see a yellow arrow pointing left. Follow the arrows past the farm buildings and up a track towards the steep scar face. Another gate with an arrow takes you into woodland again and a steady climb up the path to the top of the scar.

To return to Helsington church, turn right and retrace the first part of your walk. To return to the TV. mast turn left and continue along the ridge as described above, to the road, turn right to the car park.