VISIT the quiet seaside retreat of Grange-over-Sands and enjoy amazing views by walking to the top of Hampsfell, writes John Edmondson. The route goes up a long woodland path, over the quiet limestone scenery of Hampsfell to a fine viewpoint at the hospice and then descends through the attractive town. Some say that Grange is a place where retired people come to die, then forget what they came for. On this lively walk you can see why.

Park in the Windermere Road (B5271) car park (map reference, SD 411 783, postcode LA11 6EE)

Distance: 4.5 or 5 miles, ascent: 1,000 or 1,200 feet

Time: 2.5 hours

Terrain: good paths with an optional section of rough scrubland

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 From the car park turn right and walk for 250 yards beside the B5271. Turn left up some steps to a rocky path signed Routen Well and Hampsfield into Eggerslack Wood. Translated from Old Norse the name Eggerslack means the highest point reached by the tidal bore (eiger), a reminder of times when the sea came much closer to Grange than it does now. Cross a tarmacked lane and continue uphill, following the signs for Hampsfell, through woods and up steps. Cross another tarmacked lane keeping to the well-signed main path to two disused concrete water tanks and proceed on the uphill path to a wall stile. Turn right onto the restricted byway signed Hampsfield, passing the limestone pavement on the left and walk alongside the wall on the right. Go through a gateway with a ladder stile and turn immediately left onto the bridleway signed High Hampsfield, through two gates and down to High Hampsfield Farm. Everything at High Hampsfield Farm is produced with the welfare of livestock and wildlife a priority and produce is sold from the farm shop. Turn left through the gateway by the barn and follow a track by the wood on the left.

2 There are now two options: a shorter route offering the best views with less climbing but rough underfoot or one that stays on footpaths. For the shorter route turn left into the wood just before the track descends to a gate by a stable. Follow the cattle-trodden path up to the right. Where the way disappears continue uphill through scrub, bracken and juniper. If you meet a wall follow it to the right. Continue to the limestone pavement and enjoy views to the west over Field Broughton then pick a route to the kissing gate on the right.

For the footpath route go past the stable and left around the edge of the wood to a wall stile. Walk down the field to another stile then turn left through a gateway into Hampsfield allotment then uphill to the kissing gate.

Ascend the fell keeping right (west), avoiding the bridleway going left. On the 727-feet summit is Hampsfell Hospice, built by the vicar of Cartmel as a shelter for wanderers over the fell. The Greek lettering above the doorway, 'RODODAKTYLOS EOS' means Rosy-fingered Dawn: a quotation from Homer. On a clear day the views are amazing. A basic compass pointer and board on the roof identify 36 locations such as Scafell, Ingleborough and Lancaster. Looking due south across Morecambe Bay it’s easy to spot Heysham Power Station. Beyond that to its right you might just be able to make out Blackpool Tower.

3 Follow a grassy path downhill and around the left of the hillside. Go through a gateway and turn left to head towards the town, to the right of a grey house (Springbank Cottage). Go through a gate, across a lane, through a gap stile and onto the footpath signed Eden Mount. The path goes over a lawn, through a metal gate then down the lane. Go over a wall stile by the farmyard, up a grassy bank to another wall stile onto a walled path around modern houses and turn left into Ashmount Gardens. A short path at the end leads to Eden Mount where you turn right then left to go down Chaney Well Lane. Go straight ahead by the Prohibited Vehicles sign and at the junction opposite the Masonic Hall turn right. Continue onto Hampsfell Road down into Main Street and through the town to the car park where the walk began.

NB: restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.