STROLL around the unspoilt landscape of the Winster Valley, going in and out of woodlands, across pastures, over numerous footbridges and along a delightful gated road, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. This walk goes from the interesting little church of St Anthony’s at Cartmel Fell, past Thorphinsty Hall and returns via Pool Bank.

Park near Cartmel Fell Parish Hall, map reference SD 416 880, postcode LA11 6NH.


Distance: 5 miles with 800 feet of ascent

Time: 2.5 hours

Terrain: quiet lanes and grassy fell paths, wet in parts.

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 Walk along the lane from the parish hall and cross the road directly onto a signed footpath. Cross a stepped wall gap and turn left along the road for a quarter of a mile. Cross the junction to a cattle grid onto the lane signed The Ashes, Little Thorphinsty. Pass The Ashes farm and walk downhill past a private cattle grid and across Pannel Beck. The path turns right just before Little Thorphinsty onto a path signed Thorphinsty Hall. Go through a gate, along the bottom of a field into woods, across a field then through another wood, bearing left at a path junction. Cross a wall stile next to a metal gate, go over a shallow beck and into a field along a grassy track past the right of a house. A view of Whitbarrow Scar appears to the left. Turn right onto the uphill road past Thorphinsty Hall (Thorfinn was an Old Norwegian) then left onto a footpath signed Height Road.

2 Walk through the conservation area via high gates then across a field on a waymarked path into woodland. Follow the fenced path to a gate then turn left at the path junction. Cross a gated ladder stile then keep straight ahead (avoid a wider path to the left), left of a moss covered boulder and down to a roadside gate. Turn left, then after a ruined building, right along a track beside Fall Beck. Keep to the waymarked path, bending right to a narrow footbridge and gate. Cross the field ahead to the right of a tree on a rocky mound and over a gated bridge. Continue ahead to cross the River Winster via a wide, gated concrete bridge. Walk along the farm track and through a gateway, then turn immediately left and go diagonally across the field to a gate in the opposite top corner. Turn left alongside a wall to a roadside gate. Turn left along the road past Low Low Wood Farm and along a gated road past Middle Wood Farm and High Low Wood Farm.

3 Turn left at the road junction going uphill then down to Pool Bank. Turn left opposite the farmhouse, a listed building dated 1693, onto a signed footpath and follow the stony track down through Cowclose Wood. Turn right in front of a barn then left at a waymarker, through a field gate and around the edge of Colehowe Wood. Go around the right of a boggy area and through a wicket gate. At the bottom of a wooded mound turn left through a gate then immediately right to a footbridge over the River Winster. Cross the field to Swallowmire Farm, above which Cartmel Fell monument can be seen. Cross the road to go up the public way past the farm and turn right at the road. Turn left at the junction signed Cartmel Fell Church then immediately right along an uphill track. Turn sharp left to St Anthony’s church, then through the graveyard and lych gate to where the walk began.

Next week: Hawkshead Moor

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.