EXPLORE tranquil countryside and enjoy splendid views on this walk on paths through woods and over fields on Kendal’s doorstep, writes JOHN EDMONDSON.

Take the A591 from Kendal towards Windermere. Near the end of the dual carriageway after Plumgarths roundabout bear left onto the old road. Keep right at a junction and park near woods on the left (grid reference SD 486 963).


Distance: 9.5 miles

Time: 4 hours

Terrain: tracks, quiet roads and grassy footpaths with numerous stiles

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 Follow the woodland footpath signed Ratherheath Lane, cross Ashes Lane and walk beside a fence on the left. Turn right after a gate to pass the end of Ratherheath Tarn. Bear left up to a yellow waymarker then right to cross a wall stile. Turn left then follow waymarkers diagonally across pasture to a roadside stile. Turn right onto Ratherheath Lane, right on the B5284 for 100 yards and left onto Capplerigg Lane. Turn right to go past the farm and left at the bridleway junction (not to Lindreth Brow).

2 Go down the shingle track and at the ford fork right turn through a gate. Continue in the direction of the beck go through a gate and keep straight on to Tranthwaite Hall farm. Walk straight past the farmhouse, through two gates and up along the left side of a field and over a stile. Cross to the right of the field then follow a fence on the right. Go through a wicket gate in the corner then bear left onto a shingle track. Pass right of Nook Farm, cross two wall stiles and veer right over two fields to a white cottage (The Birches). Walk around the garden, behind a garage and out via the driveway. Turn right on Nook Lane and right on the main road past All Saints church.

3 Immediately after the road bridge turn left onto a footpath then right after a kissing gate. Follow the uphill field path, crossing stiles. After passing a small cottage go through a gate and turn right at Broom Farm. Cross Broom Lane onto an uphill footpath, crossing a beck. Turn right onto a track and after 60 yards sharp left along the other side of the wall, then right to go uphill. Keep straight along the line of a wall on the left, across a valley and over a wall stile. Step over a small beck and follow the wall on the right uphill. Keep straight on at the crossroads to Low Fold farm.

4 After the farm turn right, go through a gate, across a field and over the stile going left over a wall corner. Pass High Leys on the right, cross a stile, go over the rocky mound ahead and through a kissing gate. Bear left through a gateway then descend towards Crook Hall Farm. Cross a stile and keep ahead on the path signed Crook Road. Go through the farmyard and turn left to visit St Margaret’s Church Tower or keep straight on and descend to the B5284. Cross the road and walk in the direction of the fingerpost, over a wall stile next to a gate and through a gate diagonally opposite. Follow the wall on the left and turn left over a gated stile. Walk to the top of the field beside a wall on the right. Turn right through a gate and descend to Crook End farm. Follow the lane down to the road, turn left then right at the junction signed Dales Way, Staveley. Go up and down the quiet road to cross Crook Road onto Ashes Lane. Follow the lane back to Ratherheath, turning left at the junction to where the walk began.

Next week: Kirkby Stephen and Ewbank

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.