Lowick Common

IN 2018 Yvonne Miller from Lowick Village donated the nature reserve of Lowick Common to Cumbria Wildlife Trust: at 262 acres, the largest area the trust has been given so far, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. Lowick Common is a special habitat to a range of birds, butterflies, reptiles (of which local people mention adders) and roe deer. This walk makes a full circuit of the common, visiting the beacon and continuing eastwards to Stainton Gap.

Start from Lowick Green, north of the A5092, grid reference SD 297 853, postcode LA12 8ES.


Distance: 5 miles with 800 feet of ascent

Time: 2.5 hours

Terrain: grassy footpaths, some of which may be overgrown with bracken and including a steep descent

Maps: OS Explorer OL6


1 Cross the A5092 at the crossroads. Turn right onto the footpath going past houses. At the top of the slope a view of Lowick Beacon appears ahead. Turn right at a waymarker onto a narrow path going past rocks and keep right to proceed in a general westerly direction, crossing two small becks and past holly trees. There are splendid views to the right of Crake Valley and the Coniston fells. Turn left onto the wide grassy path that comes up from the woods and road. Pass a waymarker post and keep straight on a path crossing, to go uphill. The path swings right between two small hillocks towards a gateway and passes a boggy Beacon Tarn on the left. There are several small tarns on the Common, including one that is one of the few places that is home to the medicinal leech. The path turns left to go alongside a wall on the right. At a fingerpost keep left and climb up the Beacon. Continue beyond the cairn to the summit and enjoy views over Morecambe Bay and of the Hoad monument.

2 Descend to the left going parallel to the wall on the right and down a very steep slope to the road, which cross and continue along a grassy path beside the wall on the right. Turn right through a gateway and go along a farm track to a wall. To shorten the walk and avoid a challenging section through gorse and bog, turn left and follow the path to Wood End. For the full walk turn right to Stainton Gap then left to go up the tarmacked lane. Turn left at the junction and just before the entrance to Cole Yeat go through a kissing gate on the left. The definitive path, which goes alongside the wall on the right, is very boggy and overgrown with gorse; aim for the wood and pick the best route you can find.

3 Cross a ladder stile in the right corner of the wood, go through the wood then out over another ladder stile. Continue in the same direction and descend to cross a ladder stile in the lower left corner. Walk ahead from the stile and follow the line of overhead power cables, descending to a go through a metal gate then a stile by a gate in the lower corner between Summer Hill gardens and the wood on the left. Walk along the lane going around the pond and beside the wood to meet Silver Lane. Turn left and walk past Wood End (joining the shorter route) and The Barn along a signed bridleway. Follow the walled track to Riddings Farm and continue to the road. Turn right to return to Lowick Green.

Next week: Red Screes and Scandale Head

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.