NOOK, which literally means a secluded place or corner of land, portrays the character of this short walk from the Crooklands Hotel, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. While never far from the busy M6 and A65 the peaceful route goes along the Lancaster Canal towpath then follows leafy lanes and little used footpaths in lovely rolling countryside.

Start from the Crooklands Hotel, map reference SD 534 836, postcode LA7 7NW.


Distance: 4 miles

Time: 2 hours

Terrain: canal towpath, little used footpaths, lanes and roadside pavements.

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 From the hotel, cross the A65 to the B6385 Milnthorpe Road, over the canal bridge then left onto Milton Lane. Turn left opposite the caravan park and right onto the canal towpath. Where this section of canal ends, cross to a parking area, walk beside the A65 under the M6 flyover then turn right to rejoin the canal towpath. Follow the attractive canal with views of Farleton Knott ahead. Immediately after a winding hole (wide canal turning space) pass under Dovehouses Bridge (number 161) then leave the towpath. Cross the bridge and walk along Dovehouses Lane, a peaceful narrow road with high hedges and grass in the middle, to Nook Bridge. Keep left (where an old, almost illegible road sign points to Lupton and Kirkby Lonsdale) and turn left at the junction. At Summerdale Garden Nursery turn right onto the signed footpath over a gravel yard at Orchard House, through the field gate and across a field to a gated wall stile.

2 Turn right and walk along the pavement beside the A65 for 200 yards to the appropriately named hamlet of Nook. Cross the road with great care and turn left onto the lane signed 'Narrow Road' beside Tavern House. There is a red Victorian post box in the wall on the right and wisteria, the quintessential climbing plant of English cottage gardens, grows on the left. After passing White Cottage turn right onto the public bridleway, going through a metal gate, up a track and into a field. Keep to the left of the field, exit by a metal gate then turn left down a leafy lane. At the bottom of the slope turn right onto a tarmacked lane then left at the junction.

3 Where the lane bends left keep ahead onto the footpath signed Crooklands. Follow the hedge on the left; go over a wall stile in the corner, then through a descending subway under the M6. Turn left then right and walk down the side of the field (currently growing barley). Cross Skip Burn via the footbridge 60 yards left of the field corner. Turn left on the lane and after 20 yards, past St Gregory’s House, right. Walk alongside the wall on the right to a metal kissing gate in the wall and past St Patrick’s Church. This is the parish church of Preston Patrick. The original church, built in the 16th century, was dedicated to St Gregory (which is the name of the hill on the right). It was rebuilt in 1852. Exit the graveyard through the kissing gate ahead then walk down the field to the road. Immediately before reaching the road you cross the canal’s feeder stream. This is its main water supply and delivers up to 17 million gallons of water a day from Killington Reservoir, which is five miles to the north. Turn right and walk alongside the A65 for 250 yards, crossing Peasey Beck, and return to the Crooklands Hotel.

Next week: Loadpot Hill from Cawdale, near Bampton

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.