TAKE a pleasant undulating pastoral walk close to Kendal from below The Helm and over to Old Hutton, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. Explore quiet country lanes and attractive hamlets that are little known to local townspeople. Along the way you’ll cross and re-cross pretty becks and view The Helm from its most attractive side.

Start from the Punch Bowl Inn at Barrows Green (grid reference SD 525 881, postcode LA8 0AA).



Distance: 7 miles and 800 feet of ascent

Time: 3 hours

Terrain: field paths and quiet roads

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 Cross the A6 to a narrow road opposite the inn. Walk for one mile below The Helm. After Helmside Farm, fork right onto a footpath going through Underhelm Farm. Immediately after the barns turn right onto a farm track. At the bottom of the field go through a gate on the left then turn right to a stile on the left of a cream coloured house. Turn right and walk along the road for 330 yards then turn right onto Strickley Farm lane. After 25 yards turn left over a stile, cross the stony track and walk uphill by a hedge on the left. Pass through a gate and descend through two gateways over a boggy field to a footbridge over St Sunday Beck then right to a metal gate and up to a wicket gate beside a cottage. Turn left to pass around the front of Blease Hall.

2 Turn right onto the footpath signed Highgate Lane past the bungalow’s lawns and over a hill to Highgate Lane. Turn left then after 20 yards right over a wall stile, across a field and left of a bungalow into Middleshaw. Cross the B6254 onto the Ewebank road. Turn right at the bottom of the hill by Middleshaw Head onto the footpath signed Old Hutton Church, crossing a tarmacked lane, and go over a hill to Old Hutton Village Hall playground. Cross the main road and walk down the lane to Beckside, crossing Peasey Beck near attractive waterfalls on the left. Turn right onto a signed footpath track, left through a double metal gate and over a tree-topped hill towards a house. Turn left onto the road and right at the junction beyond Holmescales Riding Centre.

3 Turn right onto a bridleway prior to the Activity Lodge turn on the left. Where the track bends right walk ahead onto a footpath, crossing a footbridge and a field to a metal gate. Go uphill beside a hedge on the right above lakes on the left to a gate in the corner to join a walled lane. Turn right at Birkrigg High Park and walk along a road with grass in the middle past Knotts and Halfpenny Barn. Follow the road round to the left past Halfpenny Cottage (dated 1679), and turn right opposite a stone garage with a brown door. Cross a footbridge near a ford and walk along a walled lane, bending left at Oakbank Cottage and past Farrows End. Turn right at a junction and left by a barn opposite High House, past the Coach House and along a signed footpath towards The Helm to a stile in the left corner. Cross a beck and turn right to a wall stile in the field corner next to Helm End Farm cottages. Walk up the lane then turn left onto the road and return to Barrows Green.

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.