INGS village makes an ideal base for this short walk, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. It has an award-winning pub, a delightful cafe, a state-of-the-art bike-store, guesthouses and a filling station with a shop. It’s name means ‘the water meadows’ but some people, referring to the speed cameras, jokingly say it stands for 'I Never Go Slowly!' This walk explores attractive countryside north of the village, in the area of Hugill Fell.

Start from the layby near the bus stop on the western side of the village, map reference SD 444 986, postcode LA8 9PY.


Distance: 4.5 miles with 700 feet of ascent

Time: 2 hours

Terrain: quiet roads and grassy paths

Map: OS Explorer OL7


1 Cross the road and walk up Grassgarth Lane. In the hamlet of Grassgarth (meaning ‘grassy enclosure’) walk ahead onto the signed footpath down to a wooden footbridge. Follow the waymarked path, crossing a concrete footbridge over the River Gowan and past the remains of High Mill, once a bobbin mill employing 20 people during the 19th Century. Follow the grassy track that bends to the right up the Gowan valley and through a wide gate opening. Head to the left of the conifer woodland to a metal gate onto the tarmacked Rickety Lane. Turn right, going through the wood, across a road bridge and up towards High House. The ruined square stone building on the left of the road used to be an engineer's office during building of the Thirlmere Aqueduct at the end of the 19th Century. The aqueduct passes below the road here. High House Farm includes some of the oldest farmland in the area: an Iron Age settlement is in one of its fields.

2 At High House follow the bridleway signed Kentmere Hall up a walled stony path to a gate, then alongside a fence and wall on the left to a gate. Continue along the bridleway signed Kentmere Hall and after the next gate (the highest point of the walk) follow the track bending right. Continue along the walled lane signed Grassgarth. Fork left at the junction aiming towards High Knott on Hugill Hill, which is topped by Williamson’s Monument. The monument was built in 1803 by the Rev T Williamson, in memory of his father Thomas Williamson, who liked to walk to High Knott every day before breakfast. The name of Hugill may have derived from ‘the high ravine,’ referring to a narrow valley north of Hugill Hall. At the top of Browfoot Lane keep straight on (signed The Heights), pausing along the way to admire views of the fells behind. After the farm with modernised buildings keep on the tarmacked lane, bending left and descending, with pleasant views of Reston Scar to the left, to the A591. The Oxenholme to Windermere railway line, which can be seen across the valley, blends unobtrusively with the surrounding fields.

3 On reaching the A591 turn right onto the cycle track back to Ings Village. The main road used to run through the village until the bypass was built in 1914. The speed of passing traffic increased over the years, especially after the Staveley bypass opened in 1988. The speed cameras are a notable feature of Ings and many drivers must hate them, but they are a valuable safety feature to all who cross the road here, whether on foot or wheels, and they make the village much quieter.

During the Second World War, the garage was used for making bullet dies. The Watermill Inn, which opened in December 1990, was previously a sawmill and joiners shop.

Next week: Catstycam by Red Tarn

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.