For this month’s Jack’s Tracks we visit Scorton, near Garstang, the gateway to the Bowland Fells, for an excellent and varied six mile walk with great views. The walk takes you gently downwards through the scenic Grizedale Valley and some rather pretty hamlets, before you’re then faced with the sharp shock of climbing Nicky Nook. It’s only when you reach the peak that you realise it’s a mere foothill amongst the other fells to the east, but nevertheless, the views over the Lancashire coastline were still pretty impressive.

The starting point of Grizedale Bridge is a bit remote, but the GPS Waypoint is SD 535 490. If that doesn’t mean anything to you then take the road to Lancaster going out of Oakenclough. Once you go over the first cattle grid and, shortly afterwards, a small bridge, park up in a small carpark-cum-layby on the left.

Take the slate path leading away from the car park towards the woods. Once you have gone through two wooden gates in succession, take the path on the left and cross the wooden footbridge over the stream and go into Holme Wood.

I’ve never been a big fan walking through woods; it’s often boggy, the poor lighting limits photo opportunities, and accurate mapping can be difficult. However, there are exceptions and Holme Wood, up near Scorton in Lancaster is certainly one. The well-defined path follows the stream all the way through the woods with creative studded boardwalks over the boggy parts, and you’ll soon arrive at Grizedale Dock reservoir.

The path bends to the right shortly afterwards, following the direction of an inlet and you come to a fingerpost by a gate. You need to take a left here towards Nicky Nook/Scorton and follow the inlet back in the direction of the reservoir. Ignore the uphill path on the right shortly afterwards (signposted Nicky Nook/Scorton) and carry on in the same direction – you’re going towards Higher Lane on a bridleway.

The path continues on a meandering downward trend parallel to the stream for another ¾ mile until you reach a steel bar gate and fingerpost just before a wooden footbridge. Take a 90 degree right turn and follow the footpath (not the bridleway) to Higher Lane. Once you’ve crossed a short piece of open farmland, you’ll enter Peddars Wood and walk uphill until you reach a gate and a single track road.

Turn right up the road for around 250 yards and take the footpath on the left after the farm. Walk on the left hand perimeter of the field for 75 yards or so, and then cut across the field diagonally on the well-defined path. Go through a gate and head across the second field towards the steel circular gate in the distance. Once you’re through, turn left and walk through this pretty hamlet.

Approximately 200 yards before you’re due to go under the M6, there’s a footpath on the right. Take the footpath, then go through another stile and plunge into Ghyll Wood. You’ll cross a wooden footbridge and then clamber up the bank on the other side, walking along the top of the bank until you come to a gate. Take the path through the field and you’ll eventually come out on Snowshill Lane. Turn right and follow this road until you reach the entrance to Wrysdale Park.

If you fancy a detour at the first-rate Applestore Café (open 9-4pm Weds-Sun) or a look at Wrysdale Lake then carry straight on. Otherwise, follow the road round to the right, across the bridge and uphill to Higher Lane. Turn left and then immediate right for the uphill trek up Nicky Nook. After a steep initial climb, the path will level off somewhat. After you pass the reservoir on the left, there is an option to fork off and follow the path to the cairn, but for the purposes of the walk we’re following the path right up to the white trig pillar at the peak.

After a breather, follow the path in the same direction down the hill. As the path bends downwards to the right, you’ll see a gate set in a dry stone wall straight ahead. Go through the gate and head for the brick structure directly ahead, and when you’ve arrived here, head downhill towards the green box at the bottom of the hill.

Follow the path round the green box and once you get to the track turn right and head into the woods once again. After a couple of gates, you’ll arrive at the fingerpost sign by a gate you encountered earlier on in the walk. Turn left here towards Grizedale Bridge and follow the pathway back through Holme Wood until you reach your starting point.

© 2016 Local Life | Website by ATTAIN