For the days when we have great Northern weather this is the perfect walk. Mainly on tracks and roads surrounded by stunning scenery and there is minimal boggy ground navigation needed. Robin guided the walk from Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club which to me was completely new territory and what a beautiful place to start! The Golf Club has picturesque views surrounding it, you can park here even as a non-member and pop in at the end of your walk for a well-deserved drink and nibble (unfortunately it’s not open currently but I will be looking forward to enjoying a glass of wine on the terrace overlooking the fells this summer!). Halfway around the walk you enter the beautiful village of Barbon, we divert only slightly here for a must visit to The Churchmouse for some delicious coffee, cake and of course to say hello to Jules and John.
- Leaving the golf club car park exit on to the road and turn left heading towards the main road. Straight across you will see a road heading towards the fells, cross over and head up along here. Continue to the top of the road where you will see a sign post on your right. Take the right following the sign to Kirkby Lonsdale and Settle.
- You are going to walk along this road for just under 0.2 miles and take the first left. The lane you will turn up has an “unsuitable for HGV” sign at the beginning but it is pretty clear which road you will take. Follow the lane all the way taking note of the bridge you cross early on, below was the old railway line running underneath. Keep on this lane until you reach the sign for Low Bank House on the wall.
The Old Railway
The Ingleton Branch of the North Western Railway opened in 1860 and went from Clapham, through Ingleton, Kirkby Lonsdale, Barbon, Middleton-on-Lune, Sedbergh and Lowgill, before joining what is now the West Coast main line, just south of Tebay. Passenger services ceased on 30th January 1954, and the line finally closed in 1967. It roughly follows the route of the River Lune from Tebay to Kirkby Lonsdale.
The three major viaducts at Ingleton, Sedbergh and Lowgill are now Grade II listed buildings, hopefully we cover these in our walk guides as soon as we get a little bit more freedom to travel. Luckily for now we have a lot to discover on our doorstep!
- Once you reach the sign for Low Bank House turn left and follow this lane for just under 0.4miles. You will see a few footpath signs along this lane but stick to lane , you will go past the beautiful Park House, hard to miss with its unusual dusty pink exterior. At the end of the lane you will see a bench on your left. Take the left here and head down towards Barbon, where you will pass St Bartholomew’s Church.
St. Bartholomew’s Church
There was a chapel east of Barbon, probably on the site of the present church, before 1610. The new church was built in 1815, which was very short lived, as the Paley and Austin designed church we see today replaced this one in 1892. The new church was built to accommodate the growing population of Barbon and the surrounding rural area.
Lady Shuttleworth laid the foundation stone of this church in 1892, and she also gave the stained-glass window at the West end of the church to the parish.
- Continue down the road past the Church, you will pass Barbon Inn (unfortunately closed at the moment but they are doing takeaway on Fridays and Saturdays) and reach the War Memorial in the village centre. You can continue on here, but we highly recommend you turn left and pop into The Churchmouse, perfect for a take away coffee and cake.
- Back at War Memorial you are going to continue straight (if you have been to The Churchmouse then turn left at the War Memorial). Continue along this road, don’t take the turning on your right or the left (in the photos don’t follow the road the ladies are walking down). You will pass a very friendly horse on the right in a field too. Continue all the way down the road until you meet the bridge at the end.
- Turn right at the bridge and shortly after you will see a hole in the wall with a footpath sign on the left. Go through here and follow the path onto the golf course. If you are doing this route when the course is open again be careful of the golfers, even though you are more than welcome to walk through remember people may be playing a game.
- You will follow the route alongside Barbon Beck for a short while and then you will see a dry-stone wall on your right hand side across the course.
- Take a right here towards the wood. You will now make your way across the course through woodland. There are posts with blue footpath arrows on them to guide you along the way. Keep following these until eventually you reach a wooden gate that will lead you onto a grassy track. I have added a lot of photos to help you through here.
- Follow the track all the way down to the farm until you eventually meet Barbon Beck again. Cross over the Beck and take notice of the lovely High Beckfoot Bridge going over.
Thank you to Robin with his detective skills and the wonderful people of the We Are Kirkby Lonsdale Facebook group we have managed to find a little bit of history on this bridge! Thank you Jane for scouring the web to find this!
High Beckfoot Bridge, Barbon, Cumbria
A tiny 17th century pack-horse bridge built by John Hardy of Beckfoot Farm at a cost of 22s 4d. The roadway is just a metre in width.
- Now you are over Barbon Beck you are going to head straight down the lane, keep going and take the first left up Scaleber Lane. Continue all the way up the lane until you reach the golf club.
- Now you can drive to pick up you’re well-earned click & collect from The Highwayman!
By Aimee Sharples
Photos captured by Robin Ree