Highwayman Hikes: Barbon Circular

Another great walk from Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club through our beautiful countryside that Robin introduced me too. This route is all on roads and tracks so idea for if the weather hasn’t been great. I can’t wait to come back and do this route in the summer has there was some perfect picnic spots along Barbon Beck. The scenery is wonderful, it is easy on the legs and you can stop by The Churchmouse on your way back and award yourself with a treat!

All photos captured by Robin Ree

Length: 5.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 2 hours

Starting point: Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

Parking is free at the golf club, you can even park here when everything is back up and running plus non-member can call in for a well-deserved pint at the end!

  1. 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 right to the top of the road where you will see a signpost on your right. Turn left and follow the road (there should be some lovely lambs at this time of year for you to admire). Head towards the houses you can see in the distance and you should see a sign saying Barbon on the dry stone wall.
  1. The road will split but you want to carry along this road keeping to the right. Continue along the road and take the second right. Straight ahead you will see a house in the distance on your left. Head towards here and just before you reach the house you will see a grassy lane heading up hill, follow this lane.
  1. Follow this path and go over the bridge. As you can see on the map (below) there is a path to left and to the right but don’t divert off*. Eventually you will meet the road and take a left where you will see a bench at the end of the road.

*If you do end up taking the wrong path you will either end up opposite the church or you will end up at Park House. If you are opposite the church turn right up the road and you will see the bench, hard to miss as it is beautiful and pink. If you are at Park House, take a left on the road and you will shortly meet the bench.

  1. At the bench turn right, walking along this wonderful road for approximately 1.5 miles until you reach the wooden bridge crossing over the beck. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the fells. On this stretch of road there is so much to see! If you look up to your left you will see the stunning Barbon Manor hiding in the woodland quite early on. You will also pass a wonderful sheepfold that was part of a countrywide sculpture project.

Barbon Manor

Designed in the French Renaissance style by E.M. Barry (architect of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden) and built in 1862-3 as a shooting lodge for Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth. Barbon Manor occupies a steep, wooded hillside overlooking both the Lune Valley and Barbondale.


The Manchester based Sir James (1804-77), apparently a friend of Charlotte Bronte, was a health and education reformer who founded the UK’s first teacher training college.


As you can see from the photographs the Manor used to be much bigger with a tower but was demolished in 1955, the building is Grade II listed and quite simply stunning! It is still owned by the Shuttleworth’s but is leased out.

The Sheepfold

Sheepfolds is Cumbria County Council’s major countywide sculpture project created by the internationally acclaimed artist Andy Goldsworthy (worth looking into – his work is brilliant).

The project began in January 1996 as part of the UK year of Visual Arts and the building programme continued until its official conclusion in April 2003 having achieved 46 folds.

Rather than making new Sheepfolds Goldsworthy committed himself to working with existing folds in various states of disrepair or in some cases folds which had disappeared altogether but were clearly indicated on old maps. This enabled him to connect directly with the farming tradition and history of Cumbria but, at the same time, as each sheepfold was rebuilt so he invigorated them with a new energy by incorporating his sculptural response.

  1. Cross over the bridge and take a left coming back the way we came but on the other side of the beck. I think the spot is just perfect for a picnic and cannot wait for the warm weather to come back! 
  1. Follow this track for around 1.5 miles, following the beck and going through the woodland. Keep to the path as it does divert sometimes onto private land but there are signs to help you. Eventually at the end you will head up hill to a wooden gate.
  1. Go through the gate and you will meet a tarmac path, bear left following the track downhill. Keep on this track and eventually it will swoop round to the left, heading towards the church. Cross over the bridge and you will meet the road at Barbon.
  1. Now you can head to The Highwayman to pick up your well-earned click & collect!
by Aimee Sharples
Photos captured by Robin Ree

Click & Collect

Click & Collect orders are available from The Highwayman every weekend:

Friday 5-8pm
Saturday 4-8pm
Sunday 12-7pm

Order online here or call 015242 73338