Highwayman Hikes: Cowdber Barn Circular

This is a nice gentle walk from The Highwayman up to Cowan Bridge along tracks and farm land. No steep inclines however I would recommend wearing a good pair of wellies or waterproof boots as there is a small stream to cross and the walk can be quite boggy at times. The second pathway does need some clearing so wear jeans or thick trousers to avoid some unnecessary scratches from the thorns (I learnt the hard way). Remember even though these are public footpaths these are still working farms so keep to the tracks and shut those gates.

Length: 4.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 2 hours

Starting point: The Highwayman car park (please feel free to use)

  1. Leave The Highwayman car park and walk past the bench under the trees. You will see a small hole in the wall to step through. Turn right up Woodman Lane passing the houses. On your right you will pass Rest Harrow Equestrian. Shortly after Rest Harrow the road will bend to the left. Do not follow the road, instead follow the track ahead. 

2. You will now continue all the way up the lane crossing over cattle grids until you reach the barn. Straight ahead you will see two metal gates, go through both of these into the next field.

3. Once in the field go straight ahead with the wall on your left, when the wall finishes head into the left hand corner of the field where you will see a wooden gate. Go through this gate into the next field. You will have a stream running in front of you. Looking to your right you will see a metal gate with a stile in the gate this is where you are aiming for. 

4. You will need to cross over the stream, there are some stepping stones or there is a plank of wood to help you across near to the stile and the wall. If wearing wellies you should easily be able to splash through.

5. Once over this stile look to your left and you should see another stile in the wall. Head towards here and climb over. In this next field you are going to walk diagonally up to the right hand corner of the field. To help you in the distance you will see the top of a farm house, aim towards there. Eventually you will reach a stile with a blue tube across the top. Climb over the stile and to the left you will see a wooden gate. Walk through this wooden gate and into the next field.

6. In the next field bear left. You will see a gap between the hedges, head through there to the next field. Keep going through the next field towards the trees, where you will see a wooden gate. Once through the gate you are going to head straight keeping the fence on your left and over two stiles.

6. In this last field you will see a barn to the right, walk towards this barn. As you get closer you will see a wooden gate with a footpath arrow in the right hand corner. Head through here and down the track. It was quite boggy around here when I did the walk but you should be able to circle round it. This is the part of the walk which is quite overgrown so be careful of the thorns. Keep along this path for about 350m until you reach a stone stile in the wall to your right.

7. Now in the field you are going to head straight. Keeping close to the hedge and fencing on your left until you reach a hole in the wall next to the white tub. Go through here and head straight through the next two fields which will lead you on to the main road in Cowan Bridge.

At Cowan Bridge you will see over the road the lovely Cowan Bridge Tea Rooms. At the moment it is closed but there is a shop attached to the side which has drinks, snacks and lovely homemade sandwiches is you a feeling peckish.

8. At Cowan Bridge take a left underneath the sign for Kirkby Lonsdale, Overtown and Leck. After here you will see a sign pointing left for Overtown. Head down this road towards Overtown. You are now going to wind all the way back down the road towards The Highwayman . See if you can spot some of the sculptures in one of the gardens. The road will turn left as you enter Overtown. Stay on the road and eventually you will meet the track we originally went up to Cowdber Farm. Take a right here back down past Rest Harrow and you will eventually meet The Highwayman.

10. Now you can pick up your Click & Collect from The Highwayman and eat a well deserved meal!


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


by Aimee Sharples 

Photo credit: Aimee Sharples, cover photo edited by Robin Ree