Tess Pike’s Blue Badge Guide Walks: Kirkby Lonsdale to Biggins

Length: 1 3/4 miles (2.75km)

Difficulty: Easy

Time: approx 1 hour 30 mins

Starting Point: The Information & Gift Shop

A short countryside walk with fine views across to Ingleborough along footpaths, through fields, woodland and short stretches of road.

  1. Turn left out of the Information Centre, then immediately right up the hill.  Pass the Royal Barn on the left, the Post Office and Lunesdale Hall on the right, and the road that leads to Booths Supermarket on the left.  At the road junction where the road goes right down Mitchelgate, turn left, then left again at Tollgate Cottage.

Queen Elizabeth School

As you walk along this road, you will see a modern housing estate on the left and then buildings belonging to Queen Elizabeth School, which was founded in 1591 on Mill Brow and moved to this site in 1840. 

If you look at the 19th century school buildings on the righthand side you will see a variety of datestones and inscriptions, and this beautifully carved chair.

carved chair 1

2. Look for a footpath sign on the left, roughly opposite the chair. and head to the right of the modern QES Studio School.  Cross the carpark and go through a kissing gate onto the main A65 road.

3. Cross the A65 with care and go through the kissing gate into the rugby field. Walk directly ahead, crossing several field boundaries and following footpath signs until you reach a gate giving access to farm buildings belonging to Woodend Farm. Take a look to your left before you go through the gate. This is the site of Kirkby Lonsdale’s first golf course. 


Kirkby Lonsdale’s First Golf Club (1906-1938)

If you had lived in Kirkby Lonsdale 100 years ago, you wouldn’t have headed to Casterton or Barbon for a game of golf…  Kirkby Lonsdale’s golf course would have been right on your doorstep.

Woodend Farm was next to the 5th Green, with Low Biggins above and Whittington Road below the course.  There were walkways through the wood from the 4th Green to the 5th Tee and from the 9th Green to the Clubhouse.  The terrain was similar to Casterton Golf Course with typical limestone rocky outcrops with occasional hawthorn and ash trees.

If you would like to walk the course, there is a footpath that goes to the left towards the original entrance on Whittington Road.

The view from the Golf Course (East), captured by Robin Ree.

The club had been founded in October 1906 and two years later the Clubhouse was opened.  A short walk down the slope from the Clubhouse was the first tee, which was the site of “The Shotgun Start”: so that the players knew when to tee off, a small brass cannon from the First World War was loaded with shot and gunpowder.  When all the golfers had reached their allotted tees, it was discharged out into the Lune Valley with the sound reverberating for miles!!

By 1938, the Club was well established with lots of enthusiastic members, but it seems that the relationship with the family at Woodend Farm had deteriorated.  The lease agreement was abruptly terminated, and it was time to move on… 

The view from the Golf Course (North), captured by Robin Ree.

A new course was constructed by the River Lune on land owned by the Pease family, which stretched between Holme House Farm and Kiln Bank: the stretch of land between the next field south of Stanley Bridge down to where the aqueduct is now sited, and stretching up to the Whittington Road – but that’s a story for another day!

This information has been extracted by Tess from a much longer piece in Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club 1906-2006 The Centenary Book, edited by Jon Parsons, by kind permission of David Towers.  If you would like to find out more about the history of the club, please do head down to Barbon after lockdown and pick up a copy free of charge.

4. Go through the gate and pause to look at Woodend farmhouse, before going diagonally across the field towards Woodend Cottage, where you should turn right at the fingerpost. 

5. A short walk along the track brings you to a minor road. Turn left, walk along the road (taking care with traffic) until you see the bus shelter on the right.

6. Turn right towards ‘Biggins’.  At the end of the lane, turn right at a fingerpost to ‘Low Biggins’.

7. Go through the kissing gate and follow the path through the woodland and into a field.  Follow the fence on your right and go through a gate which brings you back out onto the minor road. 

8. The remainder of the walk is on roads, so take care as you turn left out of the gate and follow the minor road to the main A65. 

9. Cross the A65 and continue straight, back past the QES buildings and Tollgate Cottage, where a right turn will bring you back down into Kirkby Lonsdale.

by Tess Pike

Photo credit: Cover photo at the top of the page captured by Robin Ree and credited throughout, all other photos by Tess Pike.

Tess Pike

Tess Pike has been a Blue Badge Guide for 25 years, working across the North of England and internationally.

You can find out more about Tess Pike’s Blue Badge Walking Tours (both real and virtual) here.

If you are interested in becoming a Blue Badge Guide yourself you can find out more here.

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