Nestling amongst the outer folds of the Lake District fells, the area around Kendal is a fell runner's paradise. Just a few short minutes after setting off from the hustle and bustle of this busy market town, and you can be out amongst classic fell and river scenery. Cutting through the centre of town is the fast flowing River Kent, the quiet paths along its bank provide the perfect escape route for a loop that takes in the surrounding fells and explores the impressive parkland of Sizergh Castle. For those who like to take a more sedate pace it also makes a rewarding walk.
Directions: (starting at Kendal Parish Church car park)
Kendal Parish Church car park is an ideal start as it's easy to find. From the back of the church hall take the riverbank path and head up stream, within a few hundred metres you will come to a footbridge, cross it and the road on the other side to take the minor road signed for Kendal Castle. At the road end, join the cycle track along the disused canal bed and follow it S over the crossing at the lesuire centre and onto Natland Road.
A short section of the road running then leads back onto the canal bed path on the R, which is then followed easily to the road at Crowpark. Turn R onto the road and follow it downhill to the riverside path at Hawes Bridge. Follow the E bank of the river and then cross the footbridge at Wilson place. Turn L onto the lane then R onto Nannypie Lane, which leads under the bypass to the entrance to Sizergh castle. There is a cafe at the castle for a refuel.
Head through the gate at the top of the car park and cross the stoney lane to follow the footpath across the field to Holeslack Farm. Turn L onto the lane past the farm and follow it to the church and then to Brigsteer road, turn R to go through a gate onto the fell towards the escarpment edge. A steady climb leads N past the open fell of Helsington Barrows, Scout Scar and (after crossing Underbarrow Rd) onto Cunswick Scar.
Above Cunswick Tarn turn E and descend to the footbridge over the bypass (A591). On the other side, cross the golf course at Kendal Fell and head back into Kendal. Work your way down into town and then head along Stricklandgate and through Kirkland back to the parish church.
Start/Finish: Grid Reference: SD 517921
Distance: 11.6 miles (18.7km)
Height gain: 380m
I work as an Assistant Ranger across the extremely diverse South and East Cumbria and Morecambe Bay area. Due to the wide ranging habitats that we look after, my job is extremely diverse - one day I might be repairing a wall overlooking a sea cliff and the next, I could be coppicing in ancient woodland, 50 miles from the sea, creating habitats for birds and insects.