This circular walk explores the open fells and pastures of the Sizergh Castle estate. Along the way you will encounter a fascinating timeline of the estate's history dating back to pre-historic burial mounds, deer parks for hunting through to relatively modern farming practices. Wildlife and wild flowers are abundant on this walk, but it's also worth paying attention to further afield as the distant views reveal almost all the mountains of the Lake District fells. Halfway around, the walk is split by Ashbank Lane, a handy shortcut should you want to finish early.
Directions: (starting at Sizergh Castle car park)
From the cafe, head down the car park to take the path to the R of the entrance cattlegrid. The path is followed S beside a dry stonewall to a gate. Go through the gate and head diagonally up the field to the gate(s) in the far corner.
The field through the gate has a cluster of trees and enclosures. These marks the location of prehistoric activity dating back to the early Bronze Age. Make a short loop around the field and then return to the gate(s). Don't go through the gate(s); instead turn L and head down the field to another gate. At this one, turn L and head down hill to Brigsteer Lane.
Turn R and follow Brigsteer Lane N for 450m to a juntion with a track.
This is Ashbank Lane, turn R onto it for 50m until you can turn L onto open pasture. Climb N right to the top of the hill to the junction with the track to St. John's Church. (Alternatively, Ashbank Lane offers a shortcut back to Sizergh Castle).
Join the track and follow it N along the escarpment edge to St. John's Church.
From the church, back track to the junction and take the L branch that leads down to Holeslack Farm.
Take the track past the farmhouse for 100m to a fork. Take the R branch, which descends to a barn. Pass the barn and follow the path through the fields back to Sizergh Castle.
Start/Finish: Grid Reference: SD 497878
Distance: 3.5 miles (5.7km)
Height gain: 160m
Discover great family walking routes in the Great British Walk - Sizergh, packed with maps and info on what to see and do in the area.
As Lead Ranger for South/East Cumbria and Morecambe Bay, I manage the individual Rangers who look after all the fantastic National Trust coast and countryside around the edges of the Lake District, and beyond into North Lancashire and the Eden Valley. The variety of the places, and of the work, makes coming to work in the morning a real joy and I never quite know where I'll end up. Although my office is in sunny Silverdale, on the edge of the swirling, ever changing muds of Morecambe Bay, I could end up on the sand-dunes of Sandscale Haws (near Barrow), the shores of Windermere at Fell Foot, patrolling the ancient chapel ruins at Heysham near Morecambe, helping with public access on the Sizergh Castle Estate near Kendal, rounding up escaped cows on Arnside Knott, or introducing visitors and great crested newts to each other at Acorn Bank gardens, near Penrith. Or I could be in that Silverdale office, working on a Woodland Management Plan or boundary dispute.