Cunswick and Scout Scars from Kendal

Outline of Route
Kendal - Golf Course - Cunswick Scar - Scout Scar - "Pile of Stones" - Racecourse - Kendal (Grid ref. SD 515926)
Total Distance 6.3 miles, Total Ascent 800 feet, Equivalent Distance 7.9 miles

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Escape Routes

  1. It is easy to find a path to Bank Head farm from the southern section of Cunswick Scar and return to Kendal via the Underbarrow Road, but beware of the traffic!

Details of Route
This is not a full day's walk - three hours is more than enough - but a pleasant preview of, or epilogue to, a visit to Lakeland. Miller Bridge photo is at the bottom of Lowther Street which runs by Kendal Town Hall. If you are early enough you may see the sun rise over Castle Hill photo.

From Kendal's Town Hall, or Tourist Information Office, cross the road and proceed west along All Hallows Lane. Follow the road up Beast Banks and turn right along Serpentine Road, just after Belmont, and along past the Serpentine Woods, which appear on your left. Turn left where the woods end - there's free parking here - and walk up the road alongside the woods to a very small car park - not recommended for parking, I've known tree-felling block the road - and pass the barrier. Find your way up the steep grassy slope on the left to reach a grassy plateau and walk along its crest. There is a good view over the town to the Howgill fells and the Whinfell ridge photo from here. A gap in the wall, near where two walls intersect, gives one access to a footpath crossing the golf course. Follow this path, eventually alongside a wall, through a couple more gaps in walls to a footbridge across the Kendal bypass (A591). Once over the footbridge climb over the stile into the field to the right and follow the footpath, up and diagonally across the field, to a gap in the wall at the top corner of the field - don't worry about the cows, they'll leave you in peace. From here ascend to the cairn at the top of the fell where the first glimpse of the Lakeland panorama appears, quite suddenly, when the summit is reached. This newly acquired vista extends from the Coniston fells in the west, via Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes to Fairfield in the north. High Street and its southern spurs have been visible during the ascent, as have the Shap fells and Howgills.

Walk west, down the slope, to the top of Cunswick Scar's escarpment where there is a fine view of the Kentmere valley photo and the Coniston fells round to the Langdale Pikes photo. Now turn left and follow the crest as it descends downhill. Cunswick Tarn nestles down in the valley. Continue uphill once more, a wall is reached on your right, and at the end of the wall, where the path meets a farm road, turn right and follow the "permissive" path as it follows another wall. When you can go no further, turn left and head towards the radio mast and a gate leading to a path through some woods. Follow the path to the right of the radio mast and when a quarry (car park) is reached bear left and find your way down to the road. A little way to the right and across the road an iron kissing gate - kissing as in touching rather than osculating - gives access to the open fell once more and a path leads uphill to the crest of Scout Scar. The flatlands of the Lyth valley are below you leading the eye across to Whitbarrow and then south to the Kent estuary and Morecambe Bay - Southern prospect from Scout Scar and Northern prospect from Scout Scar. The view across to the Coniston fells and round to the Langdale Pikes is excellent photo.

Continue along the crest of the Scar, past the shelter, known affectionately by locals as "The Mushroom" photo - there was a public outcry when a local newspaper suggested, as an April fool's stunt, that it was to be replaced with a more modern construction. From here on a clear day Blackpool Tower is visible. You can zoom in on this photo and see it. Continue to the point where Barrowfield farm lies down in the valley to your right. A path can be seen coming from the farm to the base of the Scar and up the side of it. This meets the path you are on near a large flat cairn - could this be the "Pile of Stones" marked on the OS map? - I think not but it will do. Turn left here, away from the Scar and follow the well-trodden path eastwards until it reaches the old Kendal racecourse. Cross this to reach a stile to the Brigsteer road then turn left and follow the road back into Kendal.

Rev. 02 September 2014

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