It was a nice bright Saturday for once and with a DIY chore to deal with in Kendal, The Hubby and I decided to tag a dog walk onto it too.
So after stuffing the boot of the car with our DIY purchases, squashing The Dog into a tiny corner in the process (she was not impressed, believe me) , we drove the little way down the A65 to the village of Endmoor and parked up on a residential street. We put on our walking gear, clipped The Dog on the lead and walked across the road.
Facing us was a very steep hill in a sheep field, which isn’t good when you haven’t warmed up. So we plodded up, stopping to “admire the view” while we gasped for breath and rested burning legs and The Dog watched impatiently. But once at the top, we had splendid views across the south Lakelands before immediately plummeting back down towards the farm, as skittish sheep galloped off. We squeezed through wall stiles and contoured along before coming to a field full of cows. Cows can be a bit unpredictable and there had been recent news reports of people being killed by them. So we kept close to the wall with one eye on the beasts, but they were more interested in eating the grass and we were thankful to reach the other side. We wandered through fields and along footpaths and lanes before we came to the pretty little village of Stainton and a little humpbacked bridge across the little beck. We then picked up another field and wandered across towards the Lancaster canal. The sun was now out and picked up all the autumnal colours which were glorious. We found the canal and walked along a small footpath through trees, looking for a bridge that would take us to the main towpath opposite. We found one bridge where animals had congregated, their hooves had churned up the mud and turned it into a gloopy soup where we slipped and slid, and got a bit grubby. So we continued to the next bridge and to our delight, managed to cross and drop down onto the gravel path. The Dog came off lead, much to her delight and sauntered along back to the community of Crooklands, passing the Westmorland County Showground where we got a canal trip along the Lancaster Canal and discovered from the volunteer historians that this area was a main port of call with warehouses, jetties and coke ovens. There’s nothing here now to suggest that it was an industrial area at all – just information boards surrounded by fields.
We crossed over the A65 and wandered down a back lane, picking up the footpath which passed alongside the Peasey Beck. A level footpath with the odd muddy bit, but it was very pleasant. We walked along an old disused tram line from the warehouses – just a long hillock running through the field. We finally came up to a stile and peeked over to discover another field of cows who were a little distance away. The Dog squeezed through and I clambered over into the field, just as one of the cows bobbed his head up and decided to investigate the humans and their dog, teeling his friends as he did so. He started trotting at a pace, with his mates following too and they started to assemble into an uncomfortable group of skittish beef. The Dog got yanked back through the gate by Hubby and I was pretty nifty at jumping back over. The cows skidded to a halt by the gate, snuffling and sniffing noisily, snot drooling from their noses. They were a bit frisky, very nosey, but if you made a move towards them, they all took a few steps back. They weren’t that brave, but we still didn’t want to test the theory.
We were now in a dilemma as this was the last field before Endmoor and the car – some 300 yards of field separated us from the car. We could almost see it! The other options were to retrace our steps back to the A65 and walk along an extremely busy country road or find an alternative route. With the sun sinking, we looked for another way round and discovered, by walking further up the field we were in, another gate into an adjacent field. We clambered over and started walking, hoping not to meet the farmer as we were technically trespassing now. We saw another gate further along that actually went back into the cow field, so we headed for that as that would get us ahead of the cows. But as we negotiated the hill down, the cows spotted us again and quickly worked out our cunning plan. They all started to trot towards us, delighted in the thought of having us for company again. Oh for goodness sake! We abandoned the plan of entering the field, but walked parallel to it, along the hedge line, hoping that there was a gate at the other end. The cows still continued to follow us, but gradually their interest waned as they realised that we weren’t coming into their field to play and even the more determined ones gave up and resumed their grass consumption. However to our dismay, we found cows in this field too, but luckily they were high up on the hill and calmly continued eating the grass, unbothered by us traipsing through. With a big sigh of relief, there was a gate and we happily squeezed through onto a tarmac road. From here, we walked past fields and the waterworks before finding the car, and jumping in with relief.
As we drove back home along the A65, we discovered that there was a pavement along the side of it, so we could of walked it, but was happy that we were able to negotiate those last few hundred yards rather than add another couple of miles and how much time onto our walk. Anyway, it had added a bit of excitement to the day!