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Circular of Whitbarrow Scar via Lord's Seat from Mill Side


A circular walk along Whitbarrow Scar in the Lake District from Mill Side. The walk initially passes through woodland before climbing up on to Whitbarrow Scar. A 2Km walk along the scar via Lord's Seat then offers wonderful views of the surrounding area and out into Morecambe Bay. The path then drops off the scar and follows through delightful woodland passes by Witherslack Hall on the way back to the start.


Parking: Roadside parking one hundred yards off the A590 Levens Bridge to Grange road a few yards over the cattle grid, turning off at the signpost for Mill Side and Beck Head (grid reference SD 451 840).
Directions: Nearest post code for Sat Nav: LA11 6SL - get directions here
Walk distance: 6.5 miles (10.4 Km)
Estimated walk time: 3 hours
Height climbed: 395 metres
Grade: 2-B: A medium length walk that requires modest uphill walking
Peaks / summits: Lord's Seat
Wainwrights: None
Map: Ordnance Survey - Explorer OL7 (The English Lakes - South-eastern Area)
Buy this map from Ordnance Survey
Walk features: Birds, Flowers, Geographical features, Hills or Fells, Views, Wildlife
Facilities / refreshments: Pubs within 2 miles of the start
Nearest town: Nearest village is Levens (including one pub). Nearest larger town with pubs, cafes and toilets is Kendal
Walk Tags: Whitbarrow Scar, Whitbarrow Scar walk, Kendal walk, walk, Lake District, Lake District walk, Lord's Seat, Levens, Leven's walk, Hare and Hounds Levens, Mill Side, Farrer's Allotment, Hervey Nature Reserve, Witherslack Hall


View up to Buckhouse Wood

Bend in road with scar behind

From the road-side parking, head up the lane away from the dual carriageway (A590). As progression is made up the lane, over to the right is Buckhouse Wood. Follow this lane up a slight incline for about one third of a mile, and where the lane splits, take the right-hand turn following the no through road sign - Beck Head only. After a further ten yards where the lane splits, take the right-hand fork which initially heads upwards past a bench on the right, before swinging around to the right and flattening. As the lane swings around to the right there is a bridleway sign stating no parking of cars past this point. Keep on this tree lined lane as views of the Kent Estuary appear over to the right. After a few minutes further walking, as two gateposts come into view about a further one hundred yards down the lane ahead, take the path which leaves the lane off to the left through two small wooden fences on which there is a green Lake District National Park Authority sign stating "Vehicles and motorcycles - do not use this route".

Out to the Kent Estuary

The meandering River Kent

The two foot wide stoney path heads upwards quite steeply into the trees. After a few minutes the path's incline becomes less steep, and it is accompanied on its left-hand side by a two foot high wall. As this wall disappears, the path is joined by a further path coming in from the left. Continue on in the same direction following the white arrow on a post by the path, then ahead at the next white arrow for a further one hundred yards where a bench is reached on the left. Just before reaching this bench, take the path off up to the left again following the white arrow. As the path begins to flatten it pulls around to the left to pass through a small gap in a wall. Through this wall, follow the path around to the right and pass back through another gap in the wall, still following the white arrows. This well worn path carries on under tree cover for a further fifty yards, before coming out into the open as the path narrows. This path then steadily climbs as it leaves all trace of tree cover behind. As the first summit is reached the full extent of the scar can now be seen ahead, and behind the River Kent and the Kent Estuary can be seen. The cairn on the farthest summit ahead is that on Lord's Seat. The route to be taken from here is the path which follows along the line of cairns to Lord's Seat.

Path across the top of the scar

View across to Lord's Seat and Whitbarrow Scar

Cairn on the scar with Lord's Seat in the background

View down to Witherslack Hall

After reaching the first rather precariously looking cairn on the summit, the path dips and pulls in to the left-hand side of a fence. Keep on this path until it meets a wall which runs across from the junction of Chapel Head and Whitbarrow scars. Over to the left, just before reaching the wall, Witherslack Hall can be seen down below. Cross over the wall by the way of a two stepped stile built into it, about fifty yards from the edge of the scar, then continue ahead away from the wall once on the far side of it. This side of the wall is Hervey Nature Reserve maintained by the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust. On the horizon, about six hundred yards ahead can be seen the large cairn at Lord's Seat. On the right-hand side of this path as it leads up to Lord's Seat are wonderful examples of exposed limestone pavements, and limestone crags. Perched on these are weathered trees, which clearly show the prevailing wind direction on the Scar.

Limestone escarpment with a tree indicating prevailing wind direction

Cairn at Lord's Seat

National Nature Reserve sign

Upon reaching the large obelisk shaped cairn at Lord's Seat, stop a while and admire the beautiful panoramic views. Etched into a stone on the cairn itself is "This reserve commemorates Canon G A K Hervey (1893-1967) founder of the Lake District Naturalists Trust". Leave the cairn heading north, continuing on in the same direction as the path approaching the cairn for about fifty yards, before bending around to the right and descending down to pull in alongside the exposed limestone face. The path then passes a wooden English Nature National Reserve sign put up by the Wildlife Trust Cumbria, opposite where a wooden stile goes over the wall to the right. The sign shows a map of where you are now and highlights the next part of the walk. Continue on past the wooden sign in the same direction keeping to the left-hand side of the wall. After a further few hundred yards, the path starts to veer to the left away from the wall, then turns and runs parallel to it. As the path approaches the wall in front, take the left-hand fork as the path splits, circle around a cairn and continue forward alongside the wall. The path then runs westwards along the inside of the wall, slowly descending but undulating all the way.

Path downwards by the scree

Path through the tree cover

The path deviates away from the wall, just before it begins its much steeper descent initially alongside some scree, before passing through a small wooden gate. The well-worn path then continues its descent, now under tree cover, zigzagging its way steeply downwards. This path here can be very slippery when wet. As the path begins to flatten and the tree cover above is not as dense, there is a smaller path which leaves to the left. Ignoring this continue on a further twenty yards to the footpath sign. To the left it is signed "Permitted footpath - Witherslack Hall", back up to where the path has come from "Bell Rake and Whitbarrow" and to the right "North Lodge". Take the left following the wide permitted path to Witherslack Hall. Every so often along this six-foot path, are white markers about a foot in height indicating the direction to be taken. After a few minutes walking, take the left-hand fork, ignoring the wider right-hand track which heads off downhill.

View of the scar

Path by the fence heading back towards the scar

The gently undulating path affords glimpses over to the left of the scar itself. After a short downhill stony section of about fifty yards in length, there is another white marker indicating the way ahead - follow this. From here, continue on, ignoring the track off to the left at the second white arrow. At the next white arrow, again keep straight ahead, ignoring to track off to the right. This time a few yards further on the path enters out into a clearing. Here keep ahead ignoring the path off to the left down to a football pitch, and a few yards further on pass through a wooden kissing gate out into an open field. Turn left and keep close to the side of the fence passing the football pitch and follow the path / track down to a stile by a gate.

Road bends over the stream

Cross over the stile, and take the track straight ahead ignoring the ones running parallel with the wall. This track initially climbs under tree cover. Keep on this track for about three-quarters of a mile, where the track meets a lane. Upon reaching the lane turn left and follow this lane to where it becomes metalled by a cottage. The lane bends around over a small bridge at Beck Head, where looking back upstream the water just appears to be formed as it enters out of a rock-face.

Looking back upstream
Picture credit: Witherslack Cycle Barn

After a further third of a mile, then lane meets another lane by a telephone box. Continue on past the telephone box, and turning left follow this lane the final quarter of a mile back down to the car parking area.


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