With a two and a half year old baby it’s not easy to find walks that suit the both of us. Normally it’s a stop-start affair with sticks, pebbles and more recently fag butts becoming a distraction along the way. I miss hills, rivers, lakes, scree slopes and crags. Not the place for a wee man who has the will power of Winston Churchill, refusing to get in a back pack with stern rebuttals and a ticking off – “No I’m driving!”. It was a delight then to find a walk that we could all enjoy on Cartmel Fell – a glorious part of the South Lakes Peninsula that I know well.
The starting point is St Anthony’s church which was built in 1504. Nestled in the bottom of a valley, hidden by trees and with very little to guide you there, it’s the kind of place the eponymous Christian hermit would have been proud of. In spring it’s stunning with crocuses lying like your grandma’s favourite quilt over the graves of the local people buried there. Visitors can go into the church and have a look around and maybe put a couple of quid into the donation box.
From the church you can wander through the woods, slowly if you like sticks, up to the road and onto the fell. It’s easy enough to find your way as there’s path over a style leading up to Raven’s Barrow, a grand name for a pile of rocks. The view from here looks out over Whitbarrow Scar in one direction or back towards the Central Lake District where you can see the peaks of Helvellyn and Sca Fell laughing at the wee bump you’re stood on. It’s a beautiful bump though.
Playing on the crags!
After a short conversation with Winston Churchill about whether Mike the Knight lives in Raven’s Barrow it’s off and away up to Sow How Tarn via Middle Tarn. These man made tarns are special enough but in spring they are alive with movement. Frogs fawnicating furiously were making a din they were so gagging for it, oblivious to the wee man and his innocence. Beyond Middle Tarn a picturesque boat house introduces you to Sow How while swans mock you with their aristocractic indifference.
Finishing up you head back through the wood skirting Raven’s Barrow (Mike the Knight’s still not there) and down to the church. For the thirsty, you can head to the Mason’s Arms for a Damson Beer and contemplate the beauty of the Cartmel Fell area.