Barbon is a tiny village situated at the foot of the Dale. This easy walk takes you alongside Barkin Beck, through Barbon Manor woods and then out into the open dale for the return along a quiet fellside road.
From the A65, near Kirkby Lonsdale, take the Sedbergh road (A683) for approx 3 miles when you will see signs for Barbon. In the village there is limited parking near the church (well worth a visit).
1. At the end of the church wall there is a road to the left . Some thirty yards along this road you will see a cattle grid and gate. There is a sign 'Manor Only'. Cross the grid, or go through the gate, and follow the tarmac road around through a couple of bends, for approximately half a mile, until you see on the right, a small 'Footpath' sign.
2. The path leads down through a gate to a delightful track through the woods. For most of the route through these woods the track accompanies the course of the beck, sometimes high above it, at other times alongside the clear, fast-flowing river. This is private land and one should take care to keep to the designated path.
3. After approximately one mile you pass through a gate, out of the coniferous trees and into more open countryside. The track meanders through well-spaced, broad-leaf trees, gently down towards the river again. In a description of this area the writer Mike Harding refers to the colour of the autumn bracken as "the colour of new rust". This is a great spot to see it! Pass through the gate and continue on the path for another fifty yards to cross a bridge.
4. Turn right onto the road which will eventually take you back to Barbon. Along the way you will see, on the right an Andy Goldsworthy 'sheep-fold', actually it makes a pretty good 'picnic-fold' when a sharp north wind is blowing straight down Barbondale! Also on the right, you will catch a glimpse of Barbon Manor, built by the Kay Shuttleworth family in the 19th century. Once over the cattle grid, it's a short walk back down to the village.
Map: OS Pathfinder 628
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Terrain: Easy walking on level paths and roads